Thanks to Google Drive, you can access a virtual disk drive directly from Windows, with the ability to synchronize files to the cloud when and where you want.
Once you’ve installed the application to your computer, its icon will appear in the left sidebar of any Windows folder, just below “Desktop” and “Recent Sites.” Just a click will give you access to the files you have stored on your Google Drive account.
And if you want to upload something to your account in the cloud, all you need to do is drag and drop the file into the inside of the folder.
Basic Google Drive storage is 5GB, which should be more than enough to store documents, images, and a video here and there. Of course, you can always pay for more space if you need it.
Google Drive is a massive cloud storage tool that ends up being quite useful for any user thanks to its integration with the rest of Google’s products and its ease of use.
How it works
With Drive for desktop, you stream your Drive files directly from the cloud to your Mac or PC, freeing up disk space and network bandwidth. Because Drive files are stored in the cloud, any changes you or your collaborators make are automatically updated everywhere. You’ll always have the latest version.
You can also make Drive files available for offline access. These cached files sync back to the cloud when you’re online, so the latest version is available on all your devices.
Install or deploy Drive for desktop
- Verify that Drive for desktop will work for your organization. You can use Drive for desktop on these operating systems:
- Windows Server 2012 and up.
- Windows 7 and up, with at least Service Pack 1 and Windows 7 security update installed.
- For Intel devices running High Sierra (10.13) or newer, fllow these steps.
For the best user experience, we recommend that you upgrade to the latest OS version available for your machine. Also make sure to use a supported browser.
- If you haven’t already done so, turn on sync for your organization. Make sure to allow Drive for desktop and specify whether users can see Drive for desktop download links.
- (Optional) At the same Admin console page where you turned on sync, check Only allow Google Drive for desktop on authorized devices. This restricts access to Drive for desktop to only devices owned and managed by your organization.
- (Optional) At the same Admin console page, check Allow users to enable real-time presence in Microsoft Office from Google Drive for desktop. This lets users see when someone is editing shared Microsoft Office files, and can help prevent editing conflicts.
- Install Drive for desktop on each user’s computer using one of these options:
- Let each user install Drive for desktop on their own machine. For this option, users need administrator rights to their computer.
- Download the .exe file and deploy it in silent mode.
- Windows devices—Drive for desktop currently doesn’t support ARM-based Windows laptops and tablets, including the Microsoft Surface Pro X.
- Copying Drive files—Drive for desktop does not currently support copying Google Docs editors files (Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc.) in the Drive for desktop app. Go to https://drive.google.com in a web browser to copy these files.
- Spotlight—Drive for desktop versions later than version 47 don’t support Apple Spotlight indexing on Apple silicon devices, on macOS Monterey or later, or for Gmail accounts. You can use the integrated Google Drive search released in version 55 to search for files.
- Digital Guardian—Drive for desktop is currently not compatible with Digital Guardian software
- Anti-virus software—Certain virus detection and security software can interfere with the operation of Drive for desktop. If you have virus scan software running on your computer and repeatedly see the error “Drive File Stream encountered a problem and has stopped,” try excluding Drive for desktop from your virus scan. For Windows, the default is
G:(or whatever the user has configured). For macOS, the default is
/Volumes/GoogleDrive(or whatever the user has configured).
- Sync issues—Syncing a folder with both Google Drive for desktop and another syncing service might cause files to fail to sync with Google Drive or to be removed from Google Drive entirely. Please be particularly vigilant when making configuration changes in the other applications.
- Pop-ups—Some users on Drive for desktop version 41 and prior might report seeing repeated pop-ups to sign in. This can happen if they’ve had their account deleted or disabled. If you no longer wish to continue using Drive for desktop and are encountering this issue, we recommend uninstalling Drive for desktop.On Windows, you might have to manually stop Drive for desktop from running in order to uninstall it.