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Back up your files with Google Drive on macOS

Learn how to back up your important files prior to your Computer Refresh appointment.

ITS always recommends creating a backup to avoid data loss. Each employee is ultimately responsible for their own data. Proactively backing up data to a cloud storage location provides an additional safety net.


After copying your data to a cloud storage location, it's important to be aware of which copy of a file you're using. Files copied to Google Drive will not automatically sync with changes made to a local copy of the same file. You may find it most convenient to work only on your files stored in Google Drive, which are accessible from any device with an Internet connection.

  1. If you don't already have Google Drive installed, use Self Service to install Google Drive.
  2. Open the Google Drive app and sign in.
  3. Your Google Drive folder appears in the Finder sidebar under Locations, and can be accessed just like any other folder on your Mac. Any files saved in the Google Drive folder are automatically backed up to Google Drive.

    The Google Drive folder provides access to both your private My Drive files and any Shared drives of which you are a member.

  4. In Finder, locate the files you want to back up to Google Drive. 

    This example shows files located in the Documents folder. You may have files in multiple locations; these steps outline the general process for copying files to Google Drive.
  5. Select the group of files you want to copy to Google Drive, then right click (or hold Control and click) one of the files. Click Copy.
  6. Go to the Google Drive folder located in the Finder sidebar. Then, double-click the My Drive folder. Right click, then click New Folder (or press Command+Shift+N on your keyboard). Name the new folder "Backup" or something similar.

  7. Right click (or hold Control and click) the Backup folder, then click Paste ... Items.

    Note: The verbiage will vary depending on the number of files you're copying.
  8. Repeat steps 5–7 with any additional files you want to back up to Google Drive.
  9. Use the 
    Google Drive icon in your menu bar (near the clock at the top of the screen) to monitor the status of your backup to Google Drive.

    The app will display "Everything is up to date" when your files are finished copying.

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