This means no more opening up sluggish web browsers, or waiting on a sub-par Internet connection to get to the files you need. Here’s our guide on how to use Google Drive in the desktop app.
Downloading the Program
To download Drive for your desktop, you can find corresponding links one of two ways. The first can be found by navigating to your main Drive profile at “drive.google.com”, and clicking the “Get Drive for PC” button located in the bottom-right hand corner of your navigation menu.
The second is to visit the main download page (linked here), and clicking the “Get Drive for PC” button.
The text of this button will change depending on the machine that your web browser detects you’re working on, but just in case it got it wrong, you can select your specific download by opening up the drop down menu highlighted above.
Using Drive on Your Desktop
As soon as the Drive app is installed, you’ll notice a few new icons floating around your taskbar, desktop, and File Explorer windows.
The desktop icon will link to the folder containing all your files, while the taskbar icon will display a hotlist of all the documents or spreadsheets you opened last.
Unless you specifically download them in a separate window, all the files tied to your Google Drive folders will only be held in the local computer as links to the online version of Drive.
The files will look as though they’re listed as local, but as soon as you click on one it will launch into your preferred web browser with the option to either login to your account, or if you’re already logged in, launch the file itself in Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides.
Also be aware that because these files aren’t actually stored locally, if you choose to delete a file in your file explorer, it will simultaneously be deleted from Google’s servers as well if your Drive trash is ever emptied.
As with any cloud storage platform, you’ll only be able to access its full array of features as long as your computer is hooked up to a steady Internet connection. Once you’re out of range from a router, clicking on any files stored in the Google Drive folder will only link to a dead browser page.
To configure the preferences on your desktop Drive app, right click the Drive icon, located either in your Quick Access bar (Windows 10 users), or on the desktop icon.
From here navigate to the “Google Drive” option in the sub-menu, and choose the “Preferences” option located one menu beyond that.
Here you’ll be able to configure features like what folders or files Google Drive automatically syncs on your account, managing your account storage limit, and how Drive chooses to connect to Google’s central servers.
Google Drive for desktops is a great tool both online or off for anyone who worries about the lifespan of their hard drives, or just works across multiple machines and needs access to their files throughout multiple operating systems at the same time.