How to Backup Google Drive to External Hard Drives

Google Drive is a popular cloud-based storage solution that enables users to keep and access files from any smartphone, tablet, or computer with ease. However, most people still need to back up Google Drive to a local or external hard drive sometimes just in case the internet network goes offline or adds an extra layer of data protection from corruption or virus infection. If you are curious about how to back up Google Drive files to external hard drives, here we will provide a complete guide for you. Let’s dive it into!

download files from Google Drive

Why Sync Google Drive to External Hard Drive?

Before providing a solution on how to back up Google Drive files to external hard drives, let’s try to explore why we need to back up Google Drive data. Here are the most common reasons and you can check them.

  • Data Protection – Files stored in Google Drive can be highly corrupted or damaged due to malicious software. Therefore, it is crucial to backup on a regular basis to avoid any data loss.
  • Prevent Accidental Deletion –  Some important files may be accidentally deleted from Google Drive when you try to free up the server space.
  • To Access Data Offline – To make files available in Google Drive, users need to establish a proper internet connection.

How to Backup Google Drive Files to External Hard Drive Easily

There are several unique techniques to backup Google Drive data to an external drive if you want to backup your data. For this, we have provided the best possible solutions for you and you can follow it in a proper sequence. Here we also provide the cons and pros of different methods, you can take it according to your needs.

Google Drive Web AppIf you don’t have Google Drive for Desktop, you can use its web app to download data from Google Drive and move them to your hard drive.Make sure that the Internet connection keeps well. Or, the download process will be badly affected and may restart again.
Google Backup & Sync ClientIt can access your files in any part of the World and provide security for data. Smart sync for offline file use in case no internet.Sometimes files are not always appropriately synced and users cannot log in to Google Drive. Make sure that the Internet connection keeps well. 
Google TakeoutPermission on Share Drive/Team Drive is not yet good, should have more complex permission such as MyDrive.The software does not support downloading shared files, which means you will have to download shared files from Google Drive manually. There is a daily limit of 2-3 archives, and 50 GB can be downloaded per archive. 
Google Drive for DesktopWith Google Drive for Desktop, you can directly open the Google Drive virtual disk to drag and drop data from the disk to your hard drive.Sometimes files are not always appropriately synced and users cannot log in to Google Drive.Make sure that the Internet connection keeps well. 
                  Google VaultGoogle Vault does not keep a separate copy of your data but only helps manage it within the same Google data system. Sometimes files are not always appropriately synced and users cannot log in to Google Drive. Make sure that the Internet connection keeps well. 
Third-party backup toolEffortless back process. Do not rely on the Internet connection. Manage version.Google Vault does not offer a built-in restore feature and is not suitable for high-volume data exports. Google Vault does not keep a separate copy of your data but only helps manage it within the same Google data system.

Method 1: Download Data from Google Drive to External Hard Drive

 As we all know, Google Drive allows you to upload and access files via the web app or Gmail account. 

Here are the steps to backup from the Google Drive website: 

Step 1: Visit the Google Drive website and sign in with your account.

Step 2: Find the files or folders you want to backup on the external drive.

Step 3: Now, right-click on the files or folder and click the Download option.

Download files on Google Drive

Step 4: Once you have downloaded all the Google Drive Items, go to the Downloads folder on your PC.

Step 5: Finally, connect your Hard Drive to the PC and back up all the downloaded Google Drive data to the drive.

Note: Make sure the internet is properly connected when you back up Google Drive Data from the web to an external drive.

Method 2: Using Google Backup & Sync Client

The Backup and Sync Client allows users to synchronize their local drive with Google Drive, you can use Google Drive to automatically back up into the hard drive. 

Here are the steps to backup from Google Backup & Sync Client:

Step 1:  Download and launch the Google Backup and Sync application.

Step 2: Run the application and sign In with the required Google ID account and passport

Step 3: In the My Computer section, uncheck all the selected folders to protect them from uploading on Google Drive. Click Next.

Google Backup and Sync

Step 4: Here, you will have to select the Google Drive folders to synchronize.

Step 5: Now, select the option Sync My Drive to this computer. There are two available options for you to choose from. The first is ‘Sync everything in My Drive’, which means backing up all the files from Google Drive. While the other is ‘Sync only these folders’, which allows you to back up only the selected folder from the tree structure.

Sync My Drive to this computer

Step 6: Tap on the Start button to initiate the backup process.

Start Sync My Drive to this computer

Step 7: Finally, copy all the files that were saved and store them in an external drive.

Method 3: Using Google Takeout

Google Takeout allows users to export all their data from Google Drive, alternately, this service also can download data from Google Drive to your drive.

Here are the steps to back from Google Takeout:

Step 1: Open Google Takeout, choose Drive only, and scroll down to click the Next Step.

Google Takeout

Step 2: Choose the “type,” “frequency,” and “destination” for your files. Next, scroll down and click on “Create Export.”

Create Export in Google Takeout

Step 3: Check your Gmail account and Google Takeout offers you a hyperlink to download. Click Download to download the zipped files to your computer.

Download files on Google Takeout

Step 4: Unzipped your files and now you can drag them to the external drive.

Method 4: Use Google Drive for Desktop

Also, once you’ve downloaded and installed Google Drive for the desktop on your computer, it can seamlessly back up your data to an external drive. 

Here are the steps to backup using Google Drive for Desktop: 

Step 1: Connect an external hard drive to your computer.

Step 2: Start Google Drive for the desktop and click “sign in with browser.”

Google Drive for Desktop

Step 3: Once logged in, click on the Google Drive tab and check the option for “mirror files.” When a popup displays,  click “Change folder location.”

Change folder location.

Step 4: Confirm the location of your external hard drive and click on it. Next, click the “Select Folder” button.

Select Folder

Step 5: Click “Confirm location.” upon the ‘Confirm My Drive folder location’.

Confirm My Drive folder location

Step 6: Lastly, click on the “Save” button. The system will begin syncing your Google Drive files and data to the chosen external hard drive.

Method 5: Using Google Vault

Google Vault can protect your files and data on G Suite in case of permanent deletion. With Vault, you can retain, hold, search, and export users’ Google Workspace data.

Here are the steps to back using Google Vault:  

Step 1: Log in to your G Suite account. Tap on Retention from the left side dashboard.

Step 2: Tap on Drive and edit the retention policy.

Google Vault

Step 3: Within the Default rule settings, checkmark the option “Set a default retention rule for Drive.” and “Indefinitely.” Tap on Save

Step 4: You can retain your Google Drive files with Google Vault.

retain your Google Drive files with Google Vault

Step 5: Using the download button, you can transfer the saved files to an external drive (USB, HDD, SSD, etc.).

Step 6: To transfer files to your external hard drive, drag and drop them there.

Method 6: Save Google Drive Into Local Drive Using Third-Party Utility

Make it a habit to back up your data regularly. It ensures that your important data, including photos, contacts, and documents, is securely stored and accessed. Google Drive, the world’s most user-driven cloud storage, still has unstable issues, hence there are some professional Backup applications to make sure your Google Drive and your data are more secure. Here we recommend some useful backup applications to help you back up Google Drive to an external hard drive, you can take it as a reference.

  1. Backup System and hard Drive to Cloud Drive New 
  2. Security Zone – Protect important data from ransomware New 
  3. A complete backup and restore solution for personal use 
  4. Clone, upgrade or transfer your system easily 
  5. Cloud backup: 30-day free trial of 250GB cloud storage space 
  1. Automatically backup files from unlimited computers to secure cloud.
  2. Transfer and sync files from one cloud drive to another for backup.
  3. Combine multiple FREE cloud storage to store backups without any cost.
  1. Save and backup Gmail emails to your PC or local storage. Export Google Drive, Contacts, Calendar, Gmail, Docs, Slides,  Jamboard, Sheets, Keep, and Forms data to a user-defined location on your system.
  2. Users can Export G Suite Emails to PST and into various formats, such as PDF, CSV, MSG, MBOX, etc.
  3. Productive Utility to backup Google Workspace data while maintaining data integrity.
  1. Allows users to backup Gmail Account emails into PST, PDF, MSG, MBOX, EML, CSV, DOCX and other file formats.
  2. Download Google Contacts, Calendar, Drive, and Photos into Local Drive or External Hard Drive.
  3. Migrate emails from Gmail mailboxes into Office 365, HostGator, Hotmail, IMAP, iCloud, and other email clients.
  4. It supports all the Windows versions like  Windows 11, 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP, etc.
man using external storage used

Simple Ways To Protect Your Data In The Hard Drive

Nowadays, it is very common for data to be damaged on the hard drive. In this case, you can consider the following tips to improve its efficiency and lifespan.

  • Keep your hard drive healthy. Hard drives are an essential part of maintaining data, the hard drive is more likely to crash when your computer overheats, so managing your computer’s hard drive should be one of your priorities.
  • Install software updates. Keeping software up to date can largely prevent hard disk damage due to viruses or bugs in the operating system.
  • Perform regular backups. It’s best to have at least two copies of important files in different places, such as another external hard drive, and cloud-based storage. 
  • Do not open malicious sites on your system. Free software is often infected with the malicious virus that can damage your system and compromise your data.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Can I Export My Entire Google Drive?

A1: Yes, you can download and export your Google Drive data, including Google Docs, Forms, Slides, Sheets, Jamboard, Sites,  Drawings, etc. 

Q2: Can I Download Google Drive to My Computer?

A2: Yes,  Google Drive for desktop can be downloaded and installed on your computer. After downloading, you will be able to access your files offline on your computer and save them to external drives.

Q3: How to Back Up Google Drive to an External Hard Drive on a Mac?

Here are the steps to achieve backup Google Drive to an External Hard Drive on Mac: 

Step 1: Visit the Google Drive website. Find the files and folders you want to back up to an external drive.

Step 2: Hold on the “control” button on the keyboard and select all the files you want to back up.

Step 3: Next, click on “Download.” 

Note: Make sure you’ve set your external hard drive as the default location for your download files. 


After reading this article, you might know several ways to backup Google Drive to External Hard Drives. As we all know, Google Drive is the best option for cloud storage and provides good security for personal data. However, due to some inevitable threats to Google Drive, having an external hard drive backup is always recommended. The methods we discussed in this article provide a simple and comprehensive backup solution, you can have a try according to your needs.

Further Readings

7 Effective Ways to Backup Your Data