Google Drive is a super useful tool that many use, but having to open your browser and navigate through the process of uploading and downloading files every time you want to use it can be a hassle.
Did you know that you can pin Google Drive directly to Windows File Explorer? This allows you to access the files in your Google Drive whenever you need them, and without having to add extra steps to your workflow. Here’s how to do it.
How to Add Google Drive to Windows File Explorer
The first thing you’ll need to do to add Google Drive to Windows File Explorer is to download Google Drive for desktop. You can find it on the Google Drive download page or by navigating to the download tab on the Google Drive website.
Once you’ve downloaded the installer and double-clicked it to run, the Google Drive installer window will appear. Here are some options that ask if you want to add desktop shortcuts for Google Drive and some other parts of the Google Office suite. Whether or not you add them is based on your preference. Click Install continue.
From there, the Google Drive installer will ask you to Sign in with the browser. This will take you to a new window using your default browser for you to login. If you’re already signed in with your Google account on this browser, this should be a fairly easy process.
Finally, the Google Drive installer will ask you to Make sure you have downloaded this app from Google. This is just a security check that you can safely ignore. All you need to do is click on the Log in at the bottom right of the message.
From there, you now have Google Drive for desktop installed successfully. Google Drive for Desktop automatically adds itself to your File Explorer for you, which means you’re done and ready to go.
Some important Google Drive settings you may want to adjust
If you open Windows File Explorer, you will be able to find your Google Drive in the list on the left under the heading This PC. It is also automatically added to your hotbar if you have it set up as well.
You can easily stop there if you like, but there are a couple of important settings you might want to adjust before you continue. For example, there are two different ways that Google Drive syncs with your computer that you might want to look at.
The first option is Stream Files. This means that all your Google Drive files are stored only in the cloud. The folder on your computer is really just a virtual drive that allows you to quickly and easily access your Google Drive. This consumes virtually no real space on your hard drive, but it does mean that your files won’t be available offline. This is perfect for when your Google Drive is getting full and you don’t know what to do.
The alternative is to Mirror files. This means that all your Google Drive files are stored in the cloud, but also on your computer. That is, you are effectively downloading the content of your Google Drive every time it is updated. This obviously uses more hard drive space than the alternative, but it means you can access your files no matter where you go.
Ultimately, the choice is up to you and what you need from Google Drive in your File Explorer. You can switch between these settings at will, and accessing them is easy. All you need to do is open Google Drive for Desktop from your taskbar and click the gear at the top right of the bubble that appears.
After that, you should find yourself in a window labeled Google Drive preferences. If you click on the Google Drive header on the left, you’ll be able to make that choice from there.
That’s all about it. You should now have Google Drive accessible directly from Windows File Explorer. A much better solution than figuring out how to create a direct link for your Google Drive files, don’t you think?
Get more from the cloud with Google Drive on Windows
As you can see, getting Google Drive in Windows File Explorer is an easy process once you know what to do. It’s just a simple download, and then you can access Google Drive whenever and however you want, even offline.