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Google Drive is part of the Google Workspace service. It gives each member of the University 20GB of free, cloud-based file storage. Google Shared Drives allow for team-based collaboration on files and can ensure that access to files owned by a team are not lost as team members come and go.

How does it compare with One Drive and Dropbox?

For a full comparison with other cloud storage services offered at Cambridge check the file storage comparison matrix.

Google Drive for desktop application

Google Drive offers a desktop application that allows you to choose folders on your computer to sync with Google Drive, and access all of your Google Drive content directly from your PC or Mac. 

Download Google Drive for desktop

Google doesn't provide a Linux client, although there are ways to mount Google Drive on Linux with tools such as Ocamlfuse, OverGrive, Gnome or InSync.


File sharing in Google Drive

Google Drive has two different spaces for storing files. 

  1. My Drive is your personal space for files that you own. You can share files and share folders that you store in Google Drive and set whether people can edit, comment on, or only view the file. These can be shared individually or via link sharing. 

    NOTE: When a user's Google Workspace account is deleted (for example when someone leaves the University), access to files and folders shared with you from their My Drive will be lost.

  2. Shared drives (Team Drives) are for files and folders your team is collaborating on and accessing often. Files and folders within a shared drive belong to the team instead of an individual. Even if members leave, the files stay in place so your team can keep working on them. Get started with shared drivesView best practices and tips for shared drives.

Find files and folders shared with you in Drive.

Uploading video and audio files to Google Drive

You can store and stream video and audio files from Google Drive. You can drag and drop files into from your desktop or use the New > File Upload menu option. 

Google permits upload of files up to the maximum free space of Google drive storage available to your account. Google lists the currently supported formats, which may change from time to time.

Bulk uploads

Google provides API access that can be used to manage bulk uploads to Google Drive. This API includes methods to upload files and metadata, create and populate folders, share files and folders.

Data security in the Google cloud


NOTE: Although Google offers a ISO 27001 secure storage platform that offers compliance with GDPR via Privacy-Shield certification, as outlined in this agreement, data is not guaranteed to be stored within the UK or Europe. Any data, therefore, that needs to be stored within UK or the EU should NOT be shared or stored via G Suite. Unlike public Google accounts, the Data Controller for G Suite@Cambridge accounts is the University.

For information on what data should be stored within Google Workspace see:

Google Data Security Guidance