Install Google Drive for Mac/PC

Once you have Google Drive on the web, you can use it to find and access all your Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, plus the files you've manually uploaded. If you've been using Google Docs prior to Google Drive, this is an improved interface to the previous Google Documents List, with enhanced features to search, sort, and preview your files. 

But to use the full power of Google Drive, you should install Google Drive for Mac/PC, a desktop sync client. This syncs any or all your files to Google Drive on the web, making them available anywhere, at any time, on any device. It also provides secure cloud-based storage for your files.

How does Google Drive for Mac/PC work?

When you install Google Drive for Mac/PC, a special folder called Google Drive is created on your local computer. This folder syncs bidirectionally with Google Drive on the web. When you move files on your local computer to the Google Drive folder on your Mac or PC, those files are then also in your online Drive. If you make any changes to these files, those changes will reflect in Google Drive on the web, and also across any other computers or mobile devices you're using with your Google Drive account.

Similarly, if you add files to your My Drive folder in Google Drive on the web, those files will also appear in your local Google Drive folder and sync to all your Drive-enabled devices.

If you don't want to sync everything in your online My Drive folder, you can use the Google Drive for Mac/PC preferences to specify which folders to sync.

Your local files (not created with Google web-based editors like Docs, Sheets, or Slides) continue to be stored on your local machine, and also in the cloud. When updated anywhere, these files update both locally and online.

Online Google documents, such as Docs, Sheets, and Slides, appear in the local Google Drive folder as small files with Google file extensions (such as .gdoc, .gsheet, .gslides). These files are essentially just pointers to the online documents, and when opened on the local machine, the Google Doc, Sheet, or Slide is displayed in your default browser. Online Google documents, such as Docs, Sheets, and Slides, do not count towards storage quotas.

Google Drive for Mac/PC supports only HFS+ (on OS X) and NTFS (on Windows) file systems. There is currently no support for network volumes (e.g. SMB or NFS) or other file systems such as FAT32.

To deploy Google Drive for Mac/PC:

  1. Verify that the Google Drive system requirements work for your organization.

  2. Install Google Drive for Mac/PC on the computer of each user. You have two options:

    • Let each user install Google Drive for Mac/PC on their own machine.

    • Push the Google Drive for PC .msi file to your users. This .msi can be used for a silent unattended installation. For information on installing the .msi file, please consult your Windows documentation.

      You can also use Google Update to control whether or not Google Drive for PC is automatically updated on your users' computers.

  3. Make sure Google Drive for Mac/PC is enabled for your users and specify whether they can see download links:

    1. Sign in to the Google Admin console.
    2. Click Google Apps > Drive > General.
    3. Scroll to the Drive section and select an option to allow Google Drive for Mac/PC in your organization. Consider the option to hide the download links in the Google Drive web interface if you are using the .msi file to deploy Google Drive for Mac/PC.

      You can also choose to not allow the Google Drive for Mac/PC sync client in your organization. However, note that doing this might not keep users from downloading their files from Google Drive on the web.

      If you don't allow Google Drive for Mac/PC, all other Google Drive components will still be available. You can also disable the entire Google Drive service, which disables all the components, or disable the ability to install web apps from the Chrome Web Store.
  4. Send your users an email letting them know about Google Drive and how they can get started. We provide a template email that you can copy and modify to suit your organization's needs.