Ping Fm Logo
Roman Kropachek Photo
Written by:

Last update on

How to Add Google Drive to Finder on Mac

How to Add Google Drive to Finder on Mac

In the modern digital age, integrating cloud storage like Google Drive into your daily workflow is essential, especially for Mac users who thrive on efficiency and seamless connectivity. In this comprehensive guide, I’ll share my personal experience on how to add Google Drive to Mac Finder—no more toggling between browser tabs or separate applications. We’ll explore the native macOS methods and dive into the capabilities of a third-party app called CloudMounter. You’ll discover how simpler life becomes when all your files are just a click away, directly within Finder.


Common Scenarios:

Enhancing Productivity with Seamless Integration 🔄

  • Accessing files across multiple devices without the need to download them locally.
  • Sharing large files with teammates instantly without the hassle of attaching them to emails.
  • Keeping all documents organized in one place, akin to having a digital filing cabinet at your fingertips.

Streamlining Collaborative Workflows 🤝

  • Editing documents in real-time with colleagues, which is central for remote or hybrid teams.
  • Ensuring every team member has the latest version of a file.
  • Implementing a backup system that runs quietly in the background, providing peace of mind.

Optimizing Space and Performance on Your Mac 💽

  • Avoiding local storage clutter by storing files on the cloud.
  • Improving your Mac’s performance by freeing up disk space.
  • Having a central hub for all cloud services in Finder, creating a unified and efficient workspace.

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 the ‘Backup and Sync’ application from the official Google Drive download page.
  • Install the application and sign in with your Google account.
  • Choose the folders you want to sync between your Mac and Google Drive.
  • Find Google Drive in Finder Sidebar under ‘Locations’ or ‘Devices’.

Note: Your files will sync automatically in the background, but require local storage space.

Conclusion: This method is best for those who prefer a native Google tool and want their files accessible offline.

Method 2: Accessing Google Drive via ‘Backup and Sync’ Settings ⚙

  • Click on the ‘Backup and Sync’ icon in the menu bar, and choose ‘Preferences’.
  • Under ‘Google Drive’, select ‘Stream files’.
  • Choose between ‘On-demand’ (files downloaded as needed) and ‘Mirror’ (all files stored locally).
  • Access Google Drive from Finder’s sidebar.

Note: ‘On-demand’ sync limits the use of local storage, ideal for Macs with less hard drive space.

Conclusion: A suitable choice if you need flexible control over file storage and access.

Method 3: Using ‘Google Drive for Desktop’ 🖥

  • Install ‘Google Drive for Desktop’ from the Google Drive website.
  • Follow the installation instructions and sign in.
  • Select the option ‘Stream files’ and adjust your preferences.
  • Your Google Drive will appear as a drive in Finder.

Note: Unlike ‘Backup and Sync’, ‘Google Drive for Desktop’ is focused more on streaming than syncing.

Conclusion: Optimal for users in need of regular cloud access with minimal local storage usage.

Method 4: Mounting Google Drive with ‘CloudMounter’ App ☁

  • Download the CloudMounter app from the official website or the Mac App Store.
  • Install and open CloudMounter, then choose ‘Google Drive’ from the list of supported services.
  • Log in with your Google account to grant access to CloudMounter.
  • Google Drive will be mounted as a network drive within Finder.

Note: CloudMounter does not require local storage space as it does not sync files to your Mac.

Conclusion: An excellent alternative for those seeking a robust, non-Google software solution to access Google Drive via Finder.


Precautions and Tips:

Maximizing Cloud Potential ☁

  • Periodically review your sync settings to ensure optimal performance and space usage on your Mac.
  • Keep your applications updated to benefit from the latest features and security improvements.
  • Use two-factor authentication for your Google account for an added layer of security.

Enhancing Mac-Finder Integration

Integrating Google Drive into Mac Finder can significantly improve your computing experience and productivity. However, beyond the initial setup, there are best practices and tips to consider. Always ensure that your integration does not compromise security or efficiency. Regularly clean up and organize your Google Drive files to avoid accumulation and confusion.

For advanced users looking to script or automate tasks, you can utilize AppleScript or Automator in conjunction with the cloud services mounted on your Mac. This opens up a plentitude of productivity hacks, such as automated backups or file sorting based on the criteria you define.

An essential aspect of cloud integration is considering data usage if you’re on a metered internet connection. Streaming and syncing files frequently can consume significant bandwidth, so be aware of your network limits to avoid extra charges.

For more information on leveraging cloud storage and optimizing your digital workspace, you can refer to resources by Apple Support and the Google Workspace Updates blog.


In closing, adding Google Drive to Mac Finder isn’t just about convenience; it’s a transformative step towards integrating your digital life. From the straightforward ‘Backup and Sync’ method to the third-party prowess of CloudMounter, there are options to suit various needs and preferences. While Mac and Google Drive integration is indeed powerful, always balance accessibility with best practices for security and efficiency. Embrace these integration techniques to make your Mac not just a tool, but an extension of your digital self.


To connect Google Drive to Mac's Finder, download and install Google Drive for desktop. Once installed, sign in to your Google account to sync your files.

After installing Google Drive for desktop, open Finder, select 'Preferences,' go to 'Sidebar' tab, and check the box next to Google Drive to display it on the Finder sidebar.

No, you must install Google Drive for desktop to add it to your Finder and have seamless integration and syncing capabilities.

Yes, Google Drive for desktop supports multiple accounts. You can add additional accounts through the app's preferences and access them in Finder.

To ensure Google Drive files are synced, open the Google Drive for desktop app, click on 'Preferences,' and adjust your sync settings to mirror to Finder.

If Google Drive isn't showing up in Finder, check if the app is running, ensure you're signed in, and verify that the Finder preferences have Google Drive checked in the sidebar settings.

Simply save or update files in the Google Drive folder within Finder, and they will automatically sync to your Google Drive online.

Yes, to access files offline, use the Google Drive for desktop app to sync your files to your device, making them available in Finder without an internet connection.

To remove Google Drive from the Finder sidebar, right-click on the Google Drive icon in the sidebar and choose 'Remove from Sidebar.'

Any changes you make to files in the Google Drive folder through Finder will automatically sync and reflect in your online Google Drive.