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Install Drive for desktop on Apple silicon devices (beta)

Support for Drive for desktop on Apple silicon devices is in beta and currently requires a workaround. Older Apple devices can use the existing instructions for Mac, but Apple devices released after late 2020 with Apple silicon chips require the following steps. To determine which you have, refer to Apple’s documentation.

Before you begin

These steps are for advanced users and require restarting your computer 3 times. You need access to an account with administrator privileges on your computer to complete these steps.

We’re actively working on improving this process, and this workaround is temporary until we have a fix in place. IT admins can complete the steps using their MDM solution and following Apple’s instructions. The steps below may appear slightly different, depending on which version of macOS Big Sur you’re running.

To easily access this article after rebooting your machine, on a different device, open g.co/drive/apple.

Step 1: Download and install Google Drive for desktop

  1. Download GoogleDrive.dmg.
  2. Open GoogleDrive.dmg installer and install it on your computer.
    You may see a pop-up from Apple saying System Extension Blocked or System Extension Updated. You may also see additional pop-ups.
  3. If you don't see a System Extension pop-up, start Google Drive for desktop and sign in. This might trigger the pop-up.  If it doesn't and everything seems to be working, you are finished.
  4. Open the Security & Privacy menu in System Preferences.
    You can do this by clicking Open Security Preferences or Open System Preferences through a pop-up or, from the Apple menu, going to System Preferencesand thenSecurity & Privacy.
  5. In the Security & Privacy menu, click the lock in the bottom-left to unlock. Select Enable System Extensions.
    An Apple pop-up appears saying To enable system extensions, you need to modify your security settings in the Recovery environment.
    Note: If you're already in reduced security mode, the pop-up says System software has been updated. Click Allowand thenRestart to use Google Drive for desktop.
  6. Click Shutdown.

Step 2:  Put your computer into recovery mode 

Important: Restart your computer in recovery mode. Entering recovery mode is different with Apple silicon devices than with earlier Apple computers. Learn more about macOS Recovery.

  1. Restart the computer by pressing and holding the power button.
  2. Hold it until Loading startup options appears.
  3. If asked, select a user with administrator privileges for the computer and click Next. Otherwise, move on to the next step.
  4. Enter account password.
  5. In the Startup Security Utility window, select your boot disk and click Security Policy…
  6. In the black menu box, click Reduced Security and Allow user management of kernel extensions from identified developers.
  7. Click OK and enter account password.

A message appears, saying that it’s applying the security policy.

Step 3: Allow app to run on computer

  1. Next, go to the Apple menu and restart the computer. 
  2. Enter your password to sign in to the computer again.
  3. Launch Google Drive for desktop to trigger the pop-up.
  4. From the Apple menu, go to System Preferencesand thenSecurity & Privacy.
  5. Click lock, enter your password and click Unlock.
  6. In the Security & Privacy menu, next to where System software from developer Google, Inc. has been updated, click Allow.
    An Apple menu appears saying A restart is required before new system extensions can be used.
  7. Click Restart.

After the computer is restarted, you can relaunch and use Google Drive for desktop.


If Google Drive for desktop doesn’t install and run correctly on your computer, make sure that you’ve completed step 2.6 correctly selecting Reduced Security and Allow user management of kernel extensions.

If you have a problem with kernel extension approval restart loops, perform the following steps:

  1. From the Finder menu bar, select Go > Go to Folder…
  2. Type /Library/Extensions then click Go.
  3. In the Finder window that opens, delete the package called dfsfuse.kext. Enter your administrator password if requested.
  4. Open Terminal.
  5. Run the following command:
    sudo kmutil clear-staging
  6. Shutdown the computer. 
  7. Restart it in recovery mode by holding down the power button until Loading startup options appears.
  8. Click Options and then Continue.
  9. Click Utilitiesand thenTerminal.
  10. Run kmutil trigger-panic-medic --volume-root /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD
    Replace Macintosh\ HD with the name of your local drive if it’s not the same.
  11. Confirm that the output from this command indicates that kernel extensions have been removed.
  12. Proceed with Step 3, including rebooting.

Note: This will unload all third-party kernel extensions, not just the one for Google Drive. You will need to re-approve each of them as they are used.

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