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How to Use the Google Drive Desktop App

Part of what makes Google Drive an amazing cloud storage solution is that it’s available on a variety of platforms, including desktop systems like PC and Mac. If you are interested in using the Google Drive desktop app but don’t know how to get started, then continue reading this article. This guide will focus on how you can install the desktop app on both PC and Mac as well as on the different ways you can use it such as storing, syncing and sharing files. If you are interested to learn more about Google Drive and its features, we recommend reading our full review of the cloud storage app.

Google Drive App

Installing Google Drive Desktop App

Before you can start using Google Drive and its features, you first need to install the app. This is a quick and easy process that is the same on both PC and Mac. It can be completed by following the next simple instructions:

  1. Go to Google Drive’s download page.
  2. Click the Download
  3. Go to the download location and launch googledrivesync.
  4. Follow the installation instructions.
  5. After the installation is complete, a window will appear, just follow its instructions.
  6. Log in to Google Drive using your Google account.
  7. Click Finish.

After completing the last step, you have managed to install the Google Drive desktop app. For a more detailed account of the ways you can use it, go to the next section of our guide.

How to Use Google Drive Desktop App

After you the install the app, you will notice a new web-linked folder on your desktop called My Drive.  The folder represents the main interface of the cloud storage. You can use it in several ways like storing, syncing and sharing files.

If you double-click on the My Drive folder you will notice that Google has already selected a few of files from your PC or Mac. The files were converted in a format which can be read by Google. The original files were left untouched, as the My Drive folder only contains copies.

Let’s get started on the specific ways of how you can use the Google Drive desktop app.

Storing Files

Although you can use Google Drive’s cloud storage to store files it is not recommended to use it as a backup solution. Also, you only get 15 GB on the free plan so it’s better just use it for your most important items.

Storing files in the cloud is very easy with these simple steps:

  1. Select the files you want to store in the cloud.
  2. Open the My Drive folder.
  3. Either drag and drop the files from one folder to another or just copy and paste them.
  4. Once the files have been copied in the My Drive folder they are stored on the Cloud.

Now that your files are safe on the cloud, you can delete them for your desktop system to avoid clutter and save some space. You can always copy them back from the My Drive Folder. Proceed to the next section to learn how to sync files using the Google Drive desktop app.

Syncing files

The sync functionality is one of the best things about Google Drive. It allows users flexibility in selecting which files to sync, either manually or automatically across all the supported devices.

Learn to sync files on the Google Drive desktop app by:

  1. Right-click the My Drive folder.
  2. Select the Google Drive>Preferences tab.
  3. Select the Sync tab.
  4. Choose to either Sync everything in My Drive or just select folders.
  5. All files added to the My Drive folder are automatically synced across all devices.

Now you can access all of your files inside the My Drive folder on every device that has the Google Drive app installed. If you also want to know how to share files, then read the next section of our guide.

Sharing Files

The ability to share files with other users is another great feature of the Google Drive desktop app. When you share a file or folder you can select if you want other users to edit the file or just comment on it, besides just viewing it.

To start sharing files, follow the next steps:

  1. Open your My Drive folder.
  2. Select the file or folder you want to share.
  3. Right-click the selected item.
  4. Select the Google Drive>Share tab.
  5. Enter the name or email of the users you want to share the item with.
  6. Select the sharing options you want.
  7. Click Done.

That was all you need to do to share files with other people using the Google Drive desktop app.


This concludes our guide on how install and use the Google Drive desktop app. We have managed to show how even inexperienced users can start storing, syncing and sharing their files across devices and to other people on both Mac and PC. These features are available on any service plan even on the basic edition. If you want to know the full extent of Google Drive’s capabilities remember to read our review of the cloud storage system.

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