Google Drive is one of the most popular cloud storage service providers. Most of us already have a Gmail account, which gives us automatic access to Google Drive, among other Google apps and services. Most people do not pay attention to the location of the Google Drive folder at the time of installation. What if you want to change the location of the Google Drive folder later?
Google Drive users usually choose the default drive during the installation process, which is C drive in Windows. This is also where the Windows operating system is installed by default. This is not a good idea as it creates a single point of failure in your system drive for system level files and important documents that you have stored in Drive.
Let’s see why you should consider changing the location of the Google Drive folder and how to do it.
Why change the location of the Google Drive folder
As stated earlier, the default location to install all apps and software on a Windows computer is drive C, whether it is the operating system itself or any third-party application you want to install. separately. It always has been, but there are several reasons to reconsider the location of the Google Drive folder.
Let’s say the system files get corrupted resulting in a situation where you have to format the C drive and reinstall the Windows operating system. You will need to reinstall any apps you installed on this drive, including Google Drive. And then you’ll have to re-download and sync all that data that might run in GB (gigabytes) if not TB (terabytes). Add a slow internet connection to the mix and you’re looking for a potential headache.
Causes of corruption can include bugs, malware, viruses, error troubleshooting, and sometimes even Windows updates. In general, it is a good idea to separate OS-level system files, user files, and third-party applications into different drives.
The reverse is also possible when a bug in one of the third-party applications can force you to format the drive. Again, leading to the dreaded situation.
Modern desktops and laptops today house at least one SSD or hard drive. SSDs have faster read / write speeds, but also more expensive. This is why users opt for a combination of the two where they use a smaller capacity SSD to install Windows and improve daily performance and larger capacity hard drives for infrequently used files. Since these files are not often accessed or requested, speed is of little importance. Another reason why you would want to change the location of the Google Drive folder and move it to the hard drive.
We’ve looked at how moving the Google Drive folder to a separate drive can be beneficial down the line. You can either install a separate drive or partition an existing drive before moving it if you haven’t created a partition or need a new one.
How to change the location of the Google Drive folder
The steps are simple and shouldn’t take more than a few moments.
Step 1: Right click on the Google Drive client icon in the taskbar system tray and click on the three dot menu button. Select Preferences below.
2nd step: Under the Settings tab, click the Disconnect Account button to remove your Google (Gmail ID) from the Drive app installed on Windows. Click Disconnect again in the pop-up window that follows to confirm your decision.
Step 3: Go back to Google Drive settings from the system tray like you did before, and this time you will see an option to sign in. Enter the Google account login information and confirm through 2FA if you have configured this to complete the login process.
Step 4: Once logged in, you will be asked to select the folders you want to back up. Choose your files according to your needs. Click on Next.
Step 5: In the next screen, click Change next to the folder location path to change the default Google Drive folder location on Windows computer to the one you prefer. You can choose an existing folder or create a new one, something like My Drive.
Step 6: The path to the folder location should now reflect in the Settings windows. Confirm it is correct and click Start to start the synchronization process.
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All Google Drive files and folders stored in Google Drive should be moved to the new Google Drive folder location transparently. Since all data is stored in the cloud, there is no risk of losing any. You can choose to delete the old data in the last location on the disk if it is still there.
Here is an interesting tip. Why not move important files and folders to an external hard drive instead? This way, you now have a backup that you can store offline for emergency access and backup.
Tired of waiting for Google Drive to zip your files? Know how to download multiple files from Drive without compressing them.
Last updated on March 22, 2021
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