Starting with Windows 10, you can seamlessly access your files on OneDrive cloud storage directly from File Explorer. What if you could do the same with Google Drive? Google Drive for desktop makes that possible, and this tutorial shows you how to use this app to add Google Drive to File Explorer.
Why use Google Drive for desktop
- It eliminates the need to launch a web browser to access your files on Google Drive. Alternatively, you can do it from your local system using Finder on macOS or File Explorer on Windows.
- Allows file/folder selection and sync between your device and Google Drive.
- You can directly backup your photos, including screenshots and RAW images, to Google Photos using Drive for desktop.
- You can simultaneously sign in to up to four different Google accounts, giving you access to files and their respective configuration options and increasing your computer’s virtual storage.
Now let’s take a look at how to install Google Drive on File Explorer using the Google Drive desktop app.
How to add Google Drive to File Explorer
- Download and install Drive for desktop.
- Follow the onscreen instructions to sign in to your Google Drive account from your browser and make sure you’ve downloaded the Google desktop app. If two-step verification is enabled in your Google account, you may have to agree to sign in from your smartphone.
Google notifies you that “You are signed in to Google Drive” once your identity is verified. You can then start using Google Drive for desktop on your Windows PC.
Open File Explorer. You should see Google Drive listed as a normal drive in the Devices and Drives section of This PC. Google Drive also appears as a drive partition in the Quick Access section of the sidebar. Use any of these links to access your files stored in Google Drive.
How to add a Google Drive shortcut to the File Explorer sidebar
If you want Google Drive to appear as a distinct non-removable entry similar to OneDrive and Dropbox in the File Explorer sidebar, follow the steps below.
The folder path structure in this method contains double backslashes and not a single backslash.
- Back up your Windows registry to make sure that you can restore the registry to its last functional state if something goes wrong unexpectedly.
- Access Google Drive in the Windows Explorer script page on GitHub through a web browser and download the script’s ZIP archive; Tap “Icon,” then select “Download Zip File.”
- Locate the ZIP file you downloaded and extract its contents. We will need the “Google Drive.reg” file from this group in step 6.
- Locate the Google Drive app on your computer using File Explorer. To do this, go to “C:Program FilesGoogleDrive File Stream” and open the folder with a numeric name, such as 126.96.36.199. This number corresponds to the version of the installed application.
- Next, copy the full path to this folder from the right-click menu of the path bar.
- Open the “Google Drive.reg” file from step 3 using Notepad or another text editor.
- Replace each instance of “C:Program FilesGoogleDrive File Stream188.8.131.52” with the full path you copied above.
- Change each instance of the “TargetFolderPath” value to “G:\Google Drive”. If you installed Google Drive on a different drive, replace “G:” with the relevant drive letter.
- Save the Google Drive.reg file and exit Notepad.
- Run the file by double clicking on it. When the UAC prompt appears, select Yes to allow the new data to be added to your Windows registry.
- Registry Editor informs you that the new keys have been added to your Windows registry. Now press OK.
- Open File Explorer. If you followed the steps correctly, you should see Google Drive listed as a separate entity in the File Explorer sidebar.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Google Drive safe to use?
Yes, Google Drive is completely safe to use. But, you should be aware that Google searches your files for data that it can use to create a profile about you for advertising purposes. So, Google Drive may not be for you if you think this is too intrusive.
Who can see what’s in my Google Drive?
Files in Google Drive can only be accessed by you unless you share them with others. However, be careful about your account information because anyone who has access to your email and password can also view your files. To prevent this, enable two-factor authentication on your Google account.
Does Google Drive work offline?
How do I remove Google Drive if I no longer want to?
If you choose to uninstall Google Drive, you first need to run the “Remove Google Drive.reg” file you extracted earlier if you decide that Google Drive should not appear as a separate shortcut in File Explorer. You can then uninstall Google Drive from the Control Panel as you would normally do with any other app.
Image credit: Google
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