Use Google Drive for desktop at home, work, or school

Get started with Google Drive for desktop

You can find and open your files from Google Drive on your computer with Drive for desktop. You can:

  • Save specific files and folders offline, including shared drives.
  • View and organize your files in your computer’s file system without using storage space.
  • Open files on your computer.

Use Drive for desktop at home, work, or school

Download & install Drive for desktop

To download Drive for desktop:

DOWNLOAD FOR WINDOWS DOWNLOAD FOR MAC

  1. On your computer, open:
    • GoogleDriveSetup.exe on Windows
    • GoogleDrive.dmg on Mac
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions.
Tip: You might not be able to use Drive for desktop, or your organization might install it for you. If you have questions, ask your administrator.

Open Drive for desktop

You can find Drive for desktop Menu Drive File Stream in a different place, depending on what computer you use:

  • Windows: At the bottom right of your screen.
  • Mac: At the top right of your screen.

Work with your files

Keep files and folders offline

To save a file offline, make sure you have an app that can open your file.

  1. Click the Drive for desktop Menu Drive File Stream.
  2. Click Open Google Drive folder Google Drive folder.
  3. Right-click the file or folder you want to save offline.
  4. Click Drive for desktop and then Available offline.
  5. Once your file is saved offline, you'll see a green check mark next to it.
See who’s editing Microsoft Office files in real time

When you store a Microsoft Office file in Drive for desktop and share it with people who also have real-time presence turned on, you can see whether anyone else is making changes.

  • Safe to edit: You can make changes in the file because no one else is editing.
  • Wait to edit: Someone else is editing the file.
    • To get notified when they’re done, check the box next to "Notify me when it’s safe to edit."
    • To see more about who is editing or viewing the file, click on the person in the list.
  • New version created: Someone created a newer version.
    • To get their new version, click Get latest.

Combine versions that conflict

If someone saves a new version while you’re editing, you can merge your changes into the latest version.

  1. In the lower right, click Preview.
  2. Copy changes from your version (on the left) to the latest version (on the right).
  3. Click Save.
  4. Your unsaved version on the left will be removed.

Give permission on macOS

If you use Drive for desktop on macOS, you must change your system permissions to see other editors in real time:

  1. On your Mac, go to System Preferences and then Security & Privacy and then Privacy and then Accessibility.
  2. At the bottom left, click the lock to make changes.
  3. Next to "Drive for desktop," check the box.

Turn off real-time presence

Real-time presence is automatically turned on. To turn it off:

  1. Click the Drive for desktop Menu Drive File Stream.
  2. Click More More and then Preferences.
  3. Under "Real time presence in Microsoft Office" uncheck the box.
  4. Click Done.

Note: To use real-time presence with Microsoft Office, you need Microsoft Office 2010 or later.

Send and save files with Microsoft Outlook

If you use Microsoft Outlook, you can send and save attachments with the Drive for desktop.

Send a file from Drive

  1. At the top of the app, click New email.
  2. Click Insert files using Drive.
    • To send as a link, click Insert as Drive Link.
    • To attach the file, click Insert as Attachment.
  3. Choose the file you want to send.
  4. Click Select.

Send a local attachment

  1. At the top, click New email.
  2. Click Attach File.
  3. Choose the file you want to send from your computer.
  4. Click OK.
  5. You'll be prompted to save the file to Drive.

Note: If your file is too large to be sent through email, you can send a link to the file in Google Drive.

Save an attachment to Drive

  1. At the top of the app, click Google Drive.
  2. Click Save attachments to Drive.

Change Drive for desktop Settings

Switch accounts

If you have more than one Google Account through work or school, you can change which one you use.

Note: Any files kept offline will be removed.

  1. Click the Drive for desktop Menu Drive File Stream.
  2. Click More More and then Preferences.
  3. Sign in with the account you want to use.
Change where files are found

To change where Drive for desktop stores data for offline use:

  1. Click the Drive for desktop Menu Drive File Stream.
  2. Click More More and then Preferences.
  3. Under "Local cached files directory," click Change.
    • On Windows: To change the Drive letter, click the down arrow under "Drive letter."
    • On Mac: To change the Mount point, under "Mount location," click Change.
  4. Choose where you want your files to be stored.
  5. Click Ok.

Pause syncing

  1. Click the Drive for desktop Menu Drive File Stream.
  2. Click More More and then Pause syncing.

To resume syncing, click More More and then Resume syncing.

Disconnect account

  1. Click the Drive for desktop Menu Drive File Stream.
  2. Click More More and then Preferences.
  3. Click Disconnect account.

Note: Any files kept offline will be removed.

Use Drive for desktop on macOS Mojave 10.14 and up

If you have macOS 12 and up, you must enable Drive for desktop for Finder.

If you have macOS 11 and lower, you might get one of these messages when you start Drive for desktop:

  • "System Extension Blocked"
  • "System Extension Updated"
To continue:
  1. Open Drive for desktop.
  2. At the top left of your screen click the Apple  Apple menu and then System Preferences and then Security & Privacy and then General.
  3. Next to "System software from developer 'Google, LLC' was blocked from loading," click Allow.

System requirements

General requirements

  • Important:
    • Support for Windows 7 ends in January 2023.
    • Support for MacOS versions below 10.15.7 ends in January 2023.

You can download and use Google Drive on desktop with these operating systems:

  • Windows: 
    • Windows Server 2012 and up.
    • Windows 7 and up,  with at least Service Pack 1 and Windows 7 security update installed.
    • Drive for desktop is not supported on Windows laptops and tablets with ARM processors, including the Microsoft Surface Pro X.

  • MacOS:
    • MacOS Mojave 10.14 and up 

Tip: Learn how to use Drive for desktop on Mac.

 

Microsoft Outlook requirements

  • Drive for desktop supports Microsoft Outlook version 2010 or greater.
  • Drive for desktop supports Microsoft Outlook on Windows only.
Important:
Uninstall Drive for desktop
Step 1: Sign out of Drive for desktop
  1. On your computer, in the menu bar, click Google Drive Drive and then Settings Settings.
  2. Click Preferences and then Settings Settings and then Disconnect account.
  3. In the pop-up window, click OK.
Step 2: Quit Drive for desktop
  1. In the menu bar, click Google Drive Drive and then Settings Settings.
  2. Click Quit.
Step 3: Uninstall Drive for desktop
To uninstall Drive for desktop, use standard procedures. 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.

Sign into your Google Account

To use Drive File Stream, you need to sign in to Google Account through work or school, and you’re not signed into a Google Account.

Sign in to your work and school account

Download Backup & Sync

 

 

Learn how to use Google Chrome to stay signed in to more than one Google Account.

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