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How to add Google Drive to File Explorer

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Adding Google Drive to File Explorer allows you to access your files in the cloud without having to open a web browser. You can then manage your cloud files as if they were your local files. Here’s how to set it up on your Windows PC.

To add Google Drive to Windows File Explorer, you’ll use the free Google Drive app. This app integrates your cloud files with your local PC, allowing you to upload new files, download existing ones, and enable and disable file synchronization.

RELATED: How to download files and folders from Google Drive

Link Google Drive to Windows File Explorer

To begin the integration, first launch a web browser on your PC and open the Google Drive download page. There, click “Download Drive for desktop” to download the app to your computer.


When your file is downloaded, double-click it to run the installer. In the “User Account Control” message that opens, select “Yes.”

You are now in the Drive setup wizard. Here, under “Install Google Drive?” page, choose whether to add Drive and Google’s online office suite shortcuts to your desktop.

Then click “Install”.

Select the shortcuts option and choose

When the app is installed, you will see the “Sign in to Google Drive” window. Here, click “Sign in with browser”.


Your PC’s default web browser will open and take you to the Google site. Here, Google will ask if you want to allow your newly installed app to access your Drive files. Please enable this permission by clicking “Login”.


Google will display a message that you have successfully signed in to your Google account in the Drive app. Close the browser window as you no longer need it.

Successfully sign in to the Google Drive app.

And that is. Google Drive has now been added to your File Explorer. Access it by opening the File Explorer utility using the keyboard shortcut Windows + E.

In File Explorer’s left sidebar, you’ll see a new item called “Google Drive.” Click it to access your cloud files in your familiar file manager app.

Google Drive in Windows File Explorer.

Are you ready.

RELATED: 12 ways to open File Explorer in Windows 10

Configure Google Drive sync settings

To help you get your Drive files to your PC, Google Drive offers two sync methods, each with unique features.

The first method is called “Streaming”, which allows you to manually download files from the cloud to your PC. If you don’t want to fill up your PC storage with all your Drive files, this is the method to enable.

The other method is called “Mirror”, which keeps Drive files both in your cloud storage and on your PC. Since this downloads a copy of all your cloud files to your PC, your PC storage will fill up pretty quickly.

Once you’ve decided on the sync method you want to use, set it up in the Google Drive app. Do this by first clicking the Google Drive app icon in your PC’s system tray (the bar at the bottom of your screen).

You will see a Drive dashboard. Here, in the upper right corner, click on “Settings” (a gear icon) and choose “Preferences”.

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In the window that opens, in the left sidebar, click “Google Drive”.


In the right pane, enable “Stream Files” or “Mirror Files”, depending on which method you’ve decided to use.


And Google Drive will sync your cloud files accordingly. Enjoy!

For quick access to File Explorer, did you know you can pin the utility to your taskbar?

RELATED: How to pin File Explorer to the taskbar in Windows 11

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