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Google Drive at UW-W

This webpage / document includes:

PDF Handout with more Google Drive information and screencast TOC (when available):


Current Google Docs users (students, faculty, and staff) will be asked to upgrade to Google Drive when they login to Google Docs next time. Students, faculty, and staff who had not used Google Docs before, the log-in will go directly to Google Drive. When you first switch to Google Drive, a new folder called My Drive contains all documents that you own or have previously uploaded to Google Docs, as well as folders you own and the items contained within (regardless of ownership).

Before upgrading, students, faculty, and staff should be aware that once upgraded to Google Drive there is no possibility to downgrade back to Google Docs, and should read the WARNINGS / IMPORTANT NOTES section below.


UW-Whitewater Google Drive is a cloud service for file storage, document creation, and online collaboration available to all UW-W students, faculty, and staff.

This summer (2012) Google Drive replaced what used to be Google Docs, offering many new, convenient features. At UW-Whitewater, Google Drive is primarily intended as a convenient online location where students can store files, completely eliminating, or reducing, the need to rely on portable USB drives. But the functionality of Google Drive extends beyond simple file storage: files stored on Google Drive can easily be shared with on- and off-campus colleagues or co-workers eliminating the need for sending bulky e-mail attachments. Google Drive also offers new, OPTIONAL ability (see the WARNINGS section below) to synchronize files between online storage and a special Google Drive folder on computer's hard-drive, eliminating need to manually download and upload files each time when they're edited.

Google Drive offers 5 GB of online storage space. Files in Google's own Docs formats (Google docs, spreadsheets, and presentations) don't count towards this storage quota (that is, towards the 5 GB limit); only uploaded files kept in their original formats do (for example, PDF, doc, docx, xls, xlsx, ppt, pptx, jpg, tiff, png, ai, and so on).

Files in the Google's own file formats can be both viewed and edited online, including real-time simultaneous editing of the same file by multiple authors. For files in other formats, Google Drive offers the ability to preview files in over 30 different formats, including - among others - Microsoft Office files, some of Adobe's popular files (PDF, Photoshop, and Illustrator), as well as common image (jpg, gif, png, tiff) and video file formats. Microsoft Office files can be edited online after they have been converted to Google Docs formats.

All files (regardless of file format) and folders can be shared with other Google Drive or Google Docs users on and off-campus.


Unlike Google Docs, Google Drive offers the OPTION to download and install Google Drive apps (often referred to as "local clients") for Windows and OS X computers, and for mobile devices. An app is presently available for Android mobile devices, and an app for iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod) is "coming soon," according to Google announcement. All Google Drive apps allow automatic, two-way synchronization of files between Google Drive online, and Google Drive folders on computers and mobile devices.



Access (log-in) to Google Apps, including Google Drive can be found at http://www.uww.edu/googleapps. Contact the TSC Helpdesk at (262) 472-4375 or helpdesk@uww.edu with questions you may have about the transition to Google Drive, or with any Google Drive-related issues.


During the academic year, iCIT offers hands-on workshops for faculty and staff, including Google Drive workshops. The fall 2012 schedule of all iCIT workshops will be published online on August 2, 2012, and available (with Net-ID log-in) at: signup.uww.edu

Credits: Image used for Podcast cover background on this page, Vimeo, and iTunes, copyright by iStockPhoto/5ugarless; icons on this page's banner by artua.com, used by permission.

This page last updated on July 25, 2012 (GJ).