Sometimes, you have to stop what you’re doing and change course and handle something that really needs to be handled right then.
As an example, a short time ago, I finally remembered to log in to register for the class action lawsuit against Harbor Freight. Sadly, the window had closed just one day earlier. I can’t blame anyone but myself. I’d had plenty of time, but I hadn’t handled the situation when I first saw it–and given how much money I spend at Harbor Freight since we purchased our home, I lost out.
That said, my intention today was to continue a string of daily challenges to help you clean out your e-mail inbox. But last week, Google announced a timeline for its upcoming changes to Google Drive. CNet has more information here. The long story short is that Google Drive as we currently know it is going away in March 2018. It is being replaced by a new app called Backup and Sync or, for business users, Drive File Stream. Google Drive will no longer be supported starting December 11, 2017, and it will shut down completely on March 12, 2018.
The best time to act is now because December 11th and March 12th will be here before you know it. If you have files in Google Drive, at this point, you should make whatever transition you deem fit. Maybe you’ll switch to Backup and Drive. You can do that here. Maybe you’ll decide to use Dropbox instead, since Dropbox seems to be a little more stable than Google at this point. If you’re a Microsoft user, you could also use OneDrive. Or maybe you know of another cloud storage option.
The goal is to migrate files from Google Drive to Backup and Sync or another storage solution before Google Drive support ends on December 11th–preferably sooner.
What I Did
I have had files on Google Drive for around five years, and I’ve thought it a decent app overall despite its occasional bugs. However, I’ve discovered in the past that Google sometimes likes to throw out the baby with the bathwater; instead of making minor changes to improve a current app or service, Google occasionally completely dumps applications and programs that people find useful. Worse, for approximately a year, I have encountered problems downloading files when I’ve needed them; one time out of five I receive an error message that indicates “Failed – server problem.” A Google search revealed that I’m not the only person who has encountered these problems with no definite, consistent resolution.
Considering these latter issues and my fear that Google will eventually do away with cloud storage entirely at some point in the future, I decided to completely clean out my Google Drive storage for all of my accounts. Instead of transferring the files to Dropbox or OneDrive, I downloaded all my files to a networked and remotely accessible external hard drive. (For informational purposes, my husband, who has an IT background, chose a Western Digital My Book Duo 4TB for our household and networked it. I have zero expertise in the IT area, and I currently have no plans to blog about how he set that up. Sorry.)
To download the files, I logged into each of my accounts at drive.google.com. I clicked on “My Drive” in the left sidebar to access my files. Then I downloaded my files into a subdirectory on my hard drive appropriately named Google Drive. I then unzipped the files and made sure they were not corrupted before I deleted/removed all of the files from Google Drive. Finally, I emptied the trash bin in Google Drive. As I said, I did this process for each of my Google accounts. (I have nine! Getting rid of all but one or two of those is a goal for later this year.)
If you wish to stay with Google and merely switch from Google Drive to Backup and Sync, you can do so by logging into your Google Drive account at http://drive.google.com and left clicking “Get Backup and Sync for Windows” at the bottom left-hand corner of your screen. (I have not migrated to Backup and Sync myself, so I am not detailing those steps here.)
If you’ve decided to migrate your files away from Google entirely, try these steps.
- In the Google Chrome browser, log into your Google Drive account at http://drive.google.com.
- Click on “My Drive” in the left sidebar.
- Right-click on each rectangle containing a file or folder name. Then left click on “Download.”
- If you have Microsoft Windows: Open your Downloads folder. You can do a search for it in the Start menu by clicking your Windows button typically on the left side of your keyboard between your control or function and alt keys and then typing “Downloads.” The name “Downloads” should appear as a folder under Programs. Click on it.
- Cut your files from the Downloads folder (I highlight all the files and type Control + X simultaneously), and paste your files into their final destination, whether that be a Dropbox window; the OneDrive app; a flash, thumb, or jump drive; an external hard drive; or your desktop. To paste your files into their ultimate destination, open that destination folder (Dropbox window, drive, etc.) and type Control + V simultaneously. (Note: If you downloaded entire folders, your best and quickest bet will be to extract the files in the folders rather than moving them. I’ll blog about extracting files on another day for those of you who are confused about that process.)
- Ensure that all of your files downloaded appropriately by comparing the contents of your Google Drive with the contents of your Dropbox, OneDrive, other drive, or desktop.
- After you have verified that all files transferred without corruption, return to your Google Chrome browser. Delete each file and folder by right-clicking on each rectangle containing a file or folder name and left-clicking on “Remove.”
- After you have deleted all of your files, click on “Trash” in the left sidebar.
- At the top of the Google Drive screen underneath the search bar, left click on the triangle beside “Trash,” then left click on “Empty trash.”
- Click “EMPTY TRASH” in the box that appears.
How Did You Do?
Do you have a Google Drive account? Do you store files in your Google Drive account? Did you migrate to Backup and Sync, or did you decide to move your files to a different cloud storage option or a drive? Let me know what you did in the comments!