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How to add Google Drive to Mac Finder

How to add Google Drive to Mac Finder

In today’s digital world, seamlessly integrating cloud storage solutions into our daily computing activities enhances productivity and accessibility. For Mac users, adding Google Drive to Finder is a game-changer, allowing files stored in the cloud to be managed as if they were on the local machine. In this article, I’ll share my personal experience on how to add Google Drive to Mac Finder using both native macOS methods and third-party apps, including the versatile CloudMounter. Let’s dive into making your cloud files a click away.


Common Scenarios:

Enhancing Productivity with Cloud Storage 🌥

  • Accessing and managing Google Drive files directly from Finder without having to sync them locally saves valuable disk space and improves workflow efficiency.
  • Finder integration ensures that Google Drive functions feel like a native part of the macOS ecosystem, streamlining the file management process.

Sharing and Collaboration Made Easier 🔄

  • Adding Google Drive to Finder facilitates better collaboration on shared documents and folders with real-time updates.
  • The ability to quickly share links or manage sharing settings accelerates team productivity and communication.

Secure and Convenient Access to Files 🔑

  • Having Google Drive integrated with Finder allows for secure file access with multi-factor authentication and encryption.
  • Users can effortlessly back up important documents to Google Drive straight from their desktop, offering peace of mind and data security.

Step-by-Step Guide. How To Add Google Drive To Mac Finder And To Finder Sidebar:

Method 1: Using Backup and Sync from Google 🔄

  • Download and install the free Backup and Sync application from Google.
  • Sign in with your Google account and select the folder you want to sync with your Mac.
  • Once set up, Google Drive will appear in Finder sidebar allowing you to access your files directly.

Note: Google Drive folder will sync and store files locally, which can take up disk space.

Conclusion: This is an excellent option for users who want a straightforward and native sync solution.

Method 2: Using Google Drive for Desktop 🖥

  • Install Google Drive for Desktop from the Google Drive download page.
  • Sign in to your Google account and choose the option to stream files to access them on-demand without syncing them locally.
  • Google Drive will appear in Finder, and you can use the ‘Online only’ feature to save disk space.

Note: An internet connection is required to access files.

Conclusion: Ideal for users who handle large amounts of data and want to minimize local storage use.

Method 3: Accessing Google Drive via a Web Browser 🌐

  • Open your web browser and navigate to the Google Drive website.
  • Login with your Google credentials.
  • Use the browser to manage and access Google Drive files, although it won’t be integrated into Finder.

Note: This method does not require any installation but lacks the convenience of direct Finder integration.

Conclusion: Suitable for occasional access to Google Drive files without any setup process.

Method 4: Using CloudMounter for Enhanced Control 🛠

  • Download and install CloudMounter from Eltima Software.
  • Launch CloudMounter and add your Google Drive account within the app.
  • Select the option to mount your Google Drive as a network drive, which will make it accessible from Finder without storing files locally.

Note: This application provides robust encryption options for added security.

Conclusion: CloudMounter is perfect for users seeking extensive control and security with cloud storage integration.

Useful info: How to add and use multiple Dropbox accounts on one computer.


Precautions and Tips:

Optimizing Cloud Storage 🔧

  • Regularly clean up and organize your Google Drive to avoid clutter and ensure easier navigation from within Finder.
  • Use two-factor authentication for your Google account to add an extra layer of security when accessing files via Finder.

Balancing Offline Accessibility ⚖

  • Use the selective sync feature in Backup and Sync to download only crucial documents offline, avoiding unnecessary use of disk space.
  • For files you need regularly, consider setting them to be available ‘Offline’ in Google Drive for Desktop.

Streamlining Teamwork 🤝

  • Create shared folders in Google Drive to enable smooth collaboration with team members.
  • Keep an eye on shared folder permissions to ensure sensitive information remains secure.

Leveraging Cloud Storage

Working with cloud storage solutions like Google Drive not only simplifies file management but also provides a safety net against data loss. Services like Google Drive’s version history can be a lifesaver when you need to recover an earlier version of a document.

In businesses, integrating Google Drive with Finder through methods like CloudMounter can lead to a more structured file-sharing environment. It becomes effortless to switch between personal and shared files, allowing for a tidy workspace.

When it comes to file organization within Google Drive, labels and color-coding can be particularly helpful. They provide a visual representation that makes identification and retrieval of files more intuitive when accessed via Finder.

Regarding privacy, macOS and Google Drive both prioritize user security. Nevertheless, using third-party encryption tools can be considered for sensitive data. CloudMounter, for example, offers this functionality seamlessly within its interface.


Integrating Google Drive with Finder on your Mac can significantly enhance your productivity and ensure you have immediate access to your files regardless of where you are. From using native options like Backup and Sync to adopting third-party solutions such as CloudMounter, Mac users have multiple ways to maintain an efficient and organized digital workspace. It’s clear that the convenience and flexibility this functionality offers, make it essential in our increasingly cloud-centric world.


To install Google Drive on your Mac, download Google Backup and Sync from Google Drive Download Page. Once installed, Google Drive will show in Finder automatically.

Yes, after installing Google Backup and Sync, Google Drive integrates with Finder, enabling direct access without additional software.

Open Finder, look for 'Google Drive' under 'Devices' or 'Shared,' then drag the Google Drive icon to the Sidebar for quick access.

Yes, with Google Backup and Sync installed, you can select specific folders in Google Drive to be available offline through Finder preferences.

Adding Google Drive to Finder uses background synchronization, which may affect Mac's performance depending on the volume of file transfers and your network speed.

To keep Google Drive in Finder Sidebar, right-click the Sidebar, choose 'Favorites' and ensure Google Drive is selected to reappear after restarts.

If Google Drive disappears, go to Finder Preferences, under Sidebar tab check 'Google Drive' to get it back.

Yes, within Finder, navigate to the 'Shared' section under Google Drive, right-click the shared folder, and add it to the Sidebar.

To remove Google Drive, secondary-click (right-click) the icon in Finder Sidebar and select 'Remove from Sidebar.'

Insync is an alternative application that integrates Google Drive with Mac Finder, offering additional features and syncing options.