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April 10, 2024 | Updated on: April 11, 2024 | Reading time 12 minutes

How to Restore A Backup From Google Drive: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Product Manager

Backing up your Google Drive is like making a safety net for the digital part of your business (and pretty much every business is part digital these days). Whether it’s critical financial reports, confidential client data, or the extensive archive of your company’s projects, securing a backup guarantees uninterrupted access to these key files.

Here’s a straightforward guide tailored for businesses on how to backup your Google Drive, complemented by alternative solutions to fortify your data’s security and availability.

Backing Up Google Drive

First, start by setting up your Google Drive backup. Here are a few options to get started:

1. Using Google Takeout for Drive Backup

Google Takeout is a straightforward way to backup your entire Google Drive. Here’s how:

Step 1: Go to Google Takeout

Step 2: De-select all the pre-selected data and choose only Google Drive.

Step 3: Click “Next step” to choose the file type and delivery method. You can receive your download link via email or add it directly to another cloud storage service.

Step 4: Click on “Create export.” Google will then prepare your files, which can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours, depending on the size of your Drive.

2. Syncing with Google Backup and Sync

The Google Backup and Sync tool lets you keep a copy of your Google Drive on your computer so that it is always backed up and easy to recover and restore. 

Step 1: Download and install Google Backup and Sync.

Step 2: During setup, choose to sync all or specific folders from your Google Drive to your computer.

Step 3: Once setup is complete, any files you add to your Drive will automatically sync with the Backup and Sync folder on your PC.

3. Non-Google Solutions for Backing Up Google Drive

While Google’s own tools are handy, relying solely on them puts you at risk of losing data if something happens to your Google account. It doesn’t make a ton of sense to solely back up your Google Drive with the same platform that your information lives in. 

Here are some alternative Google Drive backup solutions:

Spinbackup for Google Drive is a robust solution for businesses of all sizes that is an ideal choice when it comes to protecting data against loss and threats. It has an automated daily backup system for Google Drive and other Google Workspace apps.

Using Spinbackup is incredibly easy, done in 3 simple steps:

Step 1: Grant SpinBackup access to your Google Workspace Account.

Step 2: Tap the ‘Backup’ button to initiate the backup and configure your preferred schedule.

Step 3: Recover and restore Google Drive files with a click, anytime, anywhere. 

Cloud-to-Cloud Backup Services: Services like Backupify and SysCloud offer cloud-to-cloud backups, meaning they’ll directly back up your Google Drive to another cloud storage, providing an extra layer of security and redundancy. Spinbackup is also a cloud-to-cloud service with a variety of storage destinations including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Azure. You can also back up to servers you build, too. 

External Hard Drive Backup: For those who prefer a physical backup, you can download your Google Drive contents via Google Takeout and transfer them to an external hard drive. This method ensures you have a local copy of your data, safeguarding against online threats. Local backups do come at a higher risk compared to cloud-based backup solutions. 

How to Restore Google Drive Backups Correctly

  1. Restoring a Google Drive backup correctly involves a series of well-planned steps to ensure that data is recovered safely and efficiently. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to proceed:
  1. Determine why you need to restore (e.g., data deletion, corruption, ransomware attack) and identify what data needs to be restored (specific files, folders, or the entire drive).
  1. Check your backup solution (whether Google Drive’s built-in features or a third-party service) to confirm that backups exist for the data in question and are up-to-date.
  2. Decide on using Google Drive’s native options like the version history for files or using a third-party backup and recovery tool if you need more comprehensive options. If possible, consider restoring the data in a separate environment to prevent overwriting existing data and validate the data post-restoration.
  1. For Google Drive’s native restore options, use the version history feature by right-clicking on the file and selecting “Manage versions” to restore an older version of a file. For third-party tools, follow the software’s specific procedures to select and restore the backups. These might include granular recovery options to select specific items rather than a full restoration.
  1. Keep track of the restoration progress. Be aware of any error messages or failures that may occur and address them promptly.
  1. Once restoration is complete, check the files and folders to ensure that all expected data is present and that files open properly without errors.
  1. Open several restored files to confirm they operate as expected. This includes checking content accuracy and functionality (like embedded scripts in spreadsheets).
  1. Ensure that restored files and folders have appropriate access permissions reconfigured to match organizational security policies.
  1. f the restoration was performed in a test environment, remove any redundant data after ensuring the integrity and functionality of the restored files.
  1. Analyze the effectiveness of the restoration and identify any improvements needed in the backup and restoration strategies.
  1. Adjust backup frequency, scope, and methods based on recent experiences and potential future needs.

Following these steps systematically will help you ensure that your Google Drive backup is restored correctly, minimizing downtime and data loss, and maintaining the continuity and security of your digital assets.

Tips on How to Make Sure You Restore Google Drive Backups Properly

Ensuring that your Google Drive backup is restored correctly is essential to guarantee the safety and accessibility of your data when you need it. Here are some expert tips for successful backup restoration:

  • Before commencing the restoration process, make sure that your backups are comprehensive and that the integrity of the data has been confirmed. Regularly checking for these aspects can help identify any issues early on.
  • Assess whether you need to restore individual files, specific folders, or the entire contents of your Google Drive based on the circumstances of data loss or specific recovery requirements.
  • Make use of tools or software specifically designed for Google Drive backup and recovery purposes. Various third-party solutions provide advanced functionalities like selective file or folder restoration options for a more tailored approach.
  • Take advantage of Google Drive’s version history feature, which allows you to revert to previous file versions if needed, especially in cases of accidental deletion or file corruption.
  • If possible, consider conducting your restoration process in a test environment initially as a precautionary measure. This enables you to confirm the correctness and entirety of the data without impacting your active environment.
  • Following the restore, review the access permissions for your files and folders. Confirm they are properly configured to prevent unauthorized entry and uphold the desired privacy and security settings.
  • Keep a close watch on the restoration process for any errors or complications. Detecting and resolving issues promptly can prevent data damage or loss.
  • After restoring, verify the data by examining a few restored files for integrity and accuracy. Ensure that the restored data aligns with its original state.
  • Draw lessons from any challenges faced during restoration to enhance and update your backup approach, enhancing readiness for future requirements.
  • Regular testing and updating of your backup procedures can help ensure that your data recovery strategies are efficient and prepared for deployment in case of data loss.

By following these guidelines, you can significantly improve your chances of successfully recovering your Google Drive files, reducing the chances of losing data and maintaining seamless business operations.

Gotchas to Watch for When Restoring a Google Drive Backup

Restoring a Google Drive backup can come with its own set of challenges that may complicate the process. Knowing about these potential issues in advance can help you get ready and handle them effectively. Here are some common hurdles to be mindful of:

  • One of the usual problems is realizing that the backup didn’t capture all the necessary data or missed out on recent changes. This could happen because of interruptions during the backup process or incorrect settings.
  • Backups may get corrupted due to hardware malfunctions, software glitches or issues during data transfer. Corrupted data can make files unusable, emphasizing the need for redundancy measures and integrity checks.
  • Dealing with multiple versions of a document or file while restoring can be tricky. This becomes especially complex in environments where files are regularly updated by multiple users.
  • Restoring a significant amount of data can be time-consuming and prone to errors, particularly if there are concerns about unstable internet connections or bandwidth limitations. This could also affect business operations if critical data isn’t given priority during restoration.
  • Following restoration, files may not automatically retain their original permissions and sharing preferences. This could result in challenges related to accessing data and maintaining security if not managed diligently.
  • In regulated industries, data restoration processes must adhere to legal requirements regarding data integrity and protection. Non-compliance could lead to legal consequences.
  • Updates to software or platforms used (e.g., Google Drive updates or changes in the operating system) might cause compatibility issues during the restoration phase, resulting in failures or data loss.
  • Errors made while restoring data, such as selecting the wrong dataset or unintentionally overwriting existing files, can worsen a situation of data loss.
  • Recovering backups may require a considerable amount of computing power and network capacity, which could affect essential business activities.

Restoring your Google Drive backup properly is fundamental to retaining and safeguarding your business’s digital information. Whether you choose to use Google’s built-in options or secure, third-party services, following the tips in this guide will best ensure you restore your backup correctly so your important documents remain secure and accessible, no matter what happens.

To learn more, book a demo here.

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Product Manager

About Author

Will Tran is the Product Manager at Spin.AI, where he guides the product's strategic direction, oversees feature development and ensures that the solution solves his clients’ cybersecurity needs.

Will is a security professional who started his career at Lockheed Martin where he worked on National Security Space programs in business development and product management.

Will holds a BA in Economics and Mathematics from UCSB and an MBA with a specialization in Technology Management and Marketing from UCLA Anderson School of Management.

At Lockheed Martin, Will developed the multi-year strategy campaign and supported the product development of a national security satellite program for the United States Air Force, which resulted in a multi-billion dollar contract.

During business school, Will consulted 2 non-profit organizations as part of a series of national consulting case competitions. He set strategic priorities, optimized business operations, and developed a process to qualify new revenue streams for his non-profit clients. These initiatives resulted in 15-20% increase in annual surplus.

In his spare time, Will can be found at local coffee shops around Los Angeles, traveling to different countries, or hanging out with his cat.

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