5 Ways To Backup Your Google Drive

There’s a saying in the IT world – there’s those who backup their data and those who haven’t lost it yet. If you rely heavily on Google’s G-Suite apps including Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides, then it’s a good idea to store copies of those documents, as Google Drive is not invulnerable and has had outages in the past (as recently as Jan 28, 2020!).

Here, we show you five different ways you can backup your Google Drive data and the pros and cons of each method. If you’re an SME, we recommend skipping ahead to options four and five as the best methods. 

  1. Manually Download Your Google Docs In Native Format

Probably the simplest method of backing up Google Doc files, it’s also the least efficient. If you do choose this method, we recommend backing data up monthly, however, most businesses will need automated backup to account for data security. 

Pros: It’s a free and simple process.

Cons: The process is manual and time consuming. Lost data can easily occur between backups. 

Resources: ‘5 Ways To Backup Your Google Docs Documents’ by Lynette Chandler thoroughly details the steps needed to manually back up your Google Drive.

  1. Manually Download with Google Takeout

Image: Google

Google Takeout is another way to manually download your data using Google’s data tools. We recommend it for those looking to clear space on their Google Drive by archiving and storing files on another storage service.

Pros: Allows you to make one-time copies of all Google services including Google Drive, Gmail, Photos etc. From there, you can send your data to another storage device e.g. another cloud service or download it to your computer.

Cons: Similar to option one, this is a manual, one-off save of data with no automatic backup options. 

Resources: Spinbackup.com has a useful and current step-by-step guide on ‘How to Backup Google Drive: A Step by Step Guide’.

  1.  Use the Backup and Sync App by Google

Backup and Sync is an app from Google that allows you to sync files between Google Drive and your computer. Using Backup and Sync, you automatically save new Google Drive files onto your hard drive. 

Pros: Full automation. Files and edits will be backed up to your computer as they are created in Google Drive and visa-versa.

Backup and Sync is fairly cheap with free storage until you reach 15GB of storage space. 


Backup and Sync eats up hard drive space and requires internet access to download and edit your files. Any deletions made on the cloud will also occur on the app, meaning the recovery process can be cumbersome at best. Also, the app is limited in its capacity to recover large volumes of data, with files being restored one-at-a-time. This means you’ll want to resave important files elsewhere.

Resources: Google Support provides a comprehensive guide on how to install Backup and Sync and connect it with your personal Google Account. 

  1. Use A Third-Party Backup Provider

Using a third party backup provider is ideal for any company that wants to protect itself against data loss. Research which third party provider best suits your needs and budget, there are many to choose from including Spanning, Syscloud, or Backupify.

Pros: Fast and comprehensive data recovery with high-reliability and easy recovery. Cloud backup technologies also allow for scalability with capital savings. 

Cons: Some cloud providers lack efficient monitoring and data management tools for staff to reliability use onsite. If you have many staffers you need to account for, you may need to rely on a Managed Service Provider and Backup-As-A-Service (see the option number below). 

Resources: ‘The Best Cloud Backup Services for Business’ by PC Mag.

  1. ‘Backup-As-A-Service’ from a Managed Service Provider (MSP) 

Ideal for SME’s to large corporations, Backup-As-A-Service from a Managed Service Provider usually involves an MSP (such as the Dark Horse team) installing and integrating an enterprise-level backup software and then managing the application closely to help staff with backup and data retrieval. 

Pros: hands-free installation, migration, backup and recovery by an MSP provider – staff can also reply upon 24/7 support for emergency data retrieval. Additionally, service providers, such as Dark Horse Systems, develop a set of cloud-data best practices to be implemented across an organisation. 

Cons: Data recovery might not be cost-effective for companies not as dependent on uptime and instant recovery. 

Resources: Call our Dark Horse technical experts to help recover a deleted file or initiate an enterprise-grade Google business continuity plan. 

Remember, business continuity depends on disaster recovery! If you’re interested in installation of a third-party backup provider or backup-as-a-service for your business, please don’t hesitate to contact Dark Horse Systems for Backup and Disaster Recovery Service needs.