Map Amazon S3 Drive on Mac or Windows

Map S3 as a Network Drive with ExpanDrive

If you’re looking to connect to S3 as a drive, ExpanDrive is an amazing option. ExpanDrive is a S3 client for Mac and Windows that lets you connect to S3 as a fast network drive. It has been under active development for more than 10 years and is one of the fastest and most reliable S3 clients available. All your files in the cloud are available from within any application including Finder and Explorer.

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Download ExpanDrive
Version 6.4.5 for macOS and Windows
Released Feb 15th, 2019

Amazon S3 is Amazon’s API-driven, amazingly durable cloud storage service. Launched over ten years ago, in 2006, it was the first offering of what is now Amazon Web Services.

S3 desktop client options

Most consumer-focused cloud storage services like Dropbox or Google Drive come with their own desktop sync client. S3 differs in that it is primarily driven by an API which you need a client like ExpanDrive in order to take advantage of on your desktop. Amazon provides a fairly basic web interface, but other than that the only way to get data in and out of it is via the API.

There are a wide variety of clients to access S3, like S3 Browser or Transmit for the Mac. ExpanDrive is unique in that it translates the S3 API into an infinite-capacity external drive for macOS or PC. In practice this means Finder and Explorer now have S3 built in, as does every other app on your machine. ExpanDrive also operates as a great general S3 Browser for Mac and Windows.

Bucket level organization

S3 is organized into buckets, which are top-level folders that are uniquely named throughout the service. You can attach various policies to a bucket such as restricting access to particular users or making hosted content available to the public. ExpanDrive lets you mount the root of your S3 account, showing you all your buckets (if your user has permission to list buckets). You can restrict mount a specific bucket, or even a particular folder in a bucket, by typing the bucket name in the remote path section. For additional details you can check out our documentation on connecting to S3

S3FS for Mac and Windows

Tools like S3FS for linux perform a similar function but lack critical features like background writes, smart synchronization of files for offline access and multi-threaded reads and writes. With ExpanDrive you get a host of extra features and robust performance. Users can access petabytes of data from their laptop as if it was local. ExpanDrive works as a free S3 Client for macOS and Windows that connects you to Amazon S3 as a fast network drive. 

Creating a virtual drive with Amazon S3

Amazon provides a simple guide to get started with their S3 service. You’ll need an AWS account, as well as a bucket. From there, you’ll want to get your API keys to authenticate with ExpanDrive. Haystack Software has a nice guide on how to get the keys. As with any AWS keys, it is recommended to use IAM keys rather than your root keys.

ExpanDrive Openstack Mac

Add your Access key and Secret Key, then click Save or Connect and you’re good to go. Amazon S3 will now be visible as a network drive whenever you login to your computer – letting you access all of S3 from Finder, Explorer, Photoshop, Microsoft Office – whatever!

Drag and drop files to copy them out to the cloud. Or stream movies and media directly from S3 without needing to first download or sync them. For more information, check our documentation page on connecting ExpanDrive to S3.

Download ExpanDrive

System Requirements

ExpanDrive requires macOS 10.9 or newer and supports 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.

Using Sharepoint on Mac

There are a variety of good ways to access Sharepoint document libraries from your mac. Some, such as plain access via the web, don’t offer much in the way of native integration. While others provide a full native filesystem interface that lets you access Sharepoint as a mapped drive.

Sharepoint via the Web

The easiest starting point is simply accessing Sharepoint via the web through the Office 365 portal. In order to get the richest experience via the web you’ll want to make sure you have a modern version of your browser. Microsoft keeps this list of supported browsers.

Mapping a Drive via WebDAV

While mounting Sharepoint as a network Drive using WebDAV mostly works in a Windows environment, it doesn’t function correctly on Mac when connecting to Office 365.

Microsoft Document Connection

In versions of Office previous to 2016 Microsoft included an app called Document Connection to move data in and out of Sharepoint, but it has been since discontinued in favor of more direct integration inside the office 365 apps.

Mapping a Network Drive

Third-party tools like ExpanDrive integrate directly with the Sharepoint API building in native access to any Mac. A user authenticates one time using the same login flow a they access Office 365 via the web, including MFA and SAML configurations. They can then access their entire Sharepoint setup as a fast, aggressively cached network drive that provides advanced features like smart-sync offline mode, integrated link sharing, and more.

OneDrive sync client

Another option is to use the OneDrive sync client to access Sharepoint on your mac. It provides reasonable integration and speed and is available from Microsoft. However, it doesn’t make managing a configuration with fine grained permissions and many different sites particularly. easy.

ExpanDrive for Linux Beta

We’re finally expanding our test group for our Linux client. Please email [email protected] if you’re interested in testing ExpanDrive in a Linux desktop environment.

S3 Browser for Mac

S3 Browser for Mac using ExpanDrive

If you’re looking for a solution to browse S3 (or S3-compatible) storage ExpanDrive is a great option. It builds native access to S3 directly into your operating system at the filesystem level. Finder and Explorer, or any other application, can browser you S3 buckets natively and access the remote content on-demand. It effectively turns your Mac or Windows machine into a S3 Browser.

This lets you browse S3 storage without needing to sync down any of the data in advance. You can view buckets, manage files, and transfer large amounts of data from within any application. Files are uploaded in the background with our multi-threaded transfer engine. This makes uploads feel instant and doesn’t leave you waiting on transfers while you continue to go about your work.

Learn More
Download ExpanDrive
Version 6.4.5 for macOS and Windows
Released Feb 15th, 2019

S3 Browser options for mac

Most consumer-focused cloud storage services like Dropbox or Google Drive come with their own desktop sync client. S3 is different in this respect. It is primarily accessed by an API, for which you need a client like ExpanDrive in order to take advantage of on your desktop. Amazon provides a fairly basic web interface, but other than that the only way to get data in and out of it is via the API.

There are a wide variety of clients to access S3, like S3 Browser or Transmit for the Mac. DragonDisk used to be targeted on this use-case but development ceased a few years ago. Most of these provide basic access to S3, but don’t provide native access to content. ExpanDrive provides advanced functionality and also turns S3 into an infinite-capacity external drive.

Bucket level organization

To get started you load ExpanDrive and input your access key ID as well as your secret key. Connecting mounts the root of your AWS account. Now you can use Finder or Explorer to browse your buckets and then drill into them.

S3 is organized into buckets, which are top-level folders that are uniquely named throughout the service. You can attach various policies to a bucket such as restricting access to particular users or making hosted content available to the public. ExpanDrive lets you mount the root of your S3 account, showing you all your buckets (if your user has permission to list buckets). You can restrict mount a specific bucket, or even a particular folder in a bucket, by typing the bucket name in the remote path section. For additional details you can check out our documentation on connecting to S3. This is useful if you have an IAM user with access to only a single bucket or doesn’t have the permissions to list the buckets for an account.

Browse S3-Compatible storage like Wasabi

Amazon provides a simple guide to get started with their S3 service. ExpanDrive is also compatible with any S3-protocol compatible service like Wasabi or Dream Objects. For Wasabi you modify the server section to https://s3.wasabisys.com and use the Access Key and Secret Key you got from the Wasabi control panel.

ExpanDrive Openstack Mac

Click Save or Connect and you’re good to go. Amazon S3 will now be visible as a network drive whenever you login to your computer – letting you access all of your content from Finder, Explorer, Photoshop, Microsoft Office – whatever!

Drag and drop files to copy them out to the cloud. You can even stream media content like movies and music directly from the S3 storage without needing to first download or sync them. For more information, check our documentation page on connecting ExpanDrive to S3.

Download ExpanDrive

System Requirements

ExpanDrive requires macOS 10.9 or newer and supports 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 Google Drive on Mac or Windows

Map Google Drive as a Drive Letter in Windows or macOS

Google Drive is the file storage area for GSuite. It comes with 15GB of free online storage and the extended storage plans have huge amounts of capacity. The primary means of accessing Google Drive is via https://drive.google.com in your web browser. For native integration options you can utilize one of Google’s first party apps such as their iOS/Android App or their backup and sync client. If you want to build full native access into your Mac, Windows or Linux machine using a solution like ExpanDrive is a great option. It turns Google Drive into a fast network drive making contents from your drive as well as any team drive available from within any app on your machine.

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.

Learn More
Download ExpanDrive
Version 6.4.5 for macOS and Windows
Released Feb 15th, 2019

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.

Set the remote path to mount a specific Team Drive or folder
A mounted volume of a single team drive

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. 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.

Download ExpanDrive for Mac & Windows

Multiple OneDrive Accounts on Mac or Windows

Microsoft’s office OneDrive client and the Windows built-in client are only able to connect to a single OneDrive or Sharepoint account. This makes sense for most people. If you want to connect to multiple accounts at the same time ExpanDrive for Mac and Windows is an amazing option. You can access your content on demand without needing to sync anything.

Learn More
Download ExpanDrive
Version 6.4.5 for macOS and Windows
Released Feb 15th, 2019

Connect Two OneDrive Accounts at the same time

It’s not uncommon for people to have a OneDrive for Business account for work or school and also have a personal OneDrive account on their own. With multiple accounts your only option to move data in and out of both of those is using the browser. This might be fine for occasional use, but any serious user relies on native access to their files. Having on demand access from Finder or Explorer is essential.

System Requirements

ExpanDrive requires macOS 10.9 or newer and supports 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.

ExpanDrive v6.3

ExpanDrive v6.3 is out via the auto-updater and on our main download page. It supports macOS 10.9 and newer and Windows 7 through Windows 10. This release improves SFTP support with better background reconnect login as well as remote refresh. It also adds support for Backblaze B2 API keys and adds support for mojave dark mode.

  • NEW  [mac] Added support for macOS 10.14 Mojave Dark mode
  • NEW  Added support for B2 application-specific keys
  • FIXED  Improved SFTP/S3 refresh on remote files
  • FIXED  Improved SFTP background reconnect

ExpanDrive v6.2

ExpanDrive v6.2 is out for macOS and Windows. It add support for macOS 10.14 as well as provides a number of performance improvement an bug fixes for both Mac and Windows. You can get it via the auto updater or directly from our front page.

ExpanDrive v6.1.15

ExpanDrive v6.1.15 is out which adds an updated icon overlay shell extension for Windows that fixes an issue on some systems where ephemeral TCP ports could become temporarily exhausted. The shell extension is also a good bit faster and should improve the speed of browsing in Explorer. You can get this update from our download page or via the auto-updater. Detailed release notes are available on our support page.

Map or Mount Box as a Network Drive on Mac and Windows

Box.com, like most big online storage providers, provides a Sync client for your desktop PC or Mac. The Box sync client has long been plagued with problems and has had a reputation of being notoriously slow and buggy. Especially on the Mac. Box Sync 4 improves things a bit, but it still has the same problems any syncing app has. The best solution is to Map or Mount Box as a Network Drive, with ExpanDrive. Connect to your Box account just like a USB Drive. Browse the account in any application, like Word, Powerpoint, Photoshop – whatever. View and managed all your files directly from within Finder on the Mac or Explorer.

Download ExpanDrive for free – supports Mac & Windows

Box as a network drive

Problems with Sync – It needs lots of hard drive space

To use Box Sync you first have to download all the data to your machine – which takes a long time and can take a lot of storage.  If you’re running a MacBook Air or an notebook with a 128GB SSD it’s going to pretty hard to use your company’s 500GB Box account. Forget trying to store lots of media and assets with Box sync. What you really want is to offload that data to the cloud, but still be able to get at it when you need it. That’s what a network drive like ExpanDrive is perfect for. The files are still there, but they are just stored directly on Box.

Download ExpanDrive for free – supports Mac & Windows

Sync is less Secure

Box has a great security model – you can provide fine grained control to your users. When employees leave, you can simply revoke their permissions. However, using Box Sync that model breaks down a bit. Everybody has a copy of the data sitting on their laptop. If the machine is lost or stolen the files remain there for the taking. If an employee runs off, they can still access all the data they had before since it is just sitting in a folder on their computer.

Connect Box as a Network Drive with ExpanDrive

ExpanDrive makes managing your Box account as seamless as using a USB Drive. It also improves the Box security model – ExpanDrive accesses everything on demand. Here is a video to help get a better idea of what ExpanDrive does and how it works.

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