Google Docs vs Google Drive: Which is Better for You?


Matthew Burleigh

Google Docs and Google Drive are two popular tools offered by Google, but there’s often confusion about what each one does. Simply put, Google Docs is a word processor, while Google Drive is a file storage service. Google Docs allows you to create, edit, and share documents online, while Google Drive provides a space to store these documents, along with other files like photos, videos, and PDFs. Both are incredibly useful, but they serve different purposes.

Google Docs vs Google Drive Tutorial

Before we dive into the step-by-step comparison, it’s important to understand that Google Docs is a part of Google Drive. When you create a document in Google Docs, it’s automatically saved in Google Drive. Now, let’s look at how each one works.

Step 1: Accessing the Service

To access Google Docs, go to, and to access Google Drive, go to

When you visit Google Docs, you’ll be prompted to start a new document or open an existing one. In Google Drive, you’ll see all of your stored files and folders. This is your starting point for either creating content (Docs) or managing your files (Drive).

Step 2: Creating and Editing Documents

In Google Docs, click on the "+" button to start a new document. In Google Drive, click on the "New" button, then select "Google Docs" to create a new document.

Once you’re in Google Docs, you can start typing away and formatting your document as you like. Google Drive, on the other hand, doesn’t have editing features—it’s where your document is saved once you’ve created it in Docs.

Step 3: Sharing and Collaborating

In Google Docs, use the "Share" button in the top right corner to collaborate with others. In Google Drive, right-click on a file and select "Share".

Google Docs shines with its real-time collaboration feature. Multiple people can work on the same document at the same time. Drive’s sharing feature is more about giving access to files for viewing or downloading.

Step 4: Organizing Files

In Google Drive, create folders to organize your files. Drag and drop files into these folders or use the "Move to" option. Google Docs doesn’t have a folder system because it’s not a storage service.

Google Drive’s organization features are robust, allowing you to manage not just Docs, but also Sheets, Slides, and any other files you upload. This keeps your digital workspace neat and tidy.

After completing these actions, you’ll have a better understanding of the differences and uses of Google Docs and Google Drive. You’ll be able to create and edit documents, share and collaborate with others, and organize your files effectively.

Tips for Using Google Docs vs Google Drive

  • Keep your Google Drive organized with folders and clear file names to easily find your Google Docs.
  • Use Google Docs for creating and editing text documents, and use Google Drive to store and share files of all types.
  • Take advantage of the sharing and collaboration features in Google Docs for group projects or shared notes.
  • Remember that anything you create in Google Docs will take up space in your Google Drive storage, so keep an eye on available space.
  • Utilize the search function in Google Drive to quickly locate specific documents or files.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the main difference between Google Docs and Google Drive?

Google Docs is a word processor, while Google Drive is a file storage platform. Docs is for creating and editing documents, while Drive is for storing and sharing files.

Can I use Google Docs without Google Drive?

No, Google Docs needs Google Drive to store documents. They work together as part of Google’s suite of productivity tools.

Is Google Docs free to use?

Yes, Google Docs is free. However, you may need to pay for additional Google Drive storage if you exceed the free limit.

Can I access Google Docs offline?

Yes, you can enable offline mode in Google Docs to access and edit documents without an internet connection. Changes will sync once you’re back online.

How do I convert a Word document to Google Docs?

In Google Drive, right-click the Word document, click "Open with," and then select "Google Docs." This will create a copy of the document in Docs format.


  1. Access Google Docs or Google Drive.
  2. Create and edit documents in Google Docs.
  3. Share and collaborate in Google Docs.
  4. Organize files in Google Drive.


In the digital age, having the right tools to create, store, and share documents is crucial. Google Docs and Google Drive are two such tools that, despite being interdependent, serve distinct functions. Google Docs is ideal for drafting and editing text documents, while Google Drive excels as a comprehensive storage solution for all file types. Understanding the nuances between the two can significantly streamline your digital workflow. So, the next time you’re about to work on that important report or need to back up your holiday photos, remember the key differences we’ve discussed. Happy computing!

Matthew Burleigh

Matthew Burleigh has been writing tech content online for more than ten years. He enjoys writing about Google Docs in addition to many other applications and devices and has cumulatively covered Google’s word-processing application in hundreds of different articles.

He has been published on dozens of popular websites, and his works have accumulated millions of pageviews.
While focused primarily on tutorials and guides for popular electronics like the iPhone and iPad, as well as common applications like Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, and Excel, he covers topics across the entire technology spectrum.

You can read his bio here.

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