Google Drive can be pretty handy for syncing your files for access on other devices. However, unless you save your passwords in a browser, you have to log in every time you want to access them. This is tiring. There is a way to it. With the Backup and Sync app for Windows, Google Drive users can access their files offline directly from File Explorer.
Having a Google Drive folder in File Explorer means you can view, modify or delete your files without opening a web browser. Also, any changes made to this folder are automatically reflected in your Google Drive. So you will somehow be able to manage both your local and cloud storage from File Explorer.
In this article, we’ll cover how to install, use, and manage Google Drive files from Windows File Explorer. Lets start.
Adding Google Drive to File Explorer
To add the Google Drive folder to the File Explorer side menu, you need to download and set up the Backup and Sync app on your PC. Here’s how.
Stage 1: Go to the Google Drive download page (link below) and click the Download button under Backup and Sync. When prompted, click Agree and Download.
Step 2: Now run the EXE file and follow the on-screen instructions to install Backup and Sync on your PC.
After the installation is complete, you’ll find the Backup & Sync app on your desktop, along with shortcuts to Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
Stage 3: Open the Backup & Sync app and sign in with your Google Account.
Step 4: Select the local folders on your computer that you want to continuously back up to your Google Drive. Also, check the checkbox that says ‘Upload photos and videos to Google Photos’ if you want to backup photos and videos directly to Google Photos. Then press Next.
Step 5: You can select the Google Drive folders you want to access directly from File Explorer. Alternatively, you can choose to sync everything. Make the appropriate selection and click the Start button.
Note: Depending on the size of your data, it may take some time to sync all your Google Drive files in File Explorer.
Once the sync is complete, you will find the Google Drive folder in the File Explorer navigation.
Now that your Google Drive folder exists locally, there are several things you can do to manage your drive files directly from File Explorer.
Managing Google Drive from File Explorer
Inside the Google Drive folder you will find all the files and folders that you chose to sync with the computer when installing. The green checkmark above the items represents files that have been successfully synced to Google Drive. Anything you copy or move to the Google Drive folder automatically syncs those changes to your Google Drive account.
If you delete a file from Google Drive, a red cross appears above the file, indicating that the file is no longer in the cloud. You will also receive a notification in the Backup & Sync app giving you the option to restore or remove the deleted file.
Conveniently, you can add up to three accounts to the Backup and Sync application and manage them simultaneously via Windows File Explorer.
Deleting Google Drive Files from File Explorer
By default, deleting files from File Explorer will not remove them from Google Drive. Google Drive does this to prevent accidental file deletion. However, if you want, you can easily enable this option from the Backup & Sync app. Here’s how.
Stage 1: Click the Backup and Sync icon from the system tray. Then click on the three-dot menu icon and select Preferences from the list.
Step 2: Now go to My Laptop section on your left and use the drop down menu under Google Drive to select ‘Always remove both duplicates’. Then press OK.
Every time you clear something from the Google Drive folder, the money is stored on the Web and moved to the Trash.
Note: Files in Google Drive trash are automatically deleted after 30 days. You can restore files from the computer’s trash in just 30 days.
This way, you will be able to manage Google Drive storage directly from Windows File Explorer by removing unnecessary files and folders.
Remove Google Drive Folder from Quick Access
If you don’t want to keep the Google Drive folder in File Explorer anymore, right-click the Google Drive folder and select ‘Pin from quick access’ from the list.
If you unlink your account or delete the Backup and Sync application from Windows, all files and folders previously synced to your PC will remain completely intact.
Synchronized with Your Needs
Having direct access to Google Drive from File Explorer can help you quickly sync files between your PC and Google Drive storage. This can come in handy when trying to make room on either side.
Finding large unused files on your computer can help you delete them to save space. However, backing up important files helps you always access and use them on another device, even if your computer crashes.