Google Drive with over 1 billion users, stores more than 10 exabytes of data. It provides remarkable service with 99.9% data availability to users with no scheduled downtime.

But Google does not hold itself responsible if you lose your Google Drive data due to user error or malware attacks. Therefore, Google Drive backup is your sole responsibility.

This article will give you all the effective ways in which you can back up your Google Drive.  

Here are all the different ways to back up your Google Drive data,

 

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Introduction to Google Drive Backup

Google Drive was introduced to both personal and business users in the year 2012 to store data on the Cloud. The number of Google Drive users have steadily grown from 120 million in 2013 to 1 billion users in 2017.

Google Drive Backup- usage-graph

What is Google Drive backup?

Google Drive backup makes a copy of all the Drive files and stores them securely in another safe location locally or on the cloud. The folder structure, file/folder sharing permissions, revisions, and history will are also stored in the backup.

If you or any of your users lose, delete, or are unable to access a file from Google Drive you can always retrieve it from the backup with a single click.

Why Should You Backup Google Drive for Your Business?

Protection of data from loss is a joint responsibility between Google and organizations using it. While Google plays its part well to secure the Google Drive data it is also equally important for users to take necessary precautions to protect their data.

Let’s look at a few scenarios where Google Drive’s data could be lost or compromised.

Watch our Youtube video on the 4 compelling reasons to take Google Drive backup,

Section 1 - How to Backup Google Drive Files Using Google Apps / Google Apps for Work?

Google has a few applications that can indirectly serve the purpose of a backup tool. Even though not primarily developed to be backup tools, these apps can help users hold the Google Drive data for an unlimited period or download it to backup Google Drive to an external hard drive. 

Users can back up Google Drive using these three Google applications:

  1. Backup and Sync Client
  2. Google Takeout
  3. Google Vault

Option 1 - How to Backup Google Drive Files Using Backup and Sync Client?

Backup and Sync is a Google application that lets users sync their desktop with their Google Drive. This way all the data stored in the Drive will be available on the local desktop and vice versa.

Users can use this application to easily download their Drive data into their desktop rather than manually downloading every single file. Backup and Sync downloads the Drive files and shared folders with no changes to the permissions granted.

Follow these steps to download your Google Drive folders using Backup and Sync Client:

Step 1 Download the Backup and Sync application. Click here to download the app.

Step 2 Launch the application and sign in using your Google account.

Once you sign in you will be taken to the section “My Computer”. This section gives options to upload the files in your desktop to Google Drive.

Note: Since we are using the Backup and Sync app as a tool to easily download the Drive files, skip this section.

Step 3 Uncheck all the options in the “My Computer” page to prevent your desktop files from being uploaded to Google Drive.Google Drive Backup - Backup and Sync un check the desktop sync optionsNext, you will land on the section “Google Drive”. This is where you choose the Google Drive folders that need to be synced.Google Drive Backup - Backup and Sync Google Drive page explanationStep 4 Select the option “Sync My Drive to this computer”

Step 5 Give the local folder to which you want to download your Drive files.

Step 6 Select the radio button “Sync everything in My Drive” if you want to sync the whole Drive or the option “Sync only these folders” if you want to backup just selected folders. Google Drive Backup - Backup and Sync select the folders for backupStep 7 Click on the “START” button.

Now all the selected Google Drive files will be available in the selected folder in your desktop. But, this is not enough. The files are in sync with the Drive, therefore, any deletion in the Drive will reflect in the desktop too.

Step 8 Copy all the files that were downloaded and save in another folder or another device.

This is an easy way to backup Google Drive locally.

Option 2 - How to Backup Google Drive Using Google Takeout?

You can take Google Drive backup by exporting your data using – Google’s web application – Google Takeout.

What is Google Takeout? Click here to read more about Google Takeout.

Follow these steps to backup Google Drive to an external hard drive using Google Takeout

Step 1 Login to Google Takeout using your Google credentials.

Step 2 Choose Drive from the list of all Google products.Google Drive Backup-using-Google-Takeout-select-the-Drive-optionStep 3 Click on “NEXT→CREATE ARCHIVE.”Google Drive Backup -using-Google-Takeout-create-archive

Note: The time taken will depend on the amount of data stored in the Drive.

Step 4 Once it’s completed, click on the “DOWNLOAD” option to download your data as a ZIP file.Google Drive Backup -using-Google-Takeout-download-archive

Store the copy in a safe location for future access.

Here is a video we made on how to take Google Drive Backup in just 2 minutes:

Option 3 - How to Backup Google Drive Files Using Google Vault?

What is Google Vault?

Google Vault is an archiving tool that retains user data stored in G Suite regardless of end-user actions, including permanent deletions.

Note: Google Vault is only available to those subscribed to G Suite Business or Enterprise plan.

Though Google Vault was not intended to be a backup solution, it can be used to retain your Drive files for an unlimited period. This will act as a backup in situations when you permanently lose data from the Drive.

Retention holds organizational data – stored in Gmail, Hangouts, Drive, and Groups – for as long as necessary, even after a user permanently deletes it from their G Suite account. Therefore, this archived data serve the purpose of a backup.

To know more about the differences between Backup and Archive solutions, read this article.

How to a Set Retention Rule for Your Google Drive Files Using Google Vault?

Step 1 Log in to your G Suite account using the Admin credentials. Click here to log in to Google Vault.

Once logged in, you will be taken to the homepage of Google Vault.

Step 2 Navigate to the “Retention” module on the left pane.

Step 3 Click on the “Drive” option to edit its retention policy.

Step 4 Tick the box, “Set a default retention rule for Drive”.

Step 5 Select the radio button “Indefinitely” as the duration of retention and click on “Save”.Google Drive Backup -using-Google-Vault-search-for-dataGoogle Vault will now retain all your data indefinitely and you can export the Google drive files whenever you need it.

If you want to know how to create holds and matters, set retention rules, and generate reports in Google Vault, check out the article Google Apps Vault: The Ultimate Guide for IT Administrators 2018.

Limitations of Using Google’s Native Features and Google Vault as a Backup Solution for Business

Given below are the major limitations of using Google’s native features and Google Vault as a Google Drive backup software:

Section 2 - How to Backup Google Drive Files Using Third-Party Tools?

Google’s native features and Google Vault lets users take a backup of their Google Drive data. These features are not intended for the purpose of backup and restore; therefore has serious limitations as a backup tool.

Whereas third-party cloud applications are a reliable option to take a Google Drive backup. They are tailor-made for the purpose of backup and restore.

Why should you use a cloud backup tool to back up Google Drive files?

Here are the reasons why third-party cloud applications are a reliable backup option,

Cloud applications like SysCloud are a reliable option to back up and restore your Google Drive effortlessly. SysCloud uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) to provide a fully automated cloud to cloud backup and restore.

Using SysCloud’s tool, organizations can back up and restore data for unlimited domains and easily access them with a single click. Administrators can set retention rules to retain user data for a specific or unlimited time period.

Here is how you can back up using SysCloud:

Step 1 Log in to the SysCloud application and you will be taken to the homepage of SysCloud Suite of applications.

Step 2 Navigate to the Backup module on the menu bar and select the “Start Backup” option from the drop-down menu.Google Drive Backup SysCloud select start backupStep 3 Select the users whose data need to be backed up and click on the “+Add” button.Google Drive Backup - SysCloud add users for backup

Step 4 Next, click on the “settings” icon to customize the backup.

Step 5 Enable “Google Drive Service” to backup only the Google Drive files.

Step 6 Next click on the “Start Backup” button.Google Drive Backup - SysCloud select the Dive option and begin backup process

The selected users’ data will be automatically backed up.

How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files from Google Drive

This article explores in-depth about backup of your Google Drive files. But Backup is just one part in securing your business data.

At the end of the day, the reason we backed up was so that we could recover permanently deleted files from Google Drive with all the folder structure and sharing permissions intact.

Learn how to do this in our articleHow to Recover Permanently Deleted Files from Google Drive?’.

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