Sync files and folders

As soon as you finish installing Google Drive for your Mac/PC or mobile app, your device can sync with Google Drive on the web so that you can view your files from any device. This sync will only take place with "My Drive", the section of Google Drive on the web that contains files and folders you've uploaded and Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides that you own.

When everything has synced between your device and “My Drive” – it may take a few minutes if you have a lot of stuff – you can access and launch the same files from all your devices.

Pause syncing

If the syncing between Drive for your Mac/PC and Drive on the web is taking a while, you can pause it at any time.

  1. Click the Google Drive icon google drive desktop icon.
    • On a Mac, the icon is usually found in the menu bar at the top right of your desktop screen.
    • On a PC, the icon is usually found in the taskbar in the bottom right of your desktop screen.
  2. Click the overflow icon in the top right .
  3. Click Pause.

Resume syncing

If you want to start up the sync again after pausing it, you can resume syncing.

  1. Click the Google Drive icon google drive desktop icon.
    • On a Mac, the icon is usually found in the menu bar at the top right of your desktop screen.
    • On a PC, the icon is usually found in the taskbar in the bottom right of your desktop screen.
  2. Click the overflow icon in the top right .
  3. Click Resume.

See sync in action

You don't have to do anything to set up syncing other than connect to the Internet. If you want to see the status of your files as you’re syncing them, click the Google Drive icon google drive desktop icon and look at the symbol next to a file:

  • Fully synced
  • Still syncing
  • Not able to sync

Change how much bandwidth Drive uses

You can increase or decrease the bandwidth used by Drive on your Mac or PC while syncing your files. Decreasing this bandwidth can allow more bandwidth for other programs on your computer.

  1. Click the Google Drive icon google drive desktop icon.
    • On a Mac, the icon is usually found in the menu bar at the top right of your desktop screen.
    • On a PC, the icon is usually found in the taskbar in the bottom right of your desktop screen.
  2. Click the overflow icon in the top right .
  3. Select Preferences.
  4. Go to the Advanced tab.
  5. To choose a different rate, click the radio button next to Limit to and use the up and down arrows to change the rate. The numbers are measured in kilobytes per second.
    • To use the full bandwidth for Drive, click the radio button next to Don’t limit.
  6. Click Apply.

Note: Changing the rate for downloads or uploads to a higher rate than your Internet connection allows may significantly slow other programs that you’re running using the Internet.

Have a lot of files to sync, or perhaps just a couple of big files? See pricing for different storage plans.

Matt is a Docs & Drive expert and author of this help page. Leave him feedback below about the page.

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