Google Drive is a good tool for storing data, but if we have realized that we do not use it enough, we may be interested in removing it from our computer in order to save space and system resources.
What can we use Google Drive for on our PC?
As we have discussed, Google Drive is a cloud storage system, where we can save both local files (videos, music, photos, documents, etc.) and documents that we create with Docs, Sheets and Slides. The application is responsible for keeping all the elements updated automatically, which will allow us to make modifications and access the latest version available from anywhere. To use it, it is only necessary to have a Gmail account, which will allow us to access its free version that includes a storage capacity of 15 GB, although we can also contract more capacity through the Google One service.
With the Google Drive application installed on our computer, we can have access to a folder where all the files that we have synchronized with the cloud will be stored so that we can open and use them, even if they are no longer available on our hard drive. It is therefore an interesting tool to make backup copies of our most precious files. Regarding the files created with Google Docs, it will be possible to see the files created, but we will not be able to edit the documents natively.
If despite all this, we see that we do not get enough out of the Drive application, we must know that we have the option of both stopping file synchronization, disconnecting our account or directly deleting the application completely from our PC keeping the data that has been synced up to that point.
Disconnect our user account from Google Drive
Whether we want to delete Drive or if we just prefer that it is not working, we must choose to disconnect the system from our account. In this way, the application remains on our computer, but inactively, since when we remove our account, it will not be able to continue performing backup and synchronization processes.
The first thing we must do is locate the google drive icon located in the system tray at the bottom right. This is shaped like a cloud with an arrow pointing upwards. Once we click on it, a menu appears with the latest files synchronized and our account linked at the top. On the right, click on the three points and another drop-down menu will appear again where we must choose the “Preferences” section. This will bring up a new window called “Preferences – Backups and Synchronization”.
From this section it will be possible both to pause the file synchronization, but keeping our account connected, as well as to directly unlink the account from our computer.
Stop file syncing
Here in the left panel we select the Google Drive tab. Now on the right side we must uncheck the box “Synchronize My drive with this computer”, so that in this way it stops synchronizing all files. From this moment on we will be able to access the data stored on our PC, but any changes we make will not be applied to Google Drive. In doing this we must know that it will always be possible to reverse the situation and turn it back on to re-sync. It is also possible to choose the “Synchronize only these folders” option to choose only some specific files to keep the backup of. Once the changes have been made, click on Accept for confirmation.
Disconnect our user account
If the fact of avoiding the synchronization of our data is not enough, we can also completely disconnect our Drive account from our PC. To do this, from the same window “Preferences – Backups and synchronization”, we must click on the “Settings” tab in the left column. Next, on the right side, we will see the email that we have linked. Just below we must click on the option “Disconnect the account”, and in this way it will be unused until we log in again. The files in the Drive folder can still be accessed, but no cloud syncing will take place again.
Uninstall Google Drive
If pausing the synchronization data or disconnecting our user account is not enough, we can proceed to eliminate the Google Drive application from our computer. In this way, the files will not be synchronized either, but we will still be able to access the existing files as it does not delete them. It will be possible, once uninstalled, to be able to move or copy the files without affecting the copies we have in the cloud.
To completely eliminate Drive we can do it both from the Windows Settings section, and from the Control Panel.
We can access the Settings menu, using the keyboard shortcut “Windows + I”. Once the «Settings» window appears, click on the «Applications» tab.
Once inside the Applications menu, in the right column click on the “Applications and features” tab. Now on the right side of the screen we must scroll to the bottom. Here we must locate the application «Backup and Sync from Google«, Which corresponds to the Google Drive application. Now we only have to click on the “Uninstall” button so that it is completely eliminated from our PC.
From the Control Panel
If we prefer to uninstall from the «Control Panel», we must write control panel in the search box of the Start menu and select it. Once inside, click on the “Uninstall a program” section.
Once this is done, a new window will appear with the list of programs that we have installed on our computer. Here we must locate the application «Backup and Sync from Google«, Which corresponds to Google Drive. Once located, click on it and right-click and select “Uninstall”, so that it is completely erased from our PC.