Google previously offered two Google Drive apps for PC. One for consumers and another for teams. Each software had a specific benefit for getting things done. Earlier last year, Google announced the combination of the two apps and made a commitment to release a single Drive app with the most requested functions. Now that Drive for Desktop is available, you can set it up on Windows 11.
Drive for PC integrates seamlessly with the File Manager application on Windows 11. Google has also implemented on-demand file access that allows users to download selective files to the PC. Let’s check out the app in action.
Install Drive for desktop on PC
Unfortunately, Google Drive is not available on the Microsoft Store. You must trust the official website to download the app.
Step 1: Visit Google Drive on the web using the link below.
2nd step: Click Download Drive for Desktop and save the .exe file to the computer.
Step 3: Open the file manager, find the downloaded file, and install Google Drive on your PC.
Configure Google Drive on Windows 11
After successful installation of Drive on PC, Google Drive will ask you to sign in with your Google account.
After setting it up, go to Google Drive preferences and make changes. Here’s how.
Step 1: Click the up arrow icon on the Windows 11 taskbar.
2nd step: Select Google Drive and open Settings.
Step 3: Click on Preferences and this will open the Preferences menu of Google Drive.
My computer: This option will allow you to securely back up files from your PC to Google Drive and Google Photos.
Click Add Folder and select a folder on the PC to sync with Google Drive.
You have two options here. You can either sync the folder to Google Drive or Back up to Google Photos.
Synchronization with Google Drive: It will download all files and folders including photos and videos. If you edit or delete files, those changes will automatically sync.
Save to Google Photos: Google Photos is purely a media backup service. It will ignore files and documents in the folder and only upload photos, gifs and videos to Google Photos.
Also on Guiding Tech
Stream Google Drive files
This is one of the best features that Google has borrowed from Drive File Stream. Instead of syncing the Drive folders with the PC, you have the option to stream the entire Google Drive library to the computer.
You can view all files and folders from Google Drive on PC without taking a single MB on PC.
From the Google Drive Preferences menu, select Google Drive and you can choose from two options – Streaming Files and Mirror Files.
This should be the ideal option for most to use in Google Drive for Windows 11. It will keep all My Drive files in the cloud and you will have the option to keep the necessary files offline on the PC.
Even if your Google Drive contains more than 100 GB of data, it will not take up space on the PC. You can keep any file or folder that you need for offline use.
If you prefer the old way of using Google Drive on PC, you should use mirror files. But be careful. No matter which folder you select, Drive will store all the contents of the folder on the computer and the cloud.
This is ideal when you don’t have constant internet access to download the required files from Drive. You can mirror them to a PC and keep them available for offline use at any time.
Regarding this tutorial, we will be using the Stream files option as it makes sense for most users.
Use Google Drive in the file manager
You have already configured the PC’s folders to sync with Google Drive and choose to stream all of My Drive to the file manager. Let’s check out the app in action.
Step 1: Open the File Manager menu (use Windows + E keys).
2nd step: Go to Google Drive and open the My Drive menu.
Step 3: You will see all files and folders with a small cloud icon. This means that these files and folders are online only. You must download them to view the content.
Step 4: Right click on the file you want to use and open the context menu. To select Offline access> Available offline, and Drive will download the file.
Once the file is downloaded, you will see a check mark next to the thumbnail. To free up space on the PC, right click on the file and select Offline access> Online only. Drive will delete the file from the PC and keep it online only.
Use Google Drive on Windows 11
Google has finally delivered a cloud storage solution that goes hand in hand with OneDrive on Windows 11. How do you plan to use Google Drive on Windows 11? Share your setup in the comments below.
Last updated on January 12, 2022
The above article may contain affiliate links that help support Guiding Tech. However, this does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains impartial and authentic.