Do I Need To Back Up Google Docs? Absolutely.

Productivity suites that support more collaboration, such as Google for Work or Office 365, are the new imperative for agile organizations. Google for Work (formerly Google for Enterprise) has been a leader in this space since 2009.

While Google for Work (and Google Docs) seems like an ideal solution for the modern workplace – a workplace that thrives on collaboration and considers “silo” a dirty word – failure to back up Google Docs could have dire consequences.

Wait, what? Google Docs in Drive are susceptible to permanent deletion without a backup?

It’s true. This revolutionary platform with all of its incredible innovations is not without holes, and those holes could lead to lost work if not considered.

A few reasons why you might want to think about backing up your Google Docs

  1. Malicious intent. Google Drive keeps a track of the changes every time a user edits the document so that you can revert to an older version but what happens if a user permanently deletes files on purpose with wrong intent. Google admins can restore files that were deleted in the past 30 days but after 30 days there is no way to recover those files and this is a real problem. A trusted employee in your organization can delete critical files, change them, corrupt them, or otherwise ruin the hard work that you’ve stored in the cloud. (And if you think storing all of your files locally is safer, then you should do so on a machine that can’t access the internet, since that’s where hackers are getting in. Not using the internet sounds totally feasible, right?)
  2. Glitches. Google is too big to fail, right? Well, mostly. The occasional service disruption glitch is real and it’s a problem. If your management team loses access to your organization’s key Google Docs at the end of a quarter, what would happen then? If there were any issues with that data being damaged or lost, how long would it take you to be “back to all good”?
  3. Local sync. In Google Drive, there’s a tool that allows you to keep a local copy of your files as well as a copy online. Sounds great, right? Well, if you create a Google Doc online, it will show up in your local Google Drive folder, but what shows up is a link to the file on the network, not the actual file itself. So you could back up these files in a more traditional manner, but what you’ve backed up is a pointer, not the actual file itself.
  4. Collaboration. The best part about Google Docs is the collaboration capabilities, no question. But this new collaboration worldview is not without confusion. For example, let’s say you’re working on a project with someone else and you’re both sharing a Google Doc. The other person finishes their part of the project and deletes it from their Google Drive, thinking that since they’ve handed it off to you and you’re both sharing it, you’ll still have access. That’s not the case. The Google Doc will disappear from everyone’s Drive, leaving the project unfinished.

These are just a few of the possible scenarios to be on the lookout for. Fortunately, backup for Google Docs does exist in the form of Spanning Backup for Google Workspace.

A few ways that Spanning can save your Google Docs

  • Restore one thing – or everything. If a user deletes a shared file from Drive, you just need to restore that single file. Or, if a hacker gains access to your account and deletes everything, you’ll need to be able to restore it all. Spanning Backup allows you to do both, and if you end up restoring all of the Google Docs in your account, you can do so and keep the same folder structure intact.
  • Cloud-to-cloud backup. We store all of your files in the Amazon Web Services cloud because while it’s extremely unlikely that something would happen to wipe out all of Google’s servers, it’s even more unlikely that something would happen to Google AND Amazon.
  • Back up the real file. We only back up the actual Google Docs files – the ones with the content in them – not the local files that point to them. When you restore a file, you always know you’re getting the real deal. Watch our video on how to Backup Google Drive.
  • Shared settings. If you’re worried about someone re-deleting a shared file once you’ve restored it, you have the option to restore it with or without the sharing settings intact.
  • Not just Google Docs. In addition to backing up all of your Google Docs files in Google Drive, Spanning Backup for Google Workspace also backs up Gmail, Google Calendars, Google Contacts and Google Sites. If you’re using Google Docs, you might be using one or all of these other applications as well.

While Google Docs is one of the best things to happen to the modern workplace, it’s not 100% bulletproof. To use it to its fullest potential with trust, be sure to backup your Google Docs so that if something goes wrong, you can get right back to work.

Download the 3 Step Guide to Protecting Data in Google Workspace