While Apple users can easily use the iCloud storage service, it comes with only 5 GB of free storage. Rather than paying extra, you could switch to using Google Drive on your Mac, giving you extra space and tools in the process.
Once you’ve installed and configured Google Drive, it’ll appear as a folder in the Finder app. You’ll need a Google account set up and configured to be able to use Google Drive.
Google backup & sync on Mac
If the Google Backup & Sync app is installed on your computer, all the files in your online Google Drive automatically will be downloaded and synced with the Google Drive folder which is kept on your computer. All the changes will be saved, and edits, even if they were made on other devices, will be updated in the files in your folder. The file will always have the latest version. It doesn’t depend on where or who makes them. And you can even access the files when you’re offline – they will be changed next time you have internet.
Configuring Google backup & sync the first time
Sometimes, Google Backup & Sync can already be installed on your computer. Click Launchpad (rocket icon) and look for Google Backup & Sync. If you found it, click Google Backup & Sync and skip to 3 steps below:
First of all, you should open a browser and go to www.google.com/drive/download.
After that, you should sign into Google Drive. To do that, you should fill in your Gmail or Google account (usually your email address) and password and tap on Sign In.
Then, you should click Next a few times to make your setup completed. You do not need to sync any folders besides Google Drive.
After that, Google Drive will be added to your sidebar. You can also add it to the dock – select the Finder and the Go menu, which is located at the top of the screen, then click on Home. Pull Google Drive to the right side of the dock near the trash.
To finish the process, you should wait for Google Backup & Sync to download your files. Depending on how many files you have, the first sync could take a few minutes or even an hour.
Accessing files in your Google Drive
If you want to access files in your Google Drive, you should follow the steps which would be mentioned in the section below:
- First of all, you should click the Google Backup & Sync icon in the menu bar and Open Google Drive folder. If you can’t find it, then click the Launcher, then Google Backup & Sync which starts the app and adds it to the menu bar.
- After that, you should drag any files & folders to the Google Drive folder and they are uploaded. Drag them to make them removed. Then, create folders inside and organize, or save files directly to Google Drive from any application.
- Then, you should do a double-click files to open them in the apps on your Mac. Since they’re stored on your Mac, they may be used even when you’re not connected to the internet. When the changed are saved, they’re updated on the web and other linked Macs, Windows PCs and devices when you’re back online.
- After that, you should collaborate with Shared Folders. When items are added to the folder, they will be shared with other people. Take a note that removing items may delete them from other people’s computers & devices. You’ll need to sign into Google Drive on the web and add shared folders to your drive.
- Next, you should find Google Drive Docs – special icons that open in a web browser where Google Docs, Sheets & Slides may be edited on the web. You can organize their shortcut icons in folders within the main Google Drive folder. If you move them out of Google Drive you may delete the original file from the web.
- Then, you should click the Google Backup & Sync icon at the top of the screen to check the current status of cloud sync or Visit Google Drive on the web.
- As you may see, everything isn’t as hard as you may think it could be.
What you should do know about Google Drive storage
In contrast to Apple’s iCloud Drive service, which has 5GB free, Google Drive presents 15GB of free storage to use. This is synced across Google services. It means, if you use Gmail, Google Drive, and other services, all of them share the 15GB storage. If that isn’t enough, as it may be for many users in some cases, it’s possible to upgrade your storage plan through Google One. The most basic storage upgrade is 100GB for $1.99 per month, and it goes up to 30TB for $149.99 per month.
You can upgrade your Google Drive storage online through Google One or through the Settings pane in the Preferences window.
If you are a frequent Google Drive user, it’s a good idea to integrate it into Finder on your Mac. Doing so allows you to easily access your files, open them on your Mac. You can also go one step further, and back up specific Mac folders to your Google Drive account. This will help you keep a backup safe in case anything ever goes wrong.
As you can see, there is nothing difficult in the process of setting up the Google Drive, so you won’t spend lots of time doing that.