Updated June, 2021
Are you a fan of Google services, just like me? Then, there’s a big chance that you’re a Google Drive user, the cloud storage with the largest number of active users, 2 billion monthly users – could you imagine?
Regarding its benefits, no wonder that Google Drive has so many fans. It’s top-performing, easy to use, & affordable. The storage is also very secure & has lots of storage capacity.
Google Drive still has its weaknesses & shortcomings. For example, users tend to complain about its low speed. We tried to make your life easier by writing about basic troubleshooting in Google Drive & focusing on more advanced Google Drive fixes.
But its upload speed stays a common source of frustration. Personally, I feel like I’m wasting my time, sitting in front of my computer & trying to upload a marketing presentation (a very large PDF file) for the last 10 minutes. I bet the irritation of someone working with videos is ten times higher.
So now it’s a good time to discuss Google Drive upload speed, its factors & difficulties. We’ll answer this big question – how long does it take for Google Drive to process a video? And more importantly, we’ll find ways of how to speed up your Google Drive upload.
Behind the scenes of uploading to Google Drive
By and large, three factors influence your upload speed in Google Drive:
- File size. Obviously, smaller files like texts or images will upload quicker than 4k videos;
- Internet speed & connectivity. If your device is connected to high-speed internet, your assets will get uploaded to Google Drive faster. And cloud storage will work quicker in general.
- Your device capacity. Try using newer & more powerful software for higher upload speed. Large or bulk file upload is a big burden for your device processor. This, in turn, affects your performance. Also, avoid running many tasks at the same time. This also makes your cloud storage work slower.Let’s consider what happens when you upload a file to Google Drive. Once you click Upload files/folders > Open, Google Drive needs some time to process your data. The cloud storage is scanning files & rendering previews.
For example, if it’s an image or video, the system takes time to convert the asset into a variety of formats, codecs, and resolutions. It makes sure you can open your media on whatever device you’re using.
Of course, videos are the most challenging file type to upload. They’re big & bulky so you see “upload error” on your screen more often. The inquiry “how long does it take for Google Drive to process a video” ranks high on search engines. And I’m sure if you’ve ever dealt with videos, you were wondering about this question too.
Our rough estimation says that you’ll need 1 hour per 1 GB to upload a video (or any other type of file). Add 10 minutes per GB to this number for processing a video.
By the way, you can track the progress of uploading your file. See this pop-up in the right corner of your screen:
You cannot track the file processing, though. When you try to open the file, you’ll see this warning message:
You keep failing to open your file until the processing stops. So you’ll know for sure when the upload process is completed – you’ll be able to run the file without any disruption.
For a more comprehensive knowledge, read our ultimate guide to uploading files to Google Drive.
Make Your Google Drive Upload Faster
Now when we know everything about Google Drive upload, let’s find ways to increase your upload speed.
Check your Google Drive upload speed
Start taking the upload speed test for your Google Drive. You’ll get to know the speed of your cloud storage connection & whether any radical measures are necessary. Like when the upload speed is too slow, you’d probably need to check your hardware or the internet connection. Anyway, this signals some major issues, which we unlikely solve with our petty troubleshooting ideas.
Google doesn’t give any precise info on normal Google Drive speed so you could compare it to your own data. Still, Reddit user /justindustin writes about 45 MB per second as the ideal speed you can expect.
Here you should also remember about the Google Drive limit of 3 files per second & 750 GB a day. This means that the upload of many small files could take you more time than one big asset. And if you’re planning to upload 5 TB of info (as the Reddit user has been trying), you might need to wait a whole week. (But for the 750 GB limit, there’s a workaround. Add one more user to Drive, and you get another 750 GB.)
Change your app settings
Now it’s time to take steps to actually solve your Drive upload problems. A good starting point is to configure basic settings in your Google Drive app. If you’re using a desktop version, open Settings (choose the icon & click on three dots). Then click on Preferences > Advanced.
In this section, you’ll see different options of how to configure your Google Drive. But if you want to increase upload speed, choose Direct connection under “Proxy” and Don’t limit for Upload Rate (and maybe also Download Rate) under “Bandwidth”.
If you’re a browser version user as I am, the best you can do is to clear up your browser data. Get to your browser Settings (for example, in Chrome, you need to click on the three dots in the upper right corner). Then select Privacy & Security > Clear Browsing Data > Advanced > Clear data.
It’s up to you to choose which data you want to delete. But for better results, we recommend removing everything: your browser & download history, cookies, cached data, etc.
Additionally, you can set up a hardware acceleration for your browser. Again, go to the Settings section > Advanced Settings > System > Use hardware acceleration when available. This should speed up your Google Drive on a web version too.
Reduce your file size
Compressing your file is a fit-it-all solution. You might not know the real reason for your slow upload to Google Drive. But reducing your file size through compression will work anyway. For one thing, it’ll reduce the buffer time to add a large file to your cloud storage. For another, you’ll save up your storage space.
Archiving your files is also a very good strategy if you need to transfer your data further like sharing them with colleagues or clients.
You might complain that you cannot preview files in this scenario. But this is not the case anymore. Unzip your info right in the Google Drive app by connecting apps like Zip Extractor or something similar.
Click on the + symbol on the left side of your Google Drive:
Then, choose More > Connect more apps. Select the app you need & grant all the permissions. Now when you right-click on the archive, you’ll be able to unzip the files in your Google Drive account.
Try the Drive Uploader app
To use Drive Uploader is another simple, but effective way to speed up your Google Drive. This is an easy-to-use & safe app, designed to receive large volumes of info & upload them to your Google Drive. Interestingly, the sender doesn’t have to be a Drive user.
First, sign up or login into the app. (You can connect to your Google Drive to do it automatically.) Then, click Create an uploader:
So you’ll get a chance to set configurations for your upload like choosing it a title, destination folder, or whether you want to get notifications about the upload:
When you save your settings, the app will automatically generate an URL for you. Copy the link & paste it into another tab. The link will give you a usual drag’n’drop opportunity. Upload your files there, add your name & email.
The speed might not be skyrocketing. But at least, you’ll see the progress very clearly. Look for your data in your Google Drive > My Drive > Drive Uploader.
Use Speed Uploader Extension
Speed Uploader is one more app developed by Google for uploading files faster. It works as an extension for your browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari). Also, it allows you to upload data to specific folders directly and complete simultaneous uploads.
Once you set up the extension, go to your browser apps. (It’ll transfer you automatically.) And choose Speed Uploader.
Your next step is to login & authorize. (Just connect to your Google account, as usual.) Then, configure all the permissions, and you’ll see the upload page. (It might not look really nice, but we target speed, not an impressive user interface.)
Here you connect the folder where you want your data to upload. (Or create a new one.) And then, start transferring your data – the tool should really speed up your Google Drive uploads.
Test other acceleration software
Actually, your options don’t limit to Drive Uploader or Speed Uploader only. There are lots of other tools available on the market. We’ve covered the most popular ones in our post on Uploading to Google Drive. But you’re free to check them up by yourself (and supplement this list with your own variants).
In brief, here are a few Google Drive acceleration tools you might try to speed up your uploads:
- Rclone is a frequent recommendation of Reddit users. This is a command-line program to manage your files on cloud storage, including syncing & uploading data. Rclone can upload chunks of data simultaneously, and this is how it’ll improve your upload speed.
- Backup & Sync is a good addition to your Google Drive to create automatic backups. It’s a desktop app that connects a folder on your computer to Google Drive. And once you place files there, they get uploaded to your Google Drive automatically. The tool works in the background too, which will save you lots of time in the future.
- Drive Filestream is another nice app to add to your Google Workspace account. Its idea is to stream your files to your PC, without actually storing them. In other words, you can see your data, but they’re not physically present (and don’t eat up your space). So no downloads are needed, whatsoever.
- Pics.io migration services offer you fast uploads between different clouds, including Google Drive. In this way, you can transfer your folder structure & metadata too.
- Duplicati is another tool for online backups for the most popular services such as Google Drive, Amazon S3, or MEGA. The app will allow you to upload your files quicker and safer. And it’s completely free of charge.
- Speedify is a good choice for uploads from mobile devices. The app combines your mobile data & WiFi to ensure more stable connectivity. And thus, it gives you a chance to speed up your uploads to Google Drive.
Upload automatically with Pics.io DAM
Uploading files via Pics.io Digital Asset Management is easy and time-efficient. This file manager works on top of your Google Drive so anything you upload there will be mirrored automatically on your Google Drive.
How will DAM speed up your uploads? Easily! With Pics.io, you can organize your files and make them searchable even at the stage of upload. A user can add metadata, assignees, asset marks, descriptions, custom metadata fields, etc., etc., as well as choose a collection where to upload the info.
Here are a few other ways how DAM can be useful to you next to automating your uploads to Google Drive:
- Access files instantly thanks to advanced search capabilities
- Add and manage all sorts of metadata for your files
- Work with any scopes, sizes, and formats, regardless of Google Drive file limits
- Establish granular role permissions, independent from those of Google Drive
- See and feel your assets with automatic previews and a visually inspiring layout
- Collaborate with your team – tag colleagues under assets and start a discussion
- Keep revisions of files in one place
- Share and receive third-party materials easily
Google Drive is a nice tool to have in your team’s arsenal. This cloud storage is easy-to-use, rich in features, & integrates with many apps. And it’s definitely over-performs most of its competitors.
Despite its perks, Google Drive is far from ideal. And many of its users face upload issues from time to time. In the post, we’ve covered 5 tangible solutions of how to make your Google Drive upload faster. But don’t be lazy to test each of them to find what works best for you.
Poor file organization is another big problem for Google Drive users. If you also cannot access your files easily & are tired of a total mess in your storage, think about adopting Digital Asset Management. Schedule a free demo with us to get more details.
And in case you're thinking about replacing Google Drive, Pics.io has just released its own storage & become an all-in-one DAM solution. Give it a try!