Can you back up an entire Google Drive? Should you back up your Google Drive? And how do you back up your Google Drive data?
These are the questions that you may be asking yourself if you have valuable Google Drive documents that you wouldn’t want to lose.
We will address all of these questions in this article so that you can consider your options and decide what works best for you.
Why backing up Google Drive is important
As Schofield's Second Law of Computing states, data doesn't really exist unless you have at least two copies of it.
Google does offer word-class security features, but things may still go wrong. You or the people that you share your files with may delete documents accidentally. File syncing with the desktop software may crash. Ransomware attacks are also a possibility.
This means that backing up your Google Drive either to a hard drive or to another account is crucial.
We believe that the best way to backup your Google Drive is to copy all the files and folders to another online account, and here’s why:
Your backup will be easily accessible.
You will be able to open your files from your phone or in a browser anywhere. All changes made to the files and folders will be saved instantly online.
Storing a backup of your Google Drive files in another online account is more secure.
Laptops are often stolen. Hard drives are prone to accidental damage. Keeping a backup in an online account will protect your files from being lost or corrupted.
You may create a new Google account for a copy of your primary Google Drive or you can backup Google Drive to another provider (for example, you may choose to backup Google Drive to OneDrive). Whichever option you choose, backing up your Google Drive is a big step toward securing your valuable information.
Choosing the backup method
There are two ways to copy your Google Drive to another account for a backup:
Option 1: Create copies of your files and folders in another account automatically using VaultMe.
Option 2: Download your files and folders to the hard drive and upload them to another account manually.
We’ll explain these two options in detail below.
We start with the automatic option because it makes the copying process very easy. But if you are willing to do most of the work yourself and have all the necessary resources, you can look into the manual option, too.
Option 1: Use VaultMe to back up your Google Drive to another account automatically
VaultMe is a secure online application for migrating files and folders between accounts. It puts copies of your Drive documents in another account and preserves the folder structure of the copied Drive.
Some of VaultMe’s advantages include the following:
- VaultMe can copy both owned and shared Google Drive documents. Additionally, it can copy the files and folders from the drives that are shared with you allowing you to create a backup of the shared drives.
- VaultMe can backup your Google Drive to another Google Drive or to OneDrive.
- If you choose to backup your Drive to another Google account, VaultMe will copy all Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides in their native Google formats.
- VaultMe works online in a browser, so you won’t have to worry about installing any software, having enough storage space on your hard drive, or a slow internet connection. Once your migration begins, you can close the browser and turn off your computer (or a mobile device — your migration can be started from a phone or a tablet, too).
- VaultMe takes only a minute to set up and it works fast! Still hesitating? Then take a look at our reviews!
Option 2: Back up your Drive files and folders to another Google account manually
You can copy your Drive content to another account for a backup either by downloading and uploading the files in a browser or by using Google Drive’s desktop application, "Backup and Sync".
How to download and upload the files manually in a browser
Using this method you will be able to save the files on your hard drive and then upload them to the new account from a browser.
Here’s how you can do it:
Go to Google Drive in a browser and download the files to your computer.
You can do that either by selecting them and clicking the "Download" button or by using Google Takeout.
Go to the other account in a browser and upload the files.
Click the plus icon in the upper left corner and select "File upload" or "Folder upload".
There are important things that you should consider before you begin:
- Google Takeout does not download files and folders that are shared with you. If you decide to use Google Takeout, select and download shared files manually from the "Shared with me" section of your Drive.
- The download and upload process may take up to several days or even weeks depending on the size of your account.
- Your computer will have to stay powered on during the whole process. Any interruptions to the internet connection and power supply can result in lost or broken files.
- When you download multiple files (either manually or using Google Takeout), Google puts them in archives. To recreate the structure of your Google Drive in another account, you will have to unzip the archives and re-organize the files before you upload them.
- If you have a large account (over 10 GB) and decide to use Google Takeout, your archive will be split into several parts. If some of them fail to generate properly, the archive will have to be requested again.
How to download and upload the files using "Backup and Sync"
Here’s how you can move items from OneDrive to Google Drive manually:
- Install "Backup and Sync" on your computer.
- Sign in to your primary Google account in the app.
- Sync all Drive files and folders with your hard drive to download them.
- Add your backup Google account to the app and sign in.
Drag and drop your files and folders between the accounts.
Hold the Ctrl key to copy the files or folders when you drag and drop them. Otherwise "Backup and Sync" will move the content.
The limitations of this method include the following:
- Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, and other files created online in Google Drive are represented in "Backup and Sync" as links and not the actual files. If those links are uploaded to a different location, they would still be pointing to your Google Drive account. Do not use this method if you have a lot of files in native Google formats in your account.
- "Backup and Sync" will not display the files and folders that are shared with you. You will need to copy these documents separately.
- Desktop apps for cloud drives are not optimized for working with large volumes of files. If you have a large account (over 10 GB and/or over 10,000 files), the process may fail to complete.
- It may take a while for the files to sync (possibly a week or more).
Having a backup of a Google Drive account is important as it relieves some of the pressure associated with preserving all the valuable information that you’ve collected over the years.
While having a backup of a Google Drive on a hard drive is better than no backup at all, we recommend that you create a backup of your Drive documents in another secure online account.
The easy way to back up Google Drive to another account is to copy the files automatically using VaultMe. VaultMe can migrate your files to Google Drive or to OneDrive. The process is easy: just connect your two accounts to the app and click "Start" to begin.
Owners of small accounts may consider creating a backup manually, but the results of the manual migration may not be accurate.