Add a shared Google Drive to Windows Explorer


If you and your team or colleagues use a shared Google Drive, you may want to access it quickly and easily. In just a few minutes, you can add this shared drive to File Explorer on Windows.

This is a handy option because it eliminates the need to open your browser, sign in to Google Drive, and navigate to the shared drive item you need. Just open the file explorer and go.

Note: from May 2022 shared drives are available for: Google Workspace accounts, including Business Standard and Plus, Enterprise, Education Fundamentals, Teaching & Learning Upgrade, Standard and Plus, Nonprofits, and G Suite Business; Necessities.

Download and install Google Drive for desktop

The first step to access your shared drive on Windows is to download the application. Visit the Google Drive for desktop site and click on “Download Drive for Desktop” which should automatically detect your platform.

Access your downloads from the folder or toolbar for the browser you are using and open the GoogleDriveSetup.exe file.

When prompted, click “Yes” to allow Windows to run the Google Drive installer on your computer.

You will then be asked if you want to add an application shortcut to your desktop or shortcuts for Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Check the boxes according to your preference and click “Install”.

When the process is complete, you will see a prompt to login. This is necessary to link your Google account to the application. Click on ‘Sign in with browser’.

Select and sign in to the Google account you want to use, or add another account if you don’t see the correct one in the list.

You will then receive a message with three statements that you must confirm for your safety. When you’re done, click ‘Sign Up’.

After you have successfully logged into your account, you will see a message about this in your browser. You can then close that browser tab or window.

You will also see a pop-up confirmation message from the Google Drive app. Click “Close” to confirm and continue.

In addition, you may see a smaller notification that Google Drive is loading your files. If this is the case, you can click “OK” to confirm and close the message.

Open Google Drive in File Explorer

You can then open File Explorer on Windows as you normally would. By default, you’ll see Google Drive on the left under This PC. You can expand Google Drive to see My Drive and Shared Drives. Select ‘Shared Drives’ to view your items.

If you’ve chosen to place the Google Drive icon on your desktop, you can alternatively double-click it. This will open File Explorer with Google Drive selected for you.

RELATED: How to Open File Explorer on Windows 11

Customize your Google Drive preferences

After you’ve installed Google Drive for desktop, you can adjust its preferences if you want. This includes changing the drive, mirroring files vs. streaming, starting on system boot, add another google accountand more.

Open your system tray and select the Google Drive icon. Click the gear icon and choose “Preferences.”

Choose “Google Drive” on the left to see the first set of settings. For more information, click the gear icon in the top right corner.

Make the desired changes and click ‘Done’.

Allow offline access to shared Drive files

If you want certain files in your shared Google Drive available for offline access, it just takes a few clicks.

RELATED: How to Use Google Docs Offline

Open Google Drive in File Explorer and select “Shared Drives” to view your items. Right-click on an item, move your cursor to Offline Access and choose “Available Offline” from the pop-out menu to put a check next to it.

Having Google Drive right on your desktop is useful for those who use it regularly. So if you can see that drive in File Explorer, it gets even better.

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