How to Add Google Drive to File Explorer and Access it From My Computer?

Google drive is hands-down one of the most popular cloud storage available. You are getting a whooping 15GB of cloud storage for just signing up for a free Google account. Isn’t that crazy? I don’t know about you, but I have been using Google Drive for a long time to store important files or share files online on and off. But the hassle of opening a web browser and typing in the Google Drive’s URL every time I want to access those files got me to think if I can add Google Drive to file explorer on my PC? Luckily, we can.

Earlier we were using Backup and Sync App from Google, which enables syncing your Google Drive’s data to a specific folder on your desktop computer. Anything you add to this folder will sync directly to your Google drive. However, this makes the whole process bit unintuitive. Since you are creating a folder inside your computer, where the Backup and Sync app will sync files from your Google Drive.

Also read: 15 Best Chrome Productivity Extensions to Make you Focused and Get Things Done

Thankfully, Google is fixing this by streamlining the whole Google Drive’s experience with a new app called, ‘Google Drive for Desktop.’ Unlike Backup and Sync app, Google Drive for Desktop creates a separate drive in your file explorer, with all your local drives. This makes it easy to manage your Google Drive’s files from the file explorer directly.

So let’s not waste another second and see how we can add Google drive to file explorer on your PC/mac. If you use Dropbox as your primary cloud storage, we have also covered a guide on How to add Dropbox to File Explorer on Windows 10?

Table of Contents

How to add Google Drive to Windows 10 file explorer using new Google Drive for Desktop app?

  1. Download the new Google Drive for Windows from here and for Mac from here.
  2. After downloading, run the Google Drive setup file and install it on your for desktop setup mrnoob
  3. Now you’ll see a window asking you to Sign in to your Google Drive. Click on ‘Sign in with browser‘.drive desktop sign in mrnoob
  4. This will open your default browser window, where you’ll have to select your Google account that you want to sign in with. Click on your preferred Google Account and then hit ‘Sign in‘ button to sign-in inside the Google Drive for Desktop app.sign in google drive app mrnoob
  5. Your browser will now show you a sign-in success message and a ‘Welcome to Google Drive‘ window will open showcasing all the things you can do with this Drive for Desktop app. Click on the next button to go through all the things you can with this new app and on the last screen, click on ‘Open Google Drive folder‘ button to open Google Drive folder on your google drive folder explorer mrnoob
  6. And voila, you have successfully added Google Drive to your file explorer, with all your files and folders synced locally on your folder file explorer mrnob

Now every time you want to open a file or a folder on your Google Drive, just open ‘This PC’ (or your Windows file explorer) and you’ll find your Google Drive with your local drive.

google drive windows file explorer mrnoob

If you want to add Google Drive on your Mac’s finder, you can download the Google Drive app for Mac and install it following the same instructions.

Add Google Drive to Windows 10 file explorer using Backup and Sync App:

  1. To add google drive to file explorer windows 10, Download the Backup and Sync App from Google from here and install it on your Mac/ backup and sync mrnoob
  2. You will see the Backup and Sync app along with Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides installed on your machine.backup sync apps mrnoob
  3. Open the Backup and Sync from the Google app, click on Get started, and then log in with your Google account.backup sync setup
  4. After a successful sign in, you will have to select folders on your computer that you want to sync directly in your Google drive. Anything you move/copy inside these folders will automatically get synced on to your Google Drive. You can also define what kind of files you want to get synced and can set bandwidth limits for download and upload. Uncheck all, if you don’t want to sync any folder from your computer.folder selection drive mrnoob
  5. Click Next, and now you will have to choose a location where you want your pre-existing Google Drive files synced on your computer locally. You can keep it to default. You can either sync your whole Google Drive or just un-check the folder that you want to keep un-synced. Once you are done, just hit start to finish the installation.access drive folder explorer mrnoob
  6. You will now see a new cloud icon in your system tray, confirming that you have successfully added google drive to your file explorer on your system. All your selected drive files and folder will now start syncing on your computer where you have created your Google drive folder. Once downloaded, You can access all of them via your file explorer like a normal drive sync taskbar mrnnoob

Do note that, the Backup and Sync app from Google will become obsolete once Google fully roll out the new Google Drive for desktop with all the feature.

How to Map Google Drive to Windows 10?

To map Google drive to your windows 10 based computers you can use the above method and sync files between your Google Drive and Windows 10 Seamlessly. Mapping Google Drive to Windows 10 is very easy as shown above, and you will be able to use it with ease once it’s set up properly.

How to Add Google Drive Folder to Quick Access in Windows 10?

Once you are done syncing your files between google drive and your windows 10 computer inside windows file explorer. You will be able to find the google drive folder on the following path:

C:\User\"Your User Name"\Google Drive

If you want to add the google drive folder to Quick Access then just go to this location and on the left-hand side you will see all your folders, choose google drive, right-click on it and click on “Pin to Quick Access”.

Now your google drive for windows 10 folder will start appearing in quick access inside Windows File Explorer.

How to add Google Drive Folder to Desktop?

Just like we did for Quick Access, to add Google drive folder to your desktop you should use the following method. Adding Google drive folder to the desktop is not possible as the main folder only exists in my documents. But the way around to do this is to create a shortcut to the folder from your desktop and point it to the google drive folder inside my documents section of your computer.

To do this, go to desktop and right-click. Now choose new and then click on “shortcut”.

Now add the path of your Google Drive folder inside the shortcut path section and name this shortcut as Google Drive.

Once you do all this, You will be able to add Google Drive to your Desktop.

How to add Google Drive to your Documents folder in Windows?

To add Google Drive folder inside Documents folder in windows use the following method

Open the following file path

C:\User\"Your User Name"\Google Drive

Now you will see a folder list inside the sidebar of your computer. If its not available then you can view it from the view options.

Once done now right-click on the Google Drive Folder and choose “Include in Library” and then Click on “Documents”

Now Google Drive will start showing up inside your Documents Folder and you will be able to access google drive from your windows 10 computer’s Documents folder.

FAQ: How to add Google drive to Windows file explorer?

How will I be able to access my locally synced files/folder inside google drive for windows 10?

You will see a new ‘Computers‘ option below ‘My Drive‘ on the navigation pane of your Google drive. Inside that, you will find all the folders and files that you are syncing directly from your computer. If you haven’t synced any local folder to drive, then it will show nothing there.

Can I sync folders from multiple computers onto my google drive?

Yes, You can. Install backup and sync app from Google on all your computers and you are good to go. You will see all your machines inside the ‘Computers’ panel on the navigation pane inside your Google drive.

I don’t want to sync all folders from my Google drive on to my computer. Is it possible?

Yes, you will be able to select what you want on your computer during the installation. If you don’t want your Drive data locally, you can choose to do so. However, you can always change this later from the preferences. [Click on ‘cloud icon on system tray >> 3 dot menu >> Preferences… >> Google Drive]

What is the difference between High Quality and Original Quality photo and video upload? Which setting will be best for me?

We all know that photos and videos generally take up a lot of space in their native resolution. While we only have limited cloud space with us, it will get filled up very easily if we store them in their original quality. But Google is kind enough to provide its users an option to upload photos and videos in high quality but with reduced file size. And the cherry on the cake is that photos and videos uploaded in high quality will not be counted against your drive’s quote. You can store unlimited photos and video in High Quality.

Now, this option seems good for a general user, but if you are using drive space for professional work, you will be better off using Original Quality and buy the drive quota upgrade as per your need.

I am unable to see my Google Drive photos inside Google Photos. What should I do?

It’s simple, you’ll see an option asking whether you want to upload photos from your Google Drive on Google Photos during installation. You just need to check it. But if you forgot to do that, you can always go into preferences and check that box again.

How Does Adding Google Drive to File Explorer Improve Workflow?

Integrating Google Drive into File Explorer streamlines workflow by providing direct access to cloud files right from the local computer. This eliminates the need to navigate through a web browser, making file management quicker and more efficient.

What Are the Security Considerations When Syncing Google Drive Locally?

Syncing Google Drive to a local computer offers convenience but also comes with security risks. If the computer is compromised, the synced files could be at risk. Therefore, it’s essential to have robust antivirus software and exercise caution with the files you choose to sync.

Can You Manage Multiple Google Drive Accounts Through File Explorer?

Generally, managing multiple Google Drive accounts is possible by installing the Backup and Sync app for each account. However, this might require switching between accounts to access different sets of files.

How Does Offline Access Work When Google Drive is Synced to File Explorer?

When Google Drive is synced to File Explorer, files can be accessed offline. Any changes made to these files while offline will be updated to the cloud once an internet connection is re-established.

What Happens to Local Files if Google Drive Storage Exceeds its Limit?

If Google Drive storage exceeds its limit, new files won’t sync to the cloud until space is freed up. However, the local files already synced will remain accessible from File Explorer.

Is It Possible to Sync Specific Folders from Google Drive to File Explorer?

Yes, most sync applications allow you to choose specific folders from Google Drive to sync with File Explorer. This feature is useful for those who don’t want to sync their entire Google Drive content to their local computer.

How Do File Conflicts Get Resolved When Using Google Drive Sync?

In case of a file conflict, such as when a file is modified on both the local computer and Google Drive, a duplicate file is usually created. The duplicate will have a notation indicating that it’s a conflicting copy.

Can Files Be Shared Directly from File Explorer Once Google Drive is Synced?

Yes, files can be shared directly from File Explorer by right-clicking on the file and choosing the share option, which will then utilize Google Drive’s sharing features.

What Are the Bandwidth Implications of Syncing Google Drive to File Explorer?

Syncing large volumes of data between Google Drive and File Explorer can consume significant bandwidth. Some sync applications offer the option to limit bandwidth usage to mitigate this issue.

How Do Updates to Google Drive Sync Apps Affect File Explorer Integration?

Updates to Google Drive sync apps usually aim to improve performance and security. However, it’s essential to read update notes to understand any changes that might affect how Google Drive integrates with File Explorer.

Google Drive for Windows 10 File Explorer: WRAPPING UP

Adding Google drive inside windows 10 file explorer makes it very easy to access files stored on your drive. You can simply drag and drop to copy/move files within your good drive and computer. And the best part that everything is happening in the background.

Which cloud storage do you use to store your files online? Do let us know via a comment.

About the author

Anubhav Bhatnagar
Anubhav Bhatnagar
He is your friendly neighbor who love learning and sharing it with everyone. A nerd who loves observing, exploring, and critiquing. He fancies good design, and it trying to find his way somewhere in between minimalism and essentialism.You can connect with him @AnooBav on all social platforms.

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