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Try best way to Encrypt Google Drive files

How To Use Google Drive On Mac

Ivan Korol Ivan Korol Nov 1, 2022

Google Drive can be accessed anywhere through a browser. But Google Drive for desktop Mac is also an option. A desktop app allows you to view and manage your files in Finder or other file managers. Depending on the settings you use, it can also keep a copy of your files stored locally as a backup. Overall, it’s worth considering if you’re a regular Google Drive user.

How to Use Google Drive for Desktop

Use Google Drive for desktop
Go to your Drive in the browser
Click the gear button in the top right and select “Get Drive for desktop”. Alternatively, go to
Install the app, open it and sign in.
Make sure to go to Preferences and choose between “Stream files” and “Mirror files”.

Use the first option to save hard drive space and data. With the second one, you will be able to access your files faster and while offline.

Alternatives to Google Drive App for Mac

4.8 Rank based on 436 + users Reviews(255)
Requirements: macOS 10.14+
Version: v4.4(1123), Released 22 Feb, 2024 Release notes
Category: Utilities

The Google Drive desktop app is well-made, but its main limitation is that it only supports the Google cloud service. In many cases, you’d also want to use OneDrive, Dropbox, iCloud, and other clouds. But it’s inconvenient to have many apps on your system at the same time, and some of them don’t offer the same level of quality. That’s where CloudMounter comes in - it can connect multiple drives from different service providers, and they will all be accessible in Finder.

This way, you can also make the most of free storage offered by each service. Connect them all, and you can save a couple dozen gigabytes of disk space. CloudMounter also has its own optional encryption layer.

CloudMounter connect drives from different service providers

Getting Started with Desktop Google Drive

Once the app is up and running, Google Drive for Mac will be shown as an icon on your Menu Bar. From there, you can expand it, see some stats, and configure the Drive to your liking. The Google Drive folder will show up in Finder as a separate external device. Depending on the settings you choose, the files will either be stored on your system (in the configurable cached files directory), or streamable, in which case they will show up as shortcuts.

Desktop Google Drive

In addition to your uploaded files, the desktop app allows you to access your Docs, Sheets, and slides. A basic free Google account can support 15 GB of storage, which can be expanded by subscribing to Google One.

Which Type of Syncing to Use in the Google Drive App for Mac?

There are two options for file syncing in the desktop version of Google Drive - Streaming and Mirroring. You can switch between them in the app’s Preferences, and there are also other related settings that affect local file storage, such as the caching directory.

There are 2 options for file syncing in Google Drive desktop version

Streaming is the option that doesn’t store files locally. If you select it, the files can still be seen and managed like the files on your hard drive, but if you want to open them, they will have to be downloaded on-the-go.

On the other hand, Mirroring will always keep a copy of your cloud-stored files on your Mac. It’s not the best mode to use if you have a limited internet data plan, or lack hard drive space. However, the files will always be accessible without downloading. And you can also open them without connecting to the Web.

What Are the Advantages of the Desktop App?

The Google Drive web interface is already decent, but there are several reasons you might want to download Google Drive for macOS.

  • It’s more convenient to navigate and manage your Drive in Finder.
  • There are syncing options.
  • Batch tools, such as batch renamers, can be used with the desktop client.
  • You can quickly see information about your cloud drive at any time.

Navigating Google Drive for Mac

The Drive icon on your Menu Bar will open a pop-up when clicked. This pop-up can be used to configure the app and get some info about your Google storage, including recent file operations and syncing status.

Preferences can be found by clicking the gear icon in the top right of the pop-up, and selecting them from the menu. They include two tabs:

  • My Mac, which lets you select local folders for syncing;
  • And Google Drive, which contains syncing options.

Additionally, you can use the gear icon in Preferences to access Settings, which are mainly centered around bandwidth and Internet data use.


The desktop app, and alternative apps such as CloudMounter, create an easy way to backup Mac to Google Drive. They are pretty safe, convenient, and come with features that can’t be found in the browser client. Try one of these apps if you want to optimize your cloud storage experience.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Yes, the desktop app is available both for Windows and Mac. The web app is available everywhere, including Linux.
You need to install it first. Also, if you didn’t enable “Launch on System Startup” in Preferences, you’ll have to launch it manually every time you restart your Mac.
The service is definitely not going anywhere. However, the clients have changed and were deprecated several times.
Google Drive is available, and so is the desktop client. It can be found at
No. Google Drive is a consumer-oriented file storing cloud service. Google Cloud is a collection of cloud tools and services for developers and general commercial use.
Yes, the Google Drive app has been updated to work on Apple M1 ARM processors.
Requirements: macOS 10.14+ , 13.1Mb free space
Version 4.4(1123) (22 Feb, 2024) Release notes
Category: Utilities