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Drive for desktop cheat sheet

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Store files in the cloud while accessing them on demand from any device.

Store files in the cloud while accessing them on demand from any device.
Drive for desktop gives you access to files directly from any of your devices with minimal impact on your disk space. All copies are synchronized, so any changes made to a file in any location is almost immediately made everywhere else.

Get Drive for desktop:


1. Open your files


1. Open Drive for desktop "" from your OS window.
2. Click the Drive folder "" to open Google Drive on your desktop.
3. Open a file by clicking on the link to show it in the desktop folder.
Note: Files created by Docs, Sheets, Slides, or Forms open in your browser. Other files open in their regular applications on your computer.
Open files in Drive File Stream.

2. Create folders


Using Drive for desktop, create new folders in Drive (My Drive or shared drives) the same way you create other folders on your computer.

Create folders in Drive File Stream.

3. Move files to a folder


1. Open Drive for desktop "" from your OS window.
2. Click the Drive folder "" to open Google Drive on your desktop.
3. Move the files and folders into a folder. From now on, these files exist in the Drive folder and are synchronized with other devices that also have Drive installed.
Move files to a folder in Google Drive for desktop.

4. Check your sync status


Dragging files to a folder in Drive for desktop automatically uploads them to Drive on the web (though it might take a moment for files to sync). When you see Upload complete, your files have uploaded successfully and can be accessed in any browser or device that has Drive installed.

1. Files with Sync "" haven’t been uploaded to Drive yet and are currently being processed. Files also appear with this icon if sync is paused.
Items with "" are queued for upload, currently listed in the pending-to-upload queue.
2. Files with Done "" have uploaded successfully and can be accessed from Drive in any browser or from any device with Drive installed.
3. The icon "" is an indication of the total number of items that are queued for upload.

Check file sync status in Drive File Stream.

5. Access your files offline


Set up offline access for PDFs, Microsoft Office files, and more on your desktop

You can make you non-Google formatted files available for offline access when you lack connection to the Internet. These cached files sync back to the cloud when you're online, so the latest version is available on all your devices.​

1. My Drive and Shared Drives are shown as online only with the Online status icon "".
2. The file is made available offline when the green Offline pin "" is displayed.
Right-click in the context menu to view the options.
3. The file is only available when Online status "" is displayed. In file explorer, this icon next to any item indicates that the file is already on the cloud and can be accessed from anywhere and is available online.
Access your files offline with Drive File Stream.

6. Share your files and folders by right-clicking and selecting Share with Google Drive, then choose what collaborators can do. They'll get an email notification, too.


1. In Settings "" you can Pause Syncing, modify Preferences, and view the Error list.
2. View notifications.
3. Activity of synced files is shown by default.

Share files in Drive File Stream.

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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