Customize Drive for desktop settings

You can improve your Drive for desktop experience with Advanced Settings.

Customize Sync preferences

Use multiple accounts at the same time
You can use up to 4 accounts at one time with Drive for desktop.
To add an account:
  1. On your computer, click the Drive for desktop Menu Drive File Stream.
  2. In the top-right corner, click your profile picture and then Add another account .
  3. Sign in through your browser.
  4. Restart Drive for desktop.
To disconnect an account:
  1. On your computer, click the Drive for desktop Menu Drive File Stream and then Settings and then Preferences and then Advanced Settings .
  2. Scroll to the account you want to disconnect.
  3. Click Disconnect account.
  4. In the pop-up window, click OK.
Important: If a streaming account is disconnected, any offline files are removed.
Disconnect an account

Important: When you disconnect your account, offline files are removed.

  1. On your computer, click Menu Drive File Stream and then Settings and then Preferences and then Advanced Settings .
  2. Select an account you want to disconnect.
  3. Click Disconnect account.
  4. In the pop-up window, click OK.
Change Drive streaming location
You can change the Drive for desktop streaming location:
  1. On your computer, click the Drive for desktop Menu Drive File Stream and then Settings and then Preferences and then Advanced Settings .
  2. Under "Google Drive streaming location," click Change.
    • On Windows: To stream Google Drive files to a folder on your computer, under “Google Drive streaming location,” select Folder. To change the Drive letter, under "Drive letter,” click the Down arrow.
    • On macOS: To change the streaming location, under "Google Drive streaming location," click Change.

      Important: Under “Google Drive streaming location,” you may find a notification that says “Folder location is controlled by macOS” and you won’t be able to update the mount point. Learn more about Drive for desktop on macOS.
  3. Select where you want your files to be found.
  4. Click OK.
Pause sync
When a sync is paused, Drive for desktop stops these background sync activities:
  • Updates made to streamed files in the virtual Drive.
  • File sync to Drive in both directions for mirrored folders.
  • Back ups to Google Photos.
  • On macOS File Provider, files not downloaded aren’t accessible. Learn more about Drive for desktop on macOS.
To pause syncing:
  1. On your computer, click the Drive for desktop Menu Drive File Stream.
  2. Click Settings and then Pause syncing.
To resume syncing:
  1. On your computer, click the Drive for desktop Menu Drive File Stream.
  2. Click Settings and then Resume syncing.
Learn about streamed and mirrored files settings
You can sync your My Drive files with Drive for desktop with mirroring or streaming.

To switch from streaming to mirroring:

  1. Open Drive for desktop.
  2. Click Settings Settings and then Preferences.
  3. On the left, click Folders from Drive.
  4. Under "My Drive syncing options," select Mirror files.
  5. Close Drive for desktop.

Tips:
  • When you switch, My Drive files download to the folder you select. 
  • If there are already files in the selected folder, Drive for desktop tries not to copy files already in the cloud. 
    • If the content in a file differs from what’s in the cloud, Drive for desktop keeps both.
  • Files that aren't already present in the cloud will be uploaded.
  • The Google Drive streaming location updates to show a shortcut to your new My Drive folder. 
  • Shared drives, other computers, and backed-up USB devices still appear and are still streamable.

Learn more about mirroring and streaming with Drive for desktop.
Learn about the content cache for streaming files

Important: If your cache directory path is unavailable, you can't use Drive for desktop.

If you stream files from Google Drive to your computer, file data is stored in a local cache on your hard drive.

The cache allows Drive for desktop to open your files faster and makes them available offline. If you edit something offline, it’s stored in the cache until it’s uploaded to the Cloud.

On Windows and older versions of macOS, Drive for desktop manages the content cache automatically. For work or school accounts, your admin can set a limit for how much space is used by the cache.

On newer versions of macOS, macOS manages the content cache. Since macOS manages the content cache, you can’t set a limit for how much space is used by the cache.

You can find files that are available offline and view how your hard drive space is utilized. To find this info:
  1. On your computer, click the Drive for desktop Menu Drive File Stream and then Settings and then Offline files.
  2. To view the cached files under your accounts, click Offline files.

Here’s a list of cache limitations that apply to Drive for desktop:

  • You can’t upload a folder larger than the available storage in the partition where the cache folder is located.
  • You can find Drive for desktop’s limited Drive quota (even for unlimited accounts), based on the available space in the local drive where the cache is located.
Advanced: Change your local cache files directory location
You can change the location of your local cache files directory, although we recommend its default location. If you must change the location:
  1. On your computer, click the Drive for desktop Menu Drive File Stream and then Settings and then Preferences and then Advanced Settings .
  2. Find “Local cache files directory.”
  3. Click Change.
  4. Select a new cache location.
  5. Click Change.
Important:
  • This setting isn’t enabled on File Provider for macOS.
  • Your local cache files directory can’t be:
    • A subfolder of a mirrored folder.
    • A parent or subfolder of your streaming locations.

Enable or disable real-time presence with Microsoft Office

Learn about real-time presence with Microsoft Office
With real-time presence, you can find if someone is editing a Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint file that’s stored in Drive for desktop. Real-time presence is automatically turned on in Drive for desktop. If someone turns it off, you won't see if that person is in a file.

Before you can use real-time presence with macOS, you must change your system permissions.

  1. On your Mac, open System Preferences and then Security & Privacy and then Privacy and then Accessibility.
  2. At the bottom, click the lock to make changes.
  3. Check the Google Drive box.
Important: To edit with real-time presence in Microsoft Office, you need Office 2010 or up.

Learn more about Drive for desktop with Microsoft Office.
Turn off real-time presence
You can turn off real-time presence in Drive for desktop.

Important: If someone turns off their real-time presence, you won’t know if that person is working in the file.

  1. On your computer, click the Drive for desktop Menu Drive File Stream and then Settings and then Preferences and then Advanced Settings .
  2. Uncheck the “See if someone else is editing a shared Microsoft Office file” box.
  3. Click Save.

Customize Google Photos settings

Learn about upload size
You can select the storage quality of the photos and videos on Google Photos. In either case, no changes are made to photos and videos on your computer:
  • Storage saver slightly reduces the quality of your photos, but uses less storage space.
  • Original quality maintains the quality and size of your photos and videos.
  1. On your computer, click the Drive for desktop Menu Drive File Stream and then Settings and then Preferences and then Advanced Settings .
  2. Find the controls marked “Upload size.”
  3. Select your preference:
    • Storage saver
    • Original quality
Learn about System Photo library for macOS
  1. On macOS, click the Drive for desktop Menu Drive File Stream and then Settings and then Preferences and then Advanced Settings .
  2. To automatically upload your photos and videos to Google Photos, check or uncheck “Systems Photo Library.”
    • Large libraries take a longer time to upload and transfer large amounts of data.
Learn about file types
  1. On your computer, click the Drive for desktop Menu Drive File Stream and then Settings and then Preferences and then Advanced Settings .
  2. Check or uncheck the file type boxes to sync or ignore RAW files and screenshots.

Customize general settings

Turn off automatic launch on Google Drive
After you login to your computer, Google Drive opens by default. To turn it off:
  1. On your computer, click the Drive for desktop Menu Drive File Stream and then Settings and then Preferences and then Advanced Settings .
  2. Uncheck the box next to “Launch Google Drive when you login to your computer.”
Learn about proxy settings
Google Drive defaults to the “Auto-detect” mode to use the proxy settings specified by your operating system. You may also use the “Direct connection” mode to bypass proxy settings:
  1. On your computer, click the Drive for desktop Menu Drive File Stream and then Settings and then Preferences and then Advanced Settings .
  2. Based on your preference, select Auto-detect or Direct connection.
Learn about bandwidth settings
For the download and upload rate of Google Drive, you can enter a bandwidth max limit.
  1. On your computer, click the Drive for desktop Menu Drive File Stream and then Settings and then Preferences and then Advanced Settings .
  2. Click the box next to “Download rate” or “Upload rate.”
  3. Enter your values:
    • Values can range between 1 and 100,000,000.
    • The unit is in kilobytes per second.
Set up a hotkey
  1. On your computer, click the Drive for desktop Menu Drive File Stream and then Settings and then Preferences and then Advanced Settings .
  2. Under “Configure hotkey,” select the key combination text.
  3. Enter the key combination.
Learn about notification preferences
  1. On your computer, click the Drive for desktop Menu Drive File Stream and then Settings and then Preferences and then Advanced Settings .
  2. Under notification settings, check or uncheck “Prompt me to back up devices:”
    • If turned on, Google Drive prompts you when it detects a USB device, such as a flash drive or a camera for backup. If you choose to ignore the detachable device in the prompt, Drive will remember your preference and list the device under "Ignored USB Devices."
Uninstall Drive for desktop
  1. On your computer, sign out of Drive for desktop.
  2. Click the Drive for desktop Menu Drive File Stream and then Settings and then Preferences and then Advanced Settings and then Disconnect account.
  3. In the pop-up window, click OK.
  4. Click the Drive for desktop Menu Drive File Stream and then Settings and then Quit.
  5. Use standard procedures to uninstall Drive for desktop from your computer.
    • If you need help, consult the OS instructions for your computer.
Tip: After you uninstall Drive for desktop, you can still open your files in Drive for web.

Tip: If you use Drive for Desktop through an organization like your work or school, your admin may manage or restrict some settings. Learn more about admin-managed settings.

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