Google Docs: Say goodbye to corrupted files

In addition to studying PR at the University of Oregon, I work part time at the library’s information technology center. One of my duties at the ITC is helping people with basic computer troubleshooting issues.

It seems as if not a day goes by without a patron asking us if we can recover a corrupted document that they either emailed to themselves or saved on their personal thumb drive. Unfortunately, a corrupted file is generally unrecoverable, and it is frustrating because it usually is not the patron’s fault.

There is a more reliable way to backup documents. GoogleDocs will make sure that you will never see a ‘corrupted file’ message… as long as Google’s servers hold up. How do you access Google Docs?

Step 1: Sign up for a GMail account
Step 2: Click ‘Documents’ on the top menu bar (when your email is open) OR visit
Step 3: Create a new document
Step 4: Either copy and paste what you’ve already written, or start typing your document on Google Docs
Step 5: That’s it! Google Docs automatically saves your document every couple of minutes (Just to be sure, make sure you click save before you close your browser).

Now all you need to do to access your document is to open Google docs, copy your text and paste it into your word processor. You will have to fix your document’s formatting (because copying and pasting from Google Docs is similar to copying and pasting raw text), but you will have a document that will never be corrupted. In addition, you will be able to access your document wherever you can access the internet!

4 thoughts on “Google Docs: Say goodbye to corrupted files

  1. I’ve been using Google Docs for 3 years. My documents still get corrupted. I found your site looking for “Google Docs Corrupted” The 2 methods they suggest for recovery DO NOT WORK… Google’s message:

    We were unable to upload this document because of this error:

    Sorry, that file is corrupt, or an unknown format.

    This error message comes from the converter we’re using, and hopefully tells you what you need to know to fix the problem.

    If not, and you have the desktop word processor installed on this system, there are two other easy ways to upload the document to Google Docs:

    Using the Clipboard
    Open the document in the desktop word processor.
    Type Ctrl-A to select the contents of the entire document.
    Type Ctrl-C to copy it to the clipboard.
    In Google Docs, create a new document.
    When the Edit window appears, type Ctrl-V to paste it in.
    Save as HTML
    Open the document in the desktop word processor.
    Choose File > Save As…
    In the dialog that appears, select Web Page (*.htm; *.html) for the “Save as type.”
    Save the file, and make a note of the file name and folder, as you’ll need it next.
    In Google Docs, choose Upload again from the main page.
    This time, specify the html file you just made in the desktop word processor.
    Using either of these approaches, you should now have the document open in Google Docs.

    ©2009 Google – Help – Terms

  2. Sadly I’ve just found a document that I found last year that is corrupted. Also ALL the revisions are also corrupted.

    Google are crap. I wish they would just stick to search. They have done nothing else well. Android is ok but buggy, and everything else they do accept maybe Google Maps totally sucks.

  3. Google Docs does corrupt files. I have a document right now I can’t recover. It was created in, and only edited by Google Docs. Now I have lost about 40 hours work.

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