Google Drive can be accessed through a web browser, which is the most commonly used method. However, for added convenience and accessibility, Google also provides a downloadable Google Drive app. By installing and configuring this app, you can seamlessly integrate Google Drive into your File Explorer, enhancing your overall file management experience.

Adding Google Drive to File Explorer

  1. Head to using your preferred browser. Then, click on the 'Download Drive for Desktop' button.
  2. Once downloaded, navigate to the default downloads directory and double-click on the GoogleDriveSetup.exe file to initiate the installation process.
  1. A UAC (User Account Control) window might appear on your screen. Click on 'Yes' to continue. If you are not logged in with an admin account, enter
  2. On the installation window, check the 'Add an application shortcut to your Desktop' option and click 'Install' to continue.
  1. Once installed, click on the 'Launch' button.
  1. Click 'Sign in' on the next screen and provide credentials for your Google account. This will open the default browser window on your screen.
  2. Once you have signed in, you will need to select the folders that you wish to sync with Google Drive. To select a specific folder, click 'Add folder' and navigate to it using the File Explorer window. Once selected, click on 'Next' to proceed.
Note: All the files and photos in the selected folder will be automatically synced whenever updated/edited and will be available online on Google Drive and your computer simultaneously.
  1. On the next screen, you can also select a folder for taking a photo backup to Google Photos. Do note this will occupy storage space on your Google Drive and has no additional quota. If you do not wish to backup your photos, click 'Skip' to continue.
  1. Google Drive will then list all the files and folders that will appear in your File Explorer without occupying space on your computer. Click on 'Next' to continue.
  1. Once the setup is complete, close the window by clicking on 'X'. You can also click on 'Open Drive' to launch Google Drive in File Explorer.

To verify, open File Explorer and click on the 'This PC' option in the left pane. You'll see 'Google Drive' listed with other drives on your PC.

Managing Google Drive Sync Settings

Once you install Google Drive and it’s showing in File Explorer, you can manage its sync settings. Managing these settings will help ensure you have access to the files you need.

  1. Locate and right-click the 'Google Drive' tray icon on the Taskbar. Then, select the 'gear' icon to open Google Drive settings.
  1. Select the 'Preferences' option from the list.
  1. To select more folders to sync to Google Drive, select 'My laptop/computer' from the left sidebar and click on the 'Add folder' option from the right section. This will open a File Explorer window on your screen; select the folders you wish to include in the sync using that.
  1. Select the 'Google Drive' option from the left sidebar to change the syncing option. Then, select your desired option from the right section.
  • The 'Stream' method will store all your files on the cloud only, which you can access using a virtual drive. This will not occupy any space on your hard drive. The changes will reflect on your PC if you move, edit, or delete a file on Google Drive.
  • The 'Mirror' method allows you to keep files in Google Drive and your PC. Remember that the Mirror method occupies storage on your PC and on Google Drive since there will be two copies of a single document.

How to Make a File 'Available Offline' when Using the 'Streaming' method

You cannot access or edit files on your computer when choosing the 'Streaming' method on Google Drive. You can simply mark a file/folder as 'available offline' to gain access to it even without the Internet.

  1. Open 'This PC' or press Windows+E keyboard shortcut on your keyboard to open the File Explorer window. Then, double-click on the 'Google Drive' drive.
  1. Navigate to the file/folder you wish to access without the Internet and right-click on it. Then, select 'Show more options'.
  1. Hover over the 'Offline access' option from the expanded menu and select the 'Available offline' option. Google Drive will start downloading the files on your PC.
  1. Once the selected file(s)/folder(s) are available offline, you will be able to see a 'tick mark' icon on its icon.

Adding Google Drive to your File Explorer can be a convenient way to unload files from your onboard storage and still have handy access to them as and when needed.