Google Drive for Desktop Apps: 4 Reasons You Need to Install

Andy Wolber believes that Google Drive for the desktop is a must-have app for users of Google Workspace on Windows or macOS systems.

Illustration: Andy Wolber / Tech Republic

The· Google Drive for desktop apps Give to people who use Windows Or Mac OS The device has streamlined access to folders and files in Google Drive. This app handles tasks previously provided by two separate apps, the Google Drive File Stream app and the Backup and Sync app.The app may Add to system Deployed to devices managed by the organization by individuals or by administrators. On Windows, apps appear in the system tray (bottom right corner), but on macOS, apps appear in the menu bar (top of the screen).

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Once installed, the Google Drive app for desktop provides four key features for people using Windows or macOS devices. First, you can access Google Drive from your local system (that is, Apple’s Finder on macOS or Microsoft’s File Explorer on Windows) without having to open a web browser. Then you can select and sync files and folders between your device and Google Drive. Third, desktop drives also provide the ability to back up your photos (including screenshots and RAW photos) to Google Photos. Fourth, you can now sign in to up to four different Google accounts at once. This gives you access to files and individual configuration options for each account. The following sections outline the main points of each of these features.

(((Caution: Keep in mind that Google Workspace administrators can control your organization’s access to your desktop drive. If your organization’s account doesn’t have access to the desktop app drive, ask your workspace administrator to check your admin console settings. Apps | Google Workspace | Drives and Documents | Google Drive for Desktop. )

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1. You can access Google Drive from your local file system.

In the desktop app drive, you can browse folders and files in the drive in the same way you browse files and folders stored in the device’s local storage (Figure A). This means that you can open and save items from your drive just like any other file on your system. Without the Drive app for desktop, I had to open a browser, go to, select a file and download it to my device. Or, vice versa, follow the same steps, then select and upload the file. The desktop drive app eliminates all of this. You can work with Google Drive files simply by navigating using standard file system controls.

Figure A

The screenshot in the upper left of Windows shows both G: Drive (for one Google account) and H: Drive (for the second Google account),[マイドライブ]With folders[共有ドライブ]The folder is displayed. The screenshot at the bottom right of macOS shows a single Google Drive with My Drive and Shared Drive folders.

Google Drive for desktop apps allows you to access files and folders on your drive from your local file system, as shown in Windows 10 File Explorer (upper left image) and macOS Finder (lower right image). ..

2. You can customize offline item access.

For desktop drives, you can choose to stream or mirror files from the drive to your device (Figure B). Choose to mirror your files only if you are sure that your local copy of everything in Google Drive has enough local storage space.[ミラー]When you select the option, the system syncs Google Drive storage with the system. The good news: you have access to all your mirrored files, even when you’re offline. Bad news: You may need to monitor your storage.

If you have a reliable internet connection, it is recommended that most people choose the stream setting. Even if you choose to stream, the desktop app Drive will show everything stored in Google Drive, but will only download the item when you need it. This option means that you may be using a computer with little local storage and instead relying on Google Drive as basically a remote cloud drive.

The important thing is that you can manually select the folders and files to sync, even if you select the stream option. For example, if you have a specific folder that contains items that you want to keep available, select that folder and right-click (for Windows) or Control-click (for macOS) to adjust offline access. To make it available offline.

Figure B

A screenshot of the drive's initial installation screen that describes the stream and mirror file options. Streams store items in the cloud and mirrors sync everything for offline access.

Google Drive for desktop apps allows you to choose to stream or mirror files between Google Drive and your local storage.

3. You can configure photo backup.

Google Drive for Desktop can also back up photos from your device to Google Photos. Similar to the Google Photos app on iOS and Android, you can choose to upload your photos in their original quality or in a compressed version labeled “Storage Saver” mode.

The other two photo-related options let you choose whether to upload screenshots or RAW photos to Google Photos (Figure C). RAW photos can be significantly larger than traditional jpeg or heic format files, which can impact storage and bandwidth usage. To prevent the app from uploading RAW format photo files[RAW写真]Clear the check box. However, the screenshot settings are useful if you want to focus Google Photos on the images you capture with your camera or create with your app. To prevent screenshots from being uploaded to Google Photos, clear the screenshot check box.

Figure C

Screenshot of Google Photos settings for drive desktop. There are upload size options and checkboxes for screenshot uploads and RAW file upload file types.

Select either Storage Saver or the original quality for the photos you upload to Google Photos.

4. You can access the file from up to 4 accounts.

Google Drive for Desktop supports up to four different work, school, or personal Google accounts. This means you can use the app to access both your work Google Drive and your personal Google Drive account. Both accounts sign in at the same time (Figure D). For example, on Windows, a work account may be added as G: Drive and a personal account may be added as H: Drive.You can configure the following settings Real-time presence indicator For Office editing, individually for each account.

Figure D

Screenshot of the drive's desktop settings page. Three author accounts are displayed. Two are paid Workspace accounts and one is a personal account.

Add up to 4 accounts within the Drive for Desktop app. These accounts can be a mix of organizational and personal accounts, as shown here.

How did you use your desktop drive?

In my opinion, Google Drive for the desktop is a must-have app for users of Google Workspace on Windows or macOS systems. What experience do you have if you have installed and used Drive for Desktop? Did you find that the updated and integrated app works smoothly on macOS or Windows systems? How did the app change the workflow? Tell us about your Drive for Desktop experience in the comments below or on Twitter (@awolber).

See also Google Drive for Desktop Apps: 4 Reasons You Need to Install

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