How To Use Google Drive On Mac Like A Pro

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Google Drive is an online storage solution by Google. It allows you to store and sync data across your devices with its 15 GB of free storage space, while its integration with Google Docs for Mac gives your friends or coworkers access to the files or folders you designate for sharing.

There’s an official Google Drive app for Mac too — an upgraded 2017 version of which is called Backup & Sync and is sometimes referred to as the new Google Drive. Google Drive Backup and Sync download is free and you can expect to install it and have it running in no time and little effort.

How To Set Up And Use Google Drive For Mac?

With Google Drive, you can create and edit documents online. But if you rely on Drive for files backup and sync, it’s much more convenient to use the app. To start using Google Drive on Mac, the first thing you need is a Google Drive account.

How to create a Google Drive account?

If you have an account on any of Google services, like Gmail, YouTube, or Google Play, then you actually already have a Google Drive account.

Simply log in to a Google Drive website or app with your existing credentials. Or create a Google account for free by following these steps:

  1. Go to google.com/drive and click on the blue Go to Google Drive button

  2. Click Create Account

  3. Follow the onscreen instructions to create a new Google account (this will also serve as your new Gmail email address)

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How to install Google Drive for Mac?

Once you have a Google account, you can download Google Drive for Mac and use it. Here’s how you can do the Google Backup and Sync download:

  1. Go to google.com/drive and click Download near the top of the page

  2. Click on the Download button under Backup and Sync

  3. Read and agree to the terms of service to start the download of Google Drive for Mac

  4. The Google Drive Installer will be downloaded to your Mac’s Downloads folder

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When the download is complete, double-click the installer (the file is called InstallBackupAndSync.dmg). Then click and drag the Backup and Sync From Google icon to the Applications folder. Boom, done!

How to sync Google Drive on Mac for the first time?

The first time you open Google Drive on Mac, you have to go through a few steps to get it set up properly. After that accessing Google Drive will be effortless. But to get things up and running:

  1. Launch Google Drive from the Applications folder by clicking on Backup and Sync From Google

  2. A warning sign will appear cautioning that Google Drive is an application you downloaded from the internet ➙ click Open

  3. On the welcome to Google Drive window that appears click Get Started

  4. Sign in to your Google account with your Gmail email address and password

  5. The Google Drive Installer will display a number of tips about using the app and then add a special Google Drive folder to your Home directory on Mac ➙ click Next

  6. You can designate items in your Google Drive folder to be shared with anyone ➙ click Next ➙ Done

The installer will finish by adding a Google Drive menu bar icon and a Google Drive sidebar icon to the Finder. This sets up the two key elements for you to work with Google Drive for Mac: Google Drive folder and Google Drive menu bar icon.

Most of the time you’ll use the Google Drive folder — to store items you want to save to the Google cloud as well as share with others. Google Drive menu bar icon is handy for quick access and configuring Google Drive settings.

google drive sync menu bar icon

How to use Google Drive menu bar icon?

The menu bar Google Drive icon gives you quick access to the Google Drive folder on your Mac, opens Google Drive in your browser, displays recent documents that you have added or updated, and tells you if the Google Drive sync has completed. But more importantly, the menu bar icon contains additional Google Drive settings. To set up Google Drive to your liking:

  1. Click on the Google Drive icon in the menu bar and a dropdown menu will appear

  2. Click on the vertical ellipsis in the top right corner ➙ choose Preferences from the menu

The Google Drive Preferences menu lets you configure your Google Drive settings with a three-tab interface.

  • My Mac tab allows you to decide whether you want to keep the default setting and have all the folders in your Google Drive folder synced automatically to the cloud or designate only specific folders for Google Drive sync.

  • Google Drive tab manages the connection between your Google Drive folder and the cloud. This is where you go in case of Google Drive not syncing. To sync Google Drive folder with the cloud, make sure you’re signed in to your Google account.

  • Settings tab gives you options to have Google Drive automatically launch when you log in to your Mac, show confirmation messages when shared items are removed from Google Drive, and upgrade your storage to another plan.

How to use Google Drive on Mac?

Now that your Google Drive setup is complete, you have access to this additional storage for you to do as you wish. However, one of the best uses would be to link your Google Drive to multiple devices — for easy access from all of them.

Also remember that Google Drive lets you create and work with others on documents in Google’s own versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint in real-time (called Docs, Sheets, and Slides respectively). To enable collaboration on a Google Docs file, simply tap on Share in the top right corner and enter the names or email addresses of the people you wish to engage.

More tips for making Google Drive better

As convenient as Google Drive is, people often use more than one service for their personal and professional data storage. Some popular alternatives include Apple’s iCloud, Microsoft’s OneDrive, and Dropbox. Using a combination of cloud-based storages increases your Mac’s disk space to being virtually unlimited, as long as you have an active internet connection. But in truth, managing different cloud accounts can turn into quite a hustle.

Luckily, there are apps like CloudMounter that allow you to use all your storage solutions in one place, connecting them to your Mac as if they were your regular external drives.

This trick lets you deal with cloud data in the same manner as you’d with local one, and even move files between the clouds. Another great benefit of using CloudMounter is the latest encryption algorithm that guarantees the security of your cloud files. Plus, it allows encrypting sensitive data on the cloud and doesn’t share your login info with any third parties.

CloudMounter works perfectly with all major cloud services and could very well become your ultimate cloud manager if you’re constantly dealing with storage issues or feel there’s not enough free space on your Mac’s SSD.

cloudmounter drive mount locally

Not even a bit less vital when dealing with loads of data is making sure you have a good backup of the most important files. Get Backup Pro is an elegant backup app just for that.

Get Backup Pro is fast, reliable, and offers a mix of four different backup methods: simple copy, clone, incremental, and versioned. With this app, you can back up folders or files that you think are important, cut the size of archives up to 60% by conducting compressed backups, effortlessly migrate data to a new disk with bootable backups via cloning, and schedule Stealth mode backups — with Get Backup Pro automatically closing once all scheduled processes are finished.

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It goes without saying that cloud storage encourages collaboration and file sharing. If you work with different files online and often need to share links, Dropshare should be your app of choice for fast and secure file exchange.

Dropshare is a platform that works brilliantly with your favorite cloud services and lets you upload files in bulk with its easy drag & drop functionality, as well as securely share files, documents, and photos with password-protected expiring download links, and even set your own keyboard shortcuts to complete routine tasks faster.

dropshare sharing mac files

If you’re still asking yourself how to use Google Backup and Sync — 15 GB of free storage space, excellent collaboration features, and ability to access your files from any of your devices will surely give you lots of ideas on how to make the most of it. With clouds come possibilities, but you‘re the one who really decides what is Google Drive going to be on your Mac.

Best of all, you can find CloudMounter, Get Backup Pro, and Dropshare mentioned above on a free 7-day trial through Setapp, a platform of more than 150 useful Mac utilities that could change the way you work day to day. Ready for action on cloud Google?

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