Google Drive Cheat Sheet

Google Drive ‘Cheat Sheet’

1.What is Google Drive?

Google Drive (now commonly know as ‘Google Suite’) is a file storage and synchronization service developed by Google. Launched on April 24, 2012, Google Drive allows users to store files in the cloud, synchronize files across devices, and share files.

2. How do I log in?

You can log in to Google Drive from any device, anywhere that you have an internet connection using the same log-in information you use to log onto your desktop. Instructions on this Cheat Sheet are designed primarily for working on a desktop.

  • Log in from my Windows desktop or laptop:

Use Chrome rather than Internet Explorer as your web browser for the best experience.


Sign in using the blue ‘Sign In’ icon on the top right of the screen.


 Select the grid icon near the top right corner of the screen.  A drop down menu appears.

Click the ‘Drive’ icon.

  • Log in from an IPad - Click the Google Drive icon. When you first launch the Drive app you will be asked to sign in. Enter the email address and password for your Google account, then tap ‘Sign in’ to get started.

  • Log in from a chrome device (Chromebook, Chromebox)- Log on to your district-provided Chromebook or Chromebox and click the ‘Drive’ icon on the lower left of the screen.

Instructions on this Cheat Sheet will not always work the same way on an IPad, Chromebook or Chromebox.

3. How do I create a new document (Google Doc)?

From Google Drive, locate and select the New button (top left of your screen), then choose Google Docs from the drop down menu.


Your new file will appear in a new tab on your browser. Locate and left click Untitled document in the upper-left corner. Rename the document.

Once your file is renamed. You can access the file at any time from your Google Drive, where it will be saved automatically. Simply double-click to open the file again.

4. How do I retrieve a document that has been shared with me?

Add files to ‘My Drive’:

  • Go to

  • On the left, click Shared with me.

  • Click the files or folders you want to add to your drive.

  • In the top right, click Add to my Drive Add to My Drive.

  • When you click the ‘Add to my Drive’ icon Add to My Drive, you will be prompted to organize the file.

  • Click Organize.

  • If you need to create a new folder for your document, do that first.

  • Choose the folder you want to add to. Click Move here.

5. How do I make a copy of a document?

  • Open the document

  • Click ‘File’ and select ‘Make a Copy’ from the drop down menu

  • A box will appear and you will be prompted to rename the document

  • Rename the document. You can also choose the folder you want the document to be stored in.

6. How do I rename a document?

Locate and left click the name of the document in the upper-left corner. If it is a new document, it will say Untitled document. Rename the document.

If you want to keep the original, be sure to first make a copy before renaming.

7. How do I upload existing files and folders from my /R/ drive to Google Drive?

It's easy to upload files from your computer to Google Drive. If you're using the Google Chrome web browser, you can even upload entire folders.Screenshot of Google Drive

  • File Upload:

From Google Drive, locate and select the New button, then the select File upload.

screenshot of Windows 8

Locate and select the file(s) you want to upload, then click Open.The file(s) will be uploaded to your Google Drive.

Screenshot of Google Drive

  • To upload a folder:

Note: This feature is only available if you're accessing Google Drive through Google  Chrome.

Click the New button, then select Folder upload. Locate and select the folder you want to upload, then click OK.

The folder and the files within it will be uploaded to your Google Drive.Screenshot of Google Drive

  • Drag and Drop to upload files or folders:

Open your documents, click on a file or folder and drag to your Drive.

  • Converting files to Google Docs format

When you upload certain types of files—such as Microsoft Office files or PDF documents—you'll only be able to view those files. If you want to edit these types of files in Google Drive, you'll need to convert them to Google Docs format.Screenshot of Google Drive

Locate and double-click the file you want to edit.

Screenshot of Google Drive

A preview of the file will appear. Select Open at the top of the screen.

Screenshot of Google Drive

The file will be converted to a Google document and appear in a new tab.

If you go back to your Google Drive, you'll see that there are now two copies of the file: the original file (.doc, .pdf, etc.) and the new version in Google Docs format.Screenshot of Google Drive

8. How do I save my work?

You don’t have to! Any changes you make are automatically saved. This is because Google Drive uses autosave, which automatically and immediately saves your files as you edit them.

If you have shared a document with someone, they will be able to see any changes you have made.

9. How do I share a document?

To share a file with a limited group of people:

Locate and select the file you want to share, then click the ‘Share’ button.

Screenshot of Google Drive

A dialog box will appear. In the People box, type the email addresses of the people you'd like to share the file with. If you want, you can add a message that will be emailed to the people you share the file with.

Click Send. Your file will be shared.

10. When I share, how do I control editing rights?

For more control over your files, you can click the drop-down arrow to decide whether people can edit, comment on, or simply view the file.

Screenshot of Google Drive

11. How do I work with a document that has been shared with me?

  • If you receive a link to a Google file in your email:

  • Use Chrome as your browser and open your email. Click the link.

  • You will be prompted to make a copy.


  • The copy will pop up in a new screen

  • Click ‘File’ and rename it, or left click the name of the document in the upper-left corner to rename. (See # 6)

  • Now you can work with this document.

  • You receive a message in your email that a file has been shared with you:           

Click the link in the email you receive and add the document to your Drive (See #4).

Also, these files will appear in the ‘Shared with Me’ folder.


Screenshot of Google DriveScreenshot of Google Drive

12. My Drive is getting full! How do I create folders and organize my files?

From Google Drive, click the New button, then select Folder from the drop-down menu.

A dialog box will appear. Enter a name for your folder, then click Create.

Your folder will appear on the left below My Drive. You may need to click the drop-down arrow to see your folders.

Screenshot of Google Drive

  • To move files into folders:   

Click and drag the file to the desired folder. The     file will  appear in the selected folder.

13. I can’t find a document I need. How do I search my Drive?

Searching lets you look for specific files using words contained within the file or file name. To do this, locate the search bar, then enter the word or file name you're looking for. A list of suggested searches and files will appear as you type. Simply click a file to open it directly from the search results. You can also press the Enter key to see a full list of search results.Screenshot of Google Drive

13. I want to go beyond Google Docs and start exploring other features like Sheets, Slides and Forms. Where can I learn more?

  • Attend BOCES workshops. Courses are offered frequently on Google Suite from beginner to advanced.

  • Ask SIT. The School Improvement team can invite members of our Tech Department in for more training at a faculty meeting.

Check online. Some material for this cheat sheet is credited to the following website: There are many useful tutorials online, including this website and instructional videos.