Google Drive vs. Google Docs: What’s The Difference?

If you’re a newcomer to Google Drive and Google Docs, you may be wondering why the programs and services have two names. Even old hands may be confused, considering the suite was known as "Google Docs" until recently.

There are a few reasons why Google decided to rename the entire package “Google Drive,” and demote “Google Docs” to a mere reference to Google’s online word processor. It has a lot to do with the rise of competing cloud-based personal storage services such as Dropbox and Apple’s iCloud service. But for the purposes of this guide, here’s what you need to know:
  • Google Docs used to refer to the original suite of online productivity software, which includes a word processor, as well as Sheets (a spreadsheet program), Slides (A presentation tool), Web Forms, and Drawings. 
  • Google Docs now refers to the online word processor
  • Google Drive now refers to the online office suite as well as storage services, including the folder and file hierarchy used to store files online and offline.
  • Google Drive is also the official channel to access everything. For instance, the URL to access any resource (including Google Docs) is On mobile devices, the app is called “Google Drive”. In this sense, Google Drive is now the master brand.
Google tends to use “Google Drive” in its help resources and marketing. To further confuse matters, the company released this statement that indicated "Google Docs" wasn’t going away as a brand for the combined suite:

Google Drive vs Google Docs