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Drive for desktop cheat sheet

Open files stored in the cloud directly on your computer. Copies of files are synchronized across your devices, so changes made on your computer are also made everywhere else.



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Open files

Open files in Drive File Stream.   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.

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.

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.

See if a file is uploaded

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.

Check file sync status in Drive File Stream.   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.

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.

Access your files offline with Drive File Stream.   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.

Share files & folders

On your device, right-click a file or folder and select Share with Google Drive, then choose what collaborators can do. They'll get an email notification, too.

Share files in Drive File Stream.   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.

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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