How to access google cloud on pc or mac

IDC says “GCP proves to be an ideal platform for Windows Server-based applications.” Read why.

Simplify your modernization journey from Windows

Start with migration

Migrate to increase IT agility and reduce on-premises footprint. Tools like Migrate for Compute and Migrate for Anthos can help migrate and upgrade.

Optimize license usage to reduce cost

Optimize VM usage. Managed SQL Server and Active Directory reduce total cost of ownership. Move .NET to .NET core. Move SQL Server to Linux.

Modernize to reduce single-vendor dependency

Create an open path to modernization—containerization of Windows server, cloud-native development, and multi-cloud readiness with Anthos.

Looking for a fast, frictionless way to test things out? Check out our Microsoft and Windows on Google Cloud Simulation Center! You can also get the latest news about Microsoft and Windows on Google Cloud via our blog.

Drive a strategy for migration, optimization, and modernization

Plan for the future while reducing your Microsoft licensing dependency. Get all you need to migrate, optimize, and modernize your legacy platform.

Bring your own licenses

In addition to on-demand licenses, Google Cloud provides you with flexibility for bringing your existing licenses and running them on Compute Engine. Use Sole-Tenant Nodes to run on dedicated hardware with configurable maintenance policies to support your on-premises licenses while maintaining workload uptime and security through host-level live migration.

License-included VM images

You can deploy your Windows applications (including SQL Server) on our fully tested images with bundled licenses on Compute Engine and take advantage of many benefits available to virtual machine instances such as reliable storage options, the speed of the Google network, and autoscaling.

Enterprise-class support backed by Microsoft

Google Cloud provides enterprise-class support for Windows workloads running on GCP. Our experts have the backing of Microsoft Premier Support for Partners to help you solve any challenge.

Fully managed SQL Server and Active Directory

Use an easy-to-manage and compatible relational database service in the cloud to reduce operational overhead. Use a highly available, hardened service to manage authentication and authorization for your AD-dependent workloads, automate AD server maintenance and security configuration, and connect your on-premises AD domain to the cloud.

Windows on Kubernetes

Running your Windows Server containers on GKE can save you on licensing costs, as you can pack many Windows Server containers on each Windows node.

You can use Drive for desktop to keep your files in sync between the cloud and your computer. Syncing is the process of downloading files from the cloud and uploading files from your computer’s hard drive. After syncing, the files on your computer match the files in the cloud. If you edit, delete, or move a file in one location, the same change happens in the other location. That way, your files are always up to date and can be accessed from any device.

In Drive for desktop, you can choose to stream or mirror My Drive files. Your files are found in different places on your computer based on whether you choose to mirror or stream them.

What it means to mirror or stream your files

With Drive for desktop, you can access files stored in Google Drive from your computer. Any changes you make to your files will be synced. All files in shared drives, USBs, and other computers will be streamed from the cloud to your computer. You can choose to mirror or stream your My Drive files.

When you mirror files, all of your My Drive files are stored in the cloud and on your computer, which takes up hard drive space. All of your files will be accessible at any time, even when you don’t have an internet connection or the Drive for desktop app running. Files can be accessed through a folder on your computer.

When you stream files, your My Drive files are stored in the cloud. Hard drive space is only used when you open files and make them available offline. Files that are not available offline can only be accessed when you’re connected to the internet. All files, including those available offline, can be accessed only when the app is running. Files can be accessed through a mounted drive on your computer.

Switch from mirroring to streaming

When you switch from mirroring My Drive files to streaming My Drive files, the location of your files on your computer changes. With streaming, you can access files via a virtual drive on your computer. The folder where you mirrored My Drive files will remain on your computer but is no longer syncing, and therefore can be removed to avoid losing any changes.

On Windows, you need to quit Drive for desktop before removing the folder from your computer.

Options for folders on your computer

You can sync a folder with Google Drive or back it up to Google Photos.

  • If you sync with Google Drive: Everything in the folder will be uploaded. All changes will be synced between your computer and Google Drive. You can access all your files from any device at or via the Google Drive app.
  • If you back up to Google Photos: Only photos and videos will be uploaded. Changes will not be synced between your computer and Google Photos. You can view your photos and videos from any device at or via the Google Photos app.

MacOS requires applications like Drive for desktop to ask for permission to access certain folders and devices including your Desktop, Documents, and Downloads folders, removable and network volumes, and your Photos library.

Drive for desktop will only ask to access folders or devices you choose to sync with Google Drive, back up to Google Photos, or both. Drive for desktop will also ask for access if you choose to use the Real Time Presence feature or a Bluetooth key to sign in.

If you deny access, but want to continue syncing a folder or device, go to System Preferences and change your privacy settings. You might need to restart Drive for desktop for changes to take effect.

Learn how to share your files from your Mac Desktop and your Documents folder to all of your devices with iCloud Drive.

How to access google cloud on pc or mac

Store your Desktop and Documents folder in iCloud Drive and access them on all your devices. That means you can start a document on your Desktop, then work on it later from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch and on Everything automatically stays up to date everywhere.

Turn on Desktop and Documents

Turn on Desktop and Documents on every Mac that you want to use with iCloud Drive.

How to access google cloud on pc or mac

  1. From your Mac, choose Apple menu  > System Preferences. Click Apple ID, then click iCloud. In macOS Mojave or earlier, choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, then click iCloud.
  2. Make sure that iCloud Drive is turned on.
  3. Next to iCloud Drive, click Options.
  4. Choose Desktop & Documents Folders.
  5. Click Done.

If you want to store your files in iCloud Drive and another cloud storage service, you can keep copies of your files in both, but you can’t keep folders from a third-party cloud service in iCloud Drive. You can keep your other cloud service folders in a different place on your Mac, like the home folder.

If you already use a feature from another cloud provider that syncs or manages your Desktop and Documents folders, you need to turn it off to use Desktop and Documents.

Find your Desktop and Documents files on all of your devices

When you add your Desktop and Documents to iCloud Drive, all of your files move to iCloud and any new files you create are automatically stored in iCloud too. Then you can find your files on all of your devices.

Your files upload to iCloud each time your device connects to the Internet. Depending on your Internet speed, the time it takes for you to see your files on your other devices might vary.

On your Mac

You can find your Desktop and Documents folders in the iCloud section of the Finder sidebar. If you add a second Mac Desktop, you can find those files in the Desktop folder in iCloud Drive. Look for a folder with the same name as your second Mac. You can also use Spotlight to search for specific file names.

On your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

You can find the files in the Files app in iOS 11 or later. You can use any compatible app to access and edit your files directly on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

If you’re using iOS 9 or iOS 10, you can access your files in the iCloud Drive app.


  1. Sign in to with your Apple ID on your iPad, Mac, or PC.
  2. Go to iCloud Drive.
  3. Double-click the Desktop or Documents folder.

If you want to use the file or make edits, just click and download it to your iPad or computer. When you’re done making edits, upload the file to iCloud Drive to see the latest version everywhere.

Store your files in iCloud and save space on your device

The files that you keep in iCloud Drive use your iCloud storage. And as long as you have enough space in iCloud, you can store as many files as you like.

If you need more space, you can delete files to free up space in iCloud. When you use iCloud Drive and delete a file on one device, it deletes on every device that you’re signed in to with the same Apple ID. You can find deleted files in the Recently Deleted folder in the Files app or on for 30 days. After that, they’re removed.

Turn off Desktop and Documents

  1. From your Mac, choose Apple menu  > System Preferences. Click Apple ID, then click iCloud. On macOS Mojave or earlier, choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, then click iCloud.
  2. Next to iCloud Drive, click Options.
  3. Deselect Desktop & Documents Folders.
  4. Click Done.

What happens when you turn off Desktop and Documents

When you turn off Desktop & Documents Folders, your files stay in iCloud Drive and a new Desktop and Documents folder is created on your Mac in the home folder. You can move files from iCloud Drive to your Mac as you need them, or select all of your files and drag them to the place you want to keep them.

What happens when you turn off iCloud Drive or sign out of iCloud

If you turn off iCloud Drive or sign out of iCloud, a new Desktop and Documents folder is created in your home folder. You also have the option to keep a local copy of your files that are in iCloud Drive. If you keep a local copy of your files in iCloud Drive, they’re copied to a folder called iCloud Drive (Archive) in your home folder. You can move any files that were in your iCloud Desktop and Documents to your new local Desktop and Documents.

Frequent question, how do I put Google on my desktop?

  1. Download the installation file.
  2. If prompted, click Run or Save.
  3. If you chose Save, double-click the download to start installing.
  4. Start Chrome: Windows 7: A Chrome window opens once everything is done. Windows 8 & 8.1: A welcome dialog appears. Click Next to select your default browser.

Also know, how do I get Google on my macbook air?

  1. Open Safari (or other web browser) then navigate to
  2. Hit Download Chrome for Mac.
  3. A new window will appear asking you to agree to the Terms of Use.
  4. When the Chrome for Mac download is finished, open the file called googlechrome.

Furthermore, how do I add the Google search bar to my Mac Home screen?

Beside above, how do I add a Google shortcut to my desktop?

  1. On the top right corner, click the Menu button or the three-dotted icon.
  2. Select More Tools.
  3. Click Create Shortcut.
  4. A new window will open and will ask you to Create a shortcut.
  5. Type Google Meet. Check the Open as a Window box.
  6. Click Create.

How do I get Google on my Macbook?

  1. Go to the App Store and download the Google Chrome app.
  2. Tap on the rounded box that says “Get.” If you’ve downloaded the app before, this box will be replaced by a cloud symbol with an arrow.

How do I download Google Chrome on my Macbook Air 2021?

  1. Open Safari from your Dock.
  2. Select Download Chrome.
  3. Carefully read the Terms of Service, then select Accept and Install.
  4. Select Downloads, then select googlechrome.
  5. Drag Google Chrome to the Applications shortcut.

Is Chrome bad for Mac?

One of the main reasons Chrome uses so much of your CPU and drains so much of your battery life is due to installed extensions. Extensions can also introduce privacy problems, as many of them need extensive access to your browsing. As great as extensions often are, their strain on your system can be a high price.

How do I add Google widget?

Adding Google Widget on Android Touch and hold an empty space on your phone’s home screen. Then, tap ‘Widgets’ at the bottom of the screen. Swipe among the widgets to find the one for ‘Google’. Tap it to open it.

How do I install a Google widget?

  1. Add the Search widget to your homepage.
  2. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google app .
  3. At the top right, tap your Profile picture or initial Settings Search widget.
  4. At the bottom, tap the icons to customize the color, shape, transparency and Google logo.
  5. Tap Done.

How do I get the search bar on my Mac?

  1. Click on the Spotlight button in the menu bar; it looks like a magnifying glass. Or, use the Command + Space keyboard shortcut. The Spotlight search field will appear in the middle of your screen.
  2. Type in your search query. Spotlight will return results as you type.

How do I add Google to my home screen on my laptop?

How do I add Google to my taskbar?

  1. Go to Settings > rsonalization > Taskbar.
  2. Here, under Notification are, click on Select which icons appear on the taskbar.
  3. On the next page, turn on the Meet Now toggle to show taskbar icon.

Can we use Google Meet on desktop?

Google Meet works on any device. Join a meeting from your desktop/laptop, Android, or iPhone/iPad. If you’re working from home, you can also join a meeting from Google Nest Hub Max. For organizations that need conference room support, Google Meet hardware offers affordable, high-quality options for purchase.

How do I create a shortcut to my desktop?

In Windows Explorer, browse to the document or file for which you want to create a desktop shortcut. Right-click the name of the document, and then click Create shortcut. In Windows 8 you would click Send To > Desktop (Create shortcut). A shortcut for that document or file appears on your desktop.

Justin Pot
How to access google cloud on pc or macJustin Pot

Justin Pot has been writing about technology for over a decade, with work appearing in Digital Trends, The Next Web, Lifehacker, MakeUseOf, and the Zapier Blog. He also runs the Hillsboro Signal, a volunteer-driven local news outlet he founded. Read more.

How to access google cloud on pc or mac

It’s one of the great new features of macOS: your desktop syncs from one Mac to another using iCloud. Put a file on the desktop of your iMac, and it’s there waiting for you on your MacBook. It’s like magic.

The problem: not everyone uses only Macs. What if you want to sync your desktop files between a Mac and a PC running Windows?

It’s possible, but it takes a little work. First you need some sort of cloud service that syncs folders between Mac and Windows computers. Dropbox is the easiest answer here, but you could also use Microsoft’s OneDrive or Google Drive. Any service that syncs folders from one computer to another (and is available on both Windows and macOS) will do the job, but we’ll be using Dropbox for this article. Here’s what you need to do.

How to Sync Your Mac Desktop With Dropbox, or Any Other Cloud Service

If you’re syncing between your Mac and a Windows PC, you need to start on the Mac side. On your Mac, you’ll need to create a symbolic link, which needs to be done before the Windows side of things. This will keep your Desktop in its correct location in macOS, but also copy it to Dropbox’s servers—which you can then use as your desktop in Windows as well.

Note that creating an alias in the Finder will not work—you need to use the symlink feature.

On your Mac, open the Terminal, which you can find in Applications > Utilities. We’re going to run two commands.

How to access google cloud on pc or mac

This will point the Terminal at your Dropbox folder. If you’re using a different cloud service, navigate to that service’s folder instead.

This will create a symlink for your Desktop folder inside your Dropbox. You’ll know it worked if you can see your desktop files in the Dropbox folder, like this:

How to access google cloud on pc or mac

You can do anther check by opening up the Dropbox web client and verifying that your desktop folders and files are there. If everything is working, it’s time to head over to Windows.

How to Point Windows to Your Newly Synced Desktop Folder

Microsoft makes life easier for us than Apple, because Windows allows you to set any folder to function as your Desktop. Even better: you can do the whole process without opening the Command Prompt.

To get started, open Windows Explorer. Find the Desktop icon, and right-click it. Click “Properties.”

How to access google cloud on pc or mac

Click the “Location” tab, and you’ll find the option to move your Desktop folder. Click the “Move” button.

How to access google cloud on pc or mac

You can now choose any folder to function as your Desktop. Find the new Desktop folder in your Dropbox that you created on the Mac side, and choose it.

How to access google cloud on pc or mac

When you’re back at the Properties window, click “OK”. You will be asked if you want to copy the files currently on your desktop over to your new folder. Choose “Yes” if there’s anything on your Windows desktop that you care about.

How to access google cloud on pc or mac

Once the files have transferred over, you’re done.

It’s Working!

Let’s test if this is working, shall we? Go ahead and create a folder on your Mac’s desktop.

How to access google cloud on pc or mac

If everything is working well, you should see the folder appear on your Windows computer shortly.

How to access google cloud on pc or mac

Neat, right? If you use your desktop for projects you’re currently working on, this is a low-friction way to have those files handy on all your computers.

Of course, if you’re the kind of person who leaves shortcuts to applications on your Windows desktop, this method is going to really clutter up the desktop on the Mac side. Our suggestion: don’t use desktop shortcuts in Windows. Customizing the taskbar is a much cleaner way to find your applications in any case.

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How to access google cloud on pc or mac Justin Pot
Justin Pot has been writing about technology for over a decade, with work appearing in Digital Trends, The Next Web, Lifehacker, MakeUseOf, and the Zapier Blog. He also runs the Hillsboro Signal, a volunteer-driven local news outlet he founded.
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Вы можете хранить и передавать коллегам файлы и папки, а также работать над ними вместе с другими пользователями на компьютере или любом мобильном устройстве.

Ваш контент защищен, конфиденциален и не используется для персонализации рекламы

При предоставлении доступа к файлам на Диске используется шифрование и обеспечивается высокий уровень безопасности. Сервис проверяет передаваемые вам файлы и удаляет те из них, в которых обнаружены вредоносное ПО, спам, программы-вымогатели или фишинг. Диск – это облачный сервис, а значит он позволяет не хранить файлы локально и снижает риски для ваших устройств.

Облачные приложения для эффективной совместной работы

Google Диск образует единое целое с Документами, Таблицами и Презентациями. Эти облачные продукты помогут вам и вашим коллегам эффективно взаимодействовать в режиме реального времени. Вы можете сразу создавать файлы и открывать к ним доступ. Для этого не потребуется переносить материалы из сервисов, с которыми вы работали.

Интеграция с инструментами и приложениями, с которыми уже работает ваша команда

Диск совместим с технологиями, которыми пользуется ваша команда, и дополняет их. Для совместной работы над файлами Microsoft Office не требуется преобразовывать их в другие форматы. Вы можете редактировать и хранить файлы более чем 100 других типов, включая PDF, файлы для CAD и т. д.

Быстрое решение задач благодаря технологиям поиска и искусственного интеллекта от Google

Специальные средства, реализованные в Google Диске, обеспечивают непревзойденную скорость, эффективность и надежность поиска. А различные функции, например вкладка “Важные”, используют технологии искусственного интеллекта, чтобы определять, что именно вас интересует, и показывать вам наиболее подходящие результаты. Благодаря этому вы будете тратить на поиск нужных материалов на 50 % меньше времени.

Google cloud services give flexibility and redundancy to cloud bases websites.

However, website management often needs remote access. And, one of the quickest ways is to set up Google cloud compute engine ssh access.

Google Cloud services allow access through the public web or through a dedicated network connection.

At Bobcares, we often get consultation requests on the best GCP connectivity method as part of our Google Cloud Platform Support services.

Today, we’ll see how our Cloud Engineers make instances accessible over SSH.

Why we need remote access on GCP?

Just like any other server, managing websites need remote access to Google Cloud Platform too. Additionally, managing files via ssh can save a lot of time. SSH is a popular network protocol that provides encrypted data communication between two computers.

The remote access to Google Cloud servers can vary based on the type of computer from which the user connects. For instance, when you are connecting from a Windows machine, it involves using third-party tools like PUTTY.

Fortunately, Linux machines come with native SSH support, which makes things easier.

How to set up Google cloud compute engine ssh access?

It’s time now to see how to access the Google cloud compute engine using ssh. We’ll quickly have a look at the top 3 ways that our Cloud Engineers use to set up the access.

1. Using SSH keys

One of the simplest and quickest ways for instance access is using SSH keys. In this method, we first need to generate an SSH key pair to connect securely to the virtual machine.

On the computer from which we are connecting, we generate the public and private key using:

We just follow the on-screen instructions regarding key storage location, passphrase, etc. Finally, there will be a private key at

/.ssh/id_rsa and a public key

The next step is to copy the public key to the Google Cloud instance. We then access the Security tab from GCP and add the SSH key field in Google Cloud and hit Create button.

That’s it. Now we can use the External IP of the virtual machine for SSH access.

In google cloud, unless there is static IP allotted for your instance, public IP will change after shutdown. Therefore, we always check the external IP address from the GCP. The interface shows the virtual machine details including IP address.

How to access google cloud on pc or mac

2. Accessing from Gcloud tool

To access the Google cloud compute engine, we can also use the gcloud compute command-line tool.

Here, first we need to install and setup the latest version of gcloud compute using Google Cloud SDK. It contains tools like gcloud, gsutil, etc. that helps to easily manage resources and applications hosted on Google Cloud Platform.

We download the latest stable version of the google-cloud-sdk-xx package. Then we extract and install the package. As the next step, we run gcloud init to initialize the SDK.
To connect to the Google cloud instance, we use:

Google Cloud Platform Console

Similarly, Google allows instance access via browser too. To access the server, we access the GCP Console and go to the VM Instances page.
In the list of virtual machine instances, we click the SSH option in the row of the instance that we want to connect to.

This connects to the instance and shows up as below.

How to access google cloud on pc or mac

Here, we use the terminal to run commands on the Linux instance. For security reasons, after finishing the work, we just disconnect from the instance by using the exit command.

Common errors with access

Unfortunately, Google cloud compute engine ssh access often result in connectivity errors. We’ll now see how our Dedicated Engineers troubleshoot and fix them.

1. Permission problems

A rather common reason behind the connectivity errors will be the wrong permissions of the SSH key file.

Recently, a customer reported this error while connecting to his instance.

On checking, we found that the compute instance had the entry PermitRootLogin no in its SSHD configuration. And the user was trying to log in as root. Therefore, our Cloud Engineers suggested the customer use a login name other than root.

Again, a similar error pops up when someone else in the same Google cloud project set the per-instance metadata for ssh keys. This overrides the project-wide metadata and SSH access fails.

2. Firewall misconfiguration

In general, the Google Cloud Platform VPC network must have one or more firewall rules that allow SSH connections on port 22. Again, the firewall rules must allow SSH connections for the IP ranges or specific IP addresses from which users try to connect.

The exact firewall rules in one of the Google cloud instance appear as:

How to access google cloud on pc or mac

If SSH listens on another port, our Cloud Engineers allow the custom port in the firewall as well.


In short, the Google cloud compute engine ssh connection can be set up mainly in 3 ways. Today, we saw how our Cloud Engineers setup access and fix top errors related to it.

Related posts:

Get 24×7 monitoring for your Google Cloud servers

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Spend your time in growing business and we will take care of Google Cloud Infrastructure for you.

I created a new instance via the Google Cloud web console from a CentOS 6.x image. I saw a blank on the creation form where I could paste in an existing SSH key; since this was my first instance, I didn’t have one yet. I assumed it would take me through the key creation process like Amazon EC2 does. It didn’t.

The instance appears to be created, but I can’t figure out how to get the SSH key for it. The instance web page has a button that says "SSH" and it let me log in briefly via a pop-up web browser window that simulates an SSH session. However, it only let me into a user-level account, not root . The pop-up had a menu item to change the user and changing it to root does nothing but generate connection errors. Now I can’t log into my instance at all!

I’ve searched but can’t find any straight-forward documentation that explains this aspect of Google Compute instances.

Do I have to create my own SSH keys manually and paste them into the form during instance creation? Is there an obvious step I’m missing?

How to access google cloud on pc or mac

8 Answers 8

Answer recommended by Google Cloud

By default, a new Google Compute Engine (GCE) VM instance does not have SSH keys pre-assigned to it, so you cannot “retrieve” them as they don’t exist—it’s up to you to create them, or use a tool like gcloud (see below) which will prompt you to create them if you don’t have SSH keys yet.

You have several options for connecting to your newly-created GCE VM.

One option is to connect using the “SSH” button in the Developer Console GUI next to the instance in the list of instances, which will open a browser window and a terminal session to the instance.

If you would like to connect via SSH client on the command-line, you can use gcloud tool (part of the Google Cloud SDK):

You can see the full set of flags and options on the gcloud compute ssh help page, along with several examples.

If you don’t already have SSH keys, it will prompt you to create them and then connect to the instance. If you already have keys, you can use existing SSH keys, which it will transfer to the instance.

By default, gcloud expects keys to be located at the following paths:

  • $HOME/.ssh/google_compute_engine – private key
  • $HOME/.ssh/ – public key

If you want to reuse keys from a different location with gcloud , consider either making symlinks or pointing gcloud there using the –ssh-key-file flag.

Note: if you don’t use gcloud at all, you have to manually add the SSH keys to the instance’s metadata as described in Setting up ssh keys at the instance level which you can do via gcloud or manually via Google Cloud console.

You can also create your own keys using ssh-keygen which is what gcloud will also use under the covers. You can connect to the instance using ssh directly instead of gcloud but you will need to specify extra parameters to do so:

which will require the following parameters:

KEY_FILE – [Required] The file where the keys are stored on the computer, e.g.,

USER – [Required] The username to log in that instance. Typically, this is the username of the local user running gcloud compute .

Learn how to map Google Drive as a fast network drive on macOS, Windows or Linux. If you’re looking for a solution for Google Drive on Apple M1 because File Stream doesn’t work, check out Strongsync. Access your entire Google Google Workspace account on-demand without having to suck up disk space by pre-syncing all of your data.

Getting started with Google

Google Drive is Google’s file storage and sharing product for Google WorkSpace. For personal accounts it comes with 15GB of free online storage. Business, enterprise and academic GSuite plans have unlimited storage.

Most people use Drive via their browser directly at Serious users need a full native integration on their desktop that lets them access files in the cloud from within any application.

How to access google cloud on pc or mac

Google provides native integration options such their iOS/Android App and their backup and sync client, available for regular Google WorkSpace accounts. If you’re looking to add Google Drive to Finder or Explorer a shared network drive is a great option.

Mounting Google Drive

ExpanDrive is a powerful Google Drive client that connects to Google’s API transforming Drive into a fast network drive. It makes your entire accounts available from any app on your desktop.

How to access google cloud on pc or macA mounted volume of a single team drive

Sync clients generally require you pre-download and keep a copy of all the files you’re interested in on your machine. This takes up valuable harddrive space, time and bandwidth. Often for files you don’t need. With a shared drive you can access everything on-demand. If your company has many TB of data stored in the cloud and you travel with a small laptop, a mapping a network drive to Google lets you have the best of both worlds.

Connect to multiple accounts

Another nice thing about connecting to Google Drive as a network drive is that you can connect to multiple Google Drive accounts at the same time. You can map the root of your Google Drive or an individual Team Drive as a drive letter. You can even configure ExpanDrive to mount individual folders within your personal drive or within a Team Drive. If you’re working on a project confined to one tree of folders, this can be really convenient.

Powerful Server Edition

Head over to our ExpanDrive Server Edition page for instructions and packages for Windows and Linux servers. ExpanDrive Server edition is designed to run unattended, at boot [versus login], and provides drives that can even be re-shared on the network.


ExpanDrive supports macOS 10.10 or newer and a wide variety of Linux distributions including Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Centos, Fedora, Redhat, and more. Learn more about how to install ExpanDrive for Linux here.

ExpanDrive runs on Microsoft Windows 7 through Windows 10. Windows Server is also supported as well as RDP/Terminal services environments. ExpanDrive can isolate multiple users logged into the same machine so they each have their own view of cloud storage.

Map specific Team Drive

Let’s say you’re working on a team of people that is all using the same Team Drive. You can map that team drive to its own drive letter by configuring the remote path inside ExpanDrive. All of the team drives are organized in the “Team Drives” folder. If you had a Team Drive named “work” you could mount just that by setting the remote path to “/Team Drives/work” inside ExpanDrive.

How to access google cloud on pc or macSet the remote path to mount a specific Team Drive or folder

Files on demand

Saving disk space or accessing huge shared Google Drive accounts is another great thing about ExpanDrive and Google Drive. Everything is accessed on demand without preemptively syncing data back and forth. So if you were working on a huge Team Drive like in the previous example you could mount that entire space without needing to first sync it to your computer. You can also easily mark files to be available as offline so you can get work done even without an internet connection.

Access Google Drive as a shared drive

ExpanDrive lets you actually mount your Google Drive account as a virtual drive, just like a USB Drive, on Mac or Windows. It adds Google Drive to Finder so you can browse and access your Drive account without needing to first sync your files, which takes up time and space on your laptop. Just access what you need, when you need it, from within any app like Finder, Windows Explorer, Microsoft Word, Photoshop, or whatever you use. Everything is safely in the cloud but not taking up space on your computer. Isn’t that the point of cloud storage anyways?

Free up hard drive space

What good is a 10TB account if your only supported mechanism move data is via sync. Jason Snell recently wrote a piece at Six Colors called the Dropbox Terabyte Conundrum about this same problem with Dropbox’s new 1TB plan. Using Sync to move your data means you need to pick a folder that mirrors your Drive account and then keep a copy of all that data on your machine. So unless your laptop have a 10TB Drobo or Synology NAS attached to it, then you can’t really DO much with a 10TB Google Drive account. Unless you have ExpanDrive.