How to Add Google Drive to Windows File Explorer.
Windows syncs with One Drive by default and you can access One Drive files right from File Explorer. There are even several other apps like Creative Cloud that will sync with File Explorer as soon as you install Adobe Creative Cloud apps. However, if you, like me, use Google Drive heavily and want to view all the files in Drive directly from File Explorer, setting it up is as easy as installing an app from Google. Let’s add Google Drive to Windows Explorer.
Add Google Drive to Windows File Explorer
Unlike the Google Drive app, which only worked online, Backup & Sync will create a Google Drive folder right inside the file explorer and allow you to access your files offline. You can delete or drag and drop files into this folder, and the changes take effect instantly in Drive. Start by downloading the Google Startup & Sync app to your computer. Run the application and click “Start”.
The next step is to connect your Google account to the app. Sign in with your Google account and proceed to the next step.
On this page, the application will create a copy of the files on your computer in Google Drive. This will allow you to access all locally saved files from all over the world. Select the folders that you want to automatically back up to Drive. In my case, I selected Desktop, Documents and Pictures.
If you’d like to back up your photos to Google Photos, uncheck the box marked in red below and click Next.
Now it’s time to create a folder that will store your Disk copies of your files. Select the Synchronize my drive with this computer check box and specify the location of this folder. The app will sync all cloud files to this folder. Click the “Start” button to complete the setup.
You can sync all or a few selected folders with a local folder on your computer. The files and folder you select on this page will appear locally and you can access them even when offline. Yes, you can also change the folder later.
Click “Start” and then “Continue” in the pop-up window.
Now you can see your Google Drive folder in the location you specified during setup. It may take time to retrieve all files from disk, depending on your data and Internet connection.
The folders you have selected to back up to Disk will be visually indicated with a green check mark.
You can also check the backup status on the taskbar. This will give you a log of all files that were copied or downloaded.
If you delete a file from your Google Drive folder in File Explorer, it won’t be deleted from Drive. By default, this feature is disabled so that you don’t accidentally delete all files from Drive. However, if you want to enable this feature, click the Backup & Sync icon in the taskbar> click the three-dot menu> Options> My Laptop> Always delete both copies.
Honestly, you will lose all your data if you accidentally delete your local folder.
If you want to back up files that are shared with you and not on your Google Drive, just open Google Drive in your web browser> Shared with me> Right click on the shared file or folder and click Add to my drive. …
It will start syncing with your computer and you will be able to access this file from File Explorer.
For Gsuite users
If you have a Gsuite account, you will find it more convenient to use the Drive File Stream app. A Gsuite account is nothing more than a work or school account. For example, [email protected] is probably a G Suite account, and [email protected] is a regular account.
Start by downloading and installing the Google Drive Client app on your computer and follow the onscreen instructions.
As before, sign in with your Google account and proceed to the next step.
Unlike backup and sync, you no longer need to change settings here, and instead of creating a folder, a separate drive is created that gives you dedicated space to access your files.
Unlike backup and sync, you cannot back up your local files to Drive by simply dragging and dropping files to the shared drive.
After all these additional features, the Backup & Sync app and Drive File Stream Client are clearly better than the Google Drive app, which we can use in a browser anyway. And they also help copy and paste files between folders in Drive, which is not easy on the website.
And you cannot use both apps at the same time for the same account. Regular users can’t use the Drive File Stream app, and G Suite users are better off using Drive File Stream because you can also view the files that have been shared with you right in File Explorer.
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