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As bad as I feel for the OP, you have to take responsibility instead of blaming Google. Seems like they do a good job of explaining when you empty the trash in Drive:

"Files in your trash are about to be permanently deleted, including Google Docs in your Trash. Warning: When using Google Drive for PC/Mac, Google Docs aren’t actual files saved on your hard drive; they are links to files stored online."

If you want a real backup of Google Docs, try Takeout: https://www.google.com/settings/takeout




It's just very unintuitive and it deviates from the popular and most accepted paradigm. I would think Google drive syncs your actual files, and that it would just choose Google Docs as its default editor.


Google Drive syncs actual files.

Google Docs, however, does not provide "actual files" with substantive content for its native documents, you have to export them to other formats to have "actual files".




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