How to Add Google Drive to File Explorer

If you’re a Windows PC person, you’re familiar with File Explorer. Windows 10 brought an improved Explorer, allowing you to access One Drive easily. However, what if your primary cloud-based storage is Google Drive?

How to Add Google Drive to File Explorer

Can you create direct access to your Google Drive using File Explorer? The answer is yes, you can. But it will require some effort. We’re going to explain the process in this article.

Adding Google Drive to File Explorer

If all of your precious files are in Google Drive, it’s perfectly reasonable to want to have a fast and convenient way to access them.

Windows File Explorer is a fantastic tool, but you have to access your Google Drive via a web browser by default. The solution is to download the Google Drive for Desktop tool (formerly Drive File Stream) for Windows.

When using Google Drive for Desktop, there are two options: Mirroring and streaming. Mirroring duplicates the files in the cloud to your computer via the G: drive so that you can edit them offline if needed. Streaming leaves the files in the cloud and only downloads them when you choose the option or when you make a file offline. Here’s everything that you need to do:

  1. Download the Google Drive Windows desktop tool. You can pick between Individual, Team, and Enterprise options from the navigation links at the top of the page.
  2. Install Google Drive for Desktop, then sign in with your preferred Google Account.

The installation process only takes a few minutes, and once you sign in, you’ll be able to see the Google Drive folder in Windows File Explorer. Your Google Drive for Windows automatically gets assigned as (G:) when using the mirroring option.

Your G: drive will function as a local drive on your computer. It automatically syncs with your Google Drive account when you add or edit anything from it. Deletions on the PC do not get deleted in the cloud for safety reasons, but you can change the option.

Add Google Drive to File Explorer

File Explorer Quick Access

When you click on the File Explorer icon on the top of the navigation pane, you’ll see a little blue star and the label, “Quick Access.”

Most savvy Windows users already know that the list of all of your favorite and frequently used folders is there. You can add Google Drive there immediately if you want to.

All you need to do is right-click on the Google Drive folder and select “Pin to Quick Access.” That way, you’ll have your Google Drive at your fingertips at all times.

Will It Work Offline Too?

You might wonder if this will work if you lose the internet connection and need to access your Google Drive Files. The answer depends on how you set up your Google Drive Desktop app.

If you choose to mirror folders and files, both exist in the cloud and on your device.

If you choose to stream folders and files, they remain in the cloud unless you decide to make them offline.

When using the stream option, it works the same way Dropbox or One Drive does in your Windows File Explorer. If you want to have specific files from your Google Drive always within your reach, you can download them.

And you can always delete them from the local desktop drive and download them again since they’re safe in the cloud.

All you need to do is right-click the File you want to download and select “Available offline.” In rare instances, when this option gets greyed out, you can access the File via Chrome and go to File>Make available online.

You will also have access to Google Drive from your Windows Start Menu if that’s more convenient. And you can even pin Google Drive to the Windows taskbar for more convenient access.

Google Drive to File Explorer

What Makes Google Drive Great

Major cloud storage services are competing for your attention all the time. And in most cases, let’s face it, people don’t use just one due to storage limitations and different features.

But if you have a Google Account, you also have Google Drive. So, what can you do with it?

Android users receive the Google Drive app preinstalled on their device because they need a Google Account to navigate the phone. And iOS users can also download it and make the most of it.

The app is very responsive and lightweight. Since it’s connected to your Gmail account, it can help your productivity if you send emails via your phone all the time.

Just make sure to have the latest version of the app for optimal user experience. Check for updates on Play Store and App Store.

Another reason to have Google Drive on your computer and phone is that it offers a lot of storage. Initially, everyone with a Google account receives 15GB for free.

Keeping Your Google Drive Files Close

If you work on your Windows computer every day, you likely use File Explorer a lot. Depending on how you organize your files and folders, it can help you stay super-efficient.

So, having access to Google Drive through File Explorer is more than beneficial. And all you have to do is install the Drive desktop app for Windows, which takes a few minutes.

Do you use Google Drive often? And would you like to have it in the File Explorer? Let us know in the comments section below.

3 thoughts on “How to Add Google Drive to File Explorer”

Bruce says:
Same issue as Mike.
Mike says:
This did not work. I clicked on the Download link in your article, installed the app and Google Drive does not appear in my File explorer.
Mirren says:
Thank you very much, I found this article very clear and easy to follow. I have two Google accounts – one for myself and one for a charity I volunteer for. I haven’t found a way to access both via Explorer. The first one works fine but even though I log into the 2nd account and repeat the steps, it doesn’t appear – possibly as there is already a G drive mapped? Do you know if there is a solution for this? Many thanks

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