Install Google Drive for Mac/PC

To use the full power of Google Drive, you should install Google Drive for Mac/PC, a desktop sync client. This synchronizes 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 Google Drive for Mac/PC works

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 to the Google Drive folder on your computer, those files are then also available in your online Drive. If you make any changes to these files, those changes 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 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 documents created by Google Docs editors (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 displays in your default browser. Your Docs, Sheets, and Slides don't count towards storage quotas.

Google Drive for Mac/PC supports only HFS+ (on OS X) and NTFS (on Windows) file systems. There's currently no support for network volumes (e.g. SMB or NFS) or other file systems, such as FAT32.
Install or 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 each user's computer using one of these options:

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

    1. Sign in to the Google Admin console.
    2. From the Admin console dashboard, click Apps > Google Apps > Drive > Data Access.
    3. If you have Google Apps Unlimited or Google Apps for Education, select the desired organizational unit.

      Otherwise, your setting applies to your entire organization.

    4. In the Drive section, 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're using the .msi file to deploy Google Drive for Mac/PC.

      Note: You can also choose to not allow the Google Drive for Mac/PC sync client in your organization. If you choose this option, all other Google Drive components will still be available, as well as Google Docs editors such as Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Users will still be able to manually upload and download files to and from Google Drive on the web.

      Alternatively, you can turn off the entire Google Drive service, which disables all the Drive components and Google Docs editors.
  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.

If you don't install Google Drive for Mac/PC, you can still use Google Drive on the web to find and access your Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, plus other files that you manually upload to Drive.