How to Add Shared Google Drive to Windows File Explorer

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

This option is handy because it saves you from having to open your browser, log into Google Drive, and navigate to the item you need in the shared drive. Just open File Explorer and go.


Download and install Google Drive for desktop

The first step to accessing your shared drive in 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.

Google Drive desktop download page

Navigate to your downloads through the folder or browser toolbar you are using and open the GoogleDriveSetup.exe file.

Google Drive installation file for desktop

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 app shortcut on your desktop or shortcuts for Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Check the boxes corresponding to your preferences and click “Install”.

Installing the Google Drive Invitation

At the end of the process, you will be prompted to log in. This operation is necessary to connect your Google account to the application. Click on “Connect with browser”.

Invitation to connect with the 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 listed.

List of Google accounts to connect

Then you will receive a message containing three statements that you will need to confirm for your safety. When you are ready, click “Connect”.

Invitation to security and login

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

Success message after login

A confirmation message also appears in the Google Drive app. Click “Close” to confirm and continue.

Google Drive desktop installed quickly

Also, you may notice a small alert that Google Drive is loading your files. If so, you can click “OK” to acknowledge and close the notification.

Message loading files from Google Drive


Open Google Drive in File Explorer

You can then open File Explorer in Windows as you normally would. You’ll see that Google Drive is listed on the left, under This PC by default. You can expand Google Drive to view My Drive and Shared Drives. Select “Shared Drives” to view your items.

Google Drive in File Explorer

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

Adjust your Google Drive preferences

Once you’ve installed Google Drive for desktop, you can adjust the preferences if you wish. This includes changing drive, mirroring files against streaming, launching on system boot, adding another Google account, etc.

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

Open Google Drive Preferences

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

Google Drive Preferences

Make the desired changes and click “Done”.

Other Google Drive Preferences

Allow offline access to shared disk files

If you have particular files in your shared Google Drive that you can optionally take offline, all it takes is a few clicks.

Open Google Drive in File Explorer and select “Shared Files” to view your items. Right-click on an item, hover your cursor over Offline Access and select ‘Available Offline’ from the context menu to tick it.

Make a shared disk file available offline

Having Google Drive on your desktop is convenient for those who use it regularly. So the ability to see this drive in File Explorer is even more interesting.

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