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Set up Drive for desktop for your organization

This article is for administrators. To learn how to set up and use Drive for desktop on your own device, go here instead.

Google Drive for desktop can help users get started with cloud-based files and collaboration. Drive for desktop makes it easy to get their existing files into Drive and maintain their familiar desktop workflows. As an administrator, you can choose how users get Google Drive for desktop on their computers and what features are available to them. You can allow users to install Drive for desktop themselves or you can install it for them using software deployment tools.

Before you begin

Review the system requirements.

Step 1: Configure Drive for desktop for your organization

Before you begin: To apply the setting for certain users, put their accounts in an organizational unit (to set by department) or a configuration group (to set for users across or within departments).

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. In the Admin console, go to Menu and then Appsand thenGoogle Workspaceand thenDrive and Docsand thenGoogle Drive for desktop.

  3. To apply the setting to everyone, leave the top organizational unit selected. Otherwise, select a child organizational unit or a configuration group.
  4. Click Enable Drive for desktop.
    • To turn on Drive for desktop, check the Allow Google Drive for desktop in your organization box.
    • To allow access only on authorized devices, check the Only allow Google Drive for desktop on authorized devices box.
    • To allow Google Drive on the web to promote installing Drive for desktop to users, check the Show Google Drive for desktop download link box. Users must have admin privileges on their computers to install.
    • To allow users to see who’s editing shared Microsoft Office files, check the Allow users to enable real-time presence in Microsoft Office from Google Drive for desktop box.
  5. Click Save. If you configured an organizational unit or group, you might be able to either Inherit or Override a parent organizational unit, or Unset a group.
  6. (Optional) Allow users to use certain syncing features in Drive for desktop, such as mirror sync, Photos backup, and USB device backup. These features can increase storage use on the user's computer and in their Google Account. To turn on:
    1. Click Syncing options.
    2. Check the box.
    3. Click Save. If you configured an organizational unit or group, you might be able to either Inherit or Override a parent organizational unit, or Unset a group.

Step 2: Install Drive for desktop on devices in your organization

You can choose to let users install Drive for desktop themselves, manually install it for them, or use software management tools to automatically deploy Drive for desktop to your organization.

To manually install Drive for desktop with the installer, follow the steps in Use Google Drive for desktop at home, work, or school.

To silently install Drive for desktop, use the following steps for your device:

Windows
  1. Download GoogleDriveSetup.exe.
    Download now
  2. Run the installer in silent mode:
    GoogleDriveSetup --silent --desktop_shortcut

    Note:

    • The desktop_shortcut flag for Drive for desktop is optional. Users can also find Drive for desktop in the Windows Task Bar.
    • To skip launching the app after installation, add the --skip_launch_new parameter.
    • Drive for desktop includes desktop shortcuts to Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides by default. You can turn off the Docs editors shortcuts by adding the
      --gsuite_shortcuts=false parameter to the installer.
Mac
  1. Download GoogleDrive.dmg.
    Download now
  2. Run the installer in silent mode:
    hdiutil mount GoogleDrive.dmg; sudo installer -pkg /Volumes/Install\ Google\ Drive/GoogleDrive.pkg -target "/Volumes/Macintosh HD"; hdiutil unmount /Volumes/Install\ Google\ Drive/

Note: You might see a folder called "localhost" when starting Drive for desktop on a Mac for the first time. This is expected behavior, and you can ignore this folder.

If you have problems installing Drive for desktop, restart the computer and try again.

Step 3: (Optional) Advanced Drive for desktop setup

As an administrator, you can set override values for Drive for desktop settings, such as the cache location, bandwidth limits, and proxy settings. For details, see Advanced Drive for desktop configuration.

By default, Drive for desktop is set up to auto-update on your users’ computers, using Google Update (Windows) or Google Software Update (Mac). Auto-updates prevent service disruption, promote data security, and give users access to new features as soon as they’re available (learn more about keeping Drive for desktop updated). However, you can turn off auto-updates. Follow the steps at Configure auto-updates (Windows) or Manage Chrome updates (CBCM).

Known issues

Expand all  |  Collapse all & go to top

Digital Guardian compatibility

Drive for desktop isn’t compatible with Digital Guardian.

Anti-virus software interference

Certain virus detection and security software can interfere with the operation of Drive for desktop.

If you have virus scan software on your computer and repeatedly get the error "Drive for desktop encountered a problem and has stopped," exclude Drive for desktop from your virus scan.

  • For Windows: The default streaming location is G:, but may be another location that you've configured.
  • For macOS: The default streaming location is /Volumes/GoogleDrive, but may be another location that you've configured.
Sync issues

Syncing a folder with both Google Drive for desktop and another syncing service might cause files to not sync with Google Drive or to be removed from Google Drive entirely. Be careful when making configuration changes in the other applications.

Silently uninstall Drive for desktop from Windows devices

In addition to standard uninstall methods, you can silently uninstall Drive for desktop from Windows devices. Run:

%PROGRAMFILES%\Google\Drive File Stream\<VERSION>\uninstall.exe --silent --force_stop

Note:

  • The --force_stop argument is required if Drive for desktop is currently running. The --silent argument is optional. It will suppress uninstall dialogs and skip end-user confirmation of the uninstall.
  • The UninstallString registry key for Drive for desktop, (Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\{6BBAE539-2232-434A-A4E5-9A33560C6283}), points to the uninstall.exe.

If you don’t allow Drive for desktop

When Drive for desktop isn’t allowed for your organization, users can’t sign in or use the app. If they used Drive for desktop in mirror mode before it was disallowed, the files synced from Drive remain on their computer but no longer sync.

Users can still manually upload and download files to and from Drive on the web, and they can still access Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms. To block some or all of these features:

Related topics


Google, Google Workspace, and related marks and logos are trademarks of Google LLC. All other company and product names are trademarks of the companies with which they are associated.

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