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Map Google Drive as a Network Drive

Google Drive provides a backup and sync client forfor Mac and Windows that lets you sync the contents of your Drive to your desktop. But ExpanDrive is a special kind of Google Drive client that lets youmap Google Drive as a drive letter on Windows 7 through Windows 10 and on macOS. It connects directly to Google via their API and provides you with a virtual shared drive.

Download ExpanDrive for free

ExpanDrive lets you turn Google Drive into an actual shared drive. This has a number of advantages. First, you don’t have to sync in the entire library of content to actually use it. If your laptop only has 128G of storage, it’s pretty hard to make good use of a 10TB Google Drive account.

First Download ExpanDrive for Mac or Windows and install it. ExpanDrive sits in the system tray near your clock – just like the Google Drive client. Next you add a new Google Drive to ExpanDrive, click connect – and you’re done. You can now access Google Drive as a virtual drive from within any application on your Mac or PC. For more detailed instructions, check out our documentation on how to Map Google Drive as a drive using ExpanDrive.

High Leverage Development

During our third month of porting SftpDrive to OS X, it became clear that creating and maintaining a cross-platform codebase of high performance network and filesystem code would be far more effort than we had hoped. It wasn’t that the project was impossible, or even absurdly difficult. It just wasn’t any fun. Every time I looked at a #ifdef WIN32, it was even more clear the code was becoming much more tedious to debug and maintain.

It seems our work on Slingshot spoiled us. A few months working with Ruby, Objective-C and C# left us feeling happy and optimistic about programming—anything was possible! Needless to say, the tens of thousands of lines of procedural C in SftpDrive for Mac no longer brought about the same feeling of joy. It seemed unfair that hotshotwebdevelopers, with their pretty MacBooks, got all the attention, and they got to use fun high-level languages like Ruby or Python. We were developing a truly useful piece of technology, but were stuck on Windows and spending more than 50% of our time dealing with “pedestrian” details like pointers, memory management, IRQLs, and IRPs.

Still, we fancied ourselves hardcore and kept at it even though it was hard (and sometimes boring). When it was time to write an auto updater for SftpDrive we spent hours upon hours searching on Google and MSDN trying to find a clean implementation that would work on a vanilla Windows 2000 installation. One option, WinInet was ridiculously ugly and verbose. Another option, WinHTTP, didn’t work on Windows 2000 GM. We ended up using libCURL. It was a ridiculous and frustrating waste of time.

We wanted to import httplib, and then just start making things happen. XKCD hits the nail on the head:

XKCD python

We couldn’t afford to keep spending time and energy writing software this way. Even if we could afford it, we didn’t want to spend our time this way. Web applications were being developed at an astounding pace in part because of centralized management and deployment (they never have to maintain different versions for Macs and PCs), but also because they were using modern interpreted languages. Web developers also used community-developed open-source projects when they needed some help on a routine problem. They didn’t have to reinvent the wheel at every turn, but instead focused on the core of their product. With high-level languages and good libraries, small teams can create great products at a rapid pace. We realized that we could write applications for the desktop in the exact same way.

We rewrote SftpDrive from top to bottom in Python, with a GUI in Objective-C. It’s called ExpanDrive, and it took 1/3rd the time that SftpDrive took to develop. We greatly leverage Python and and many open source projects—just like a web-developer. To minimize conflicts and to have the necessary control over the runtime environment, our build process extracts only the necessary bits from the full python distribution and packages it into the .app. We trim Python from 5000+ files to a few more than 400. Like many OS X apps, we use Sparkle.Framework to automatically distribute and install updates. We’re pushing out weekly updates which include more than just bug fixes. ExpanDrive has been a breeze to maintain and extend and the core remains perfectly cross platform.

Desktop applications aren’t dead, they’re just about to really get going.

ExpanDrive 2 for Windows – FTP and S3, blazing fast SFTP

Nearly 5 years in the making – we are EXTREMELY excited to finally release [ExpanDrive 2 for Windows](https://www.expandrive.com). This is a major update in almost every way. ExpanDrive 2 adds support for plain FTP, FTP and Amazon S3 and our own [Strongspace Online Storage](http://www.strongspace.com) service. It boasts an all-new SFTP engine that should dramatically improve speed in both transfer and browsing. Along with the new drive types, the UI has been completely re-written to be much sexier, more intuitive and less complicated. We think you’ll really enjoy it.

[Download ExpanDrive v2.0.4 now! Free 30-day Trial](https://www.expandrive.com/ExpanDrive.exe)

A quick rundown of the major features:

* Sexy new interface. Simple and intuitive, even more than before.
* Blazing fast new SFTP layer.
* FTP and FTPS drives!
* Amazon S3 drives!
* Massively increased speed and throughout
* Dynamic reconnect support – always stay connected
* [Pagaent](http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/download.html) Support for SSH keys
* On-disk data-cache for frequently accessed files.
* All new metadata-cache – faster browsing around.
* New filesystem driver
* Innumerable fixes and enhancements for MS Office sharing/locking
* Frequent updates – and a working auto updater

ExpanDrive 2 finally unifies our Mac and Windows products into one, in no small part through the magic of [python](https://www.expandrive.com/2008/03/26/high-leverage-development/). We can finally develop simultaneously on both platforms, with ease.

If you’ve already purchased a ExpanDrive 2 license for your Mac – that license is good for this Windows client. As of V2, our licenses are cross-platform. An upgrade license is $19.95 until the end of this week, and $24.95 thereafter.


A couple screenshots of the new UI in action.

Please send any feedback to [support@expandrive.com](mailto:support@expandrive.com) and we’ll help out as fast as we can.

Map or Mount Amazon Drive as a Network Drive on Mac or Windows

Unfortunately Amazon has disabled 3rd-party API access to Amazon Drive as of September 2019. Because of this ExpanDrive no longer supports Amazon Drive but please note that we still do support Amazon S3.

ExpanDrive v7.2

ExpanDrive has been updated to v7.2. This is a bug fix release that takes care of a number of small issues. It improves refresh performance of remote files as well as adds a native 64 bit binary for Windows. We are also now distributing a system-wide (multi user) MSI from our download page, suitable for bulk deployments.

You can grab it on the auto updater or over at our ExpanDrive 7 page.

ExpanDrive v7.0.17

ExpanDrive 7 has been updated to v7.0.17. This is a bug fix release that takes care of a number of small issues. Notably it fixes compatibility with some older Linux distributions that have outdated gcc libraries.

You can grab it on the auto updater or over at our ExpanDrive 7 page.

ExpanDrive 6.4.7

ExpanDrive v6.4.7 is out as a maintenance update for customers still on version 6, adding support for macOS 10.14.5 and newer. This build is only for Mac.

ExpanDrive 7 – The Best Gets Even Better.

It’s finally here! ExpanDrive 7 brings massive performance improvements and a huge array of new features and improvements to all aspects of the app. It also now runs on Linux!

Learn More
Download ExpanDrive
Version 7.7.9 for Mac, Windows and Linux
April 23th, 2021

ExpanDrive 7 now includes an incredibly powerful cloud storage browser and transfer app along with the best network drive for the cloud. Take a look:

ExpanDrive’s storage browser features advanced controls for file transfer, version management, and server side search.

Dramatically faster and more powerful

Protocol Icons

Connect to all major cloud storage providers, or your own server. With a single app you can connect to:

  • Dropbox
  • Google Drive & Team Drives 
  • Box 
  • OneDrive
  • Sharepoint
  • Nextcloud
  • Microsoft Azure Storage
  • Wasabi
  • Amazon S3
  • Backblaze B2
  • SFTP/FTP, WebDAV
  • Hello, Linux

    Major storage providers have left you behind and we’re here to help. ExpanDrive adds native cloud storage access into Linux for all major Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, Mint, CentOS, Redhat, and more.

    Improved Smart Offline Sync

    Choose files for offline access and work without an internet connection. Synchronization to the cloud takes place automatically when you’re back online. Other files are accessed on-demand from the cloud, taking no disk space.

    Integrated Search

    ExpanDrive hooks into Spotlight Search on Mac and Windows file search. Quickly search your remote storage for whatever you’re looking for. The integrated storage browser has additional support for blazing-fast server side search.

    Multi-user file locking

    ExpanDrive now propagates lock files in Microsoft Office documents across the cloud. If a user is editing an Office document, other users will only be able to open that document read-only until the editing user closes it.

    File Version Management

    Easily access older versions of files on cloud storage backends that support versioning, including Box, Dropbox, S3, Google Drive, OneDrive and Sharepoint.

    Learn More
    Download ExpanDrive
    Version 7.7.9 for Mac, Windows and Linux
    April 23th, 2021

    ExpanDrive supports macOS 10.10 or newer and a wide variety of Linux distributions including Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Centos, Fedora, Redhat, and more. Learn more about how to install ExpanDrive for Linux here.

    ExpanDrive runs on 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 Box as a Network Drive on Mac, Windows and Linux

    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.

    Learn More
    Download ExpanDrive
    Version 7.7.9 for Mac, Windows and Linux
    April 23th, 2021

    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.

    Learn More
    Download ExpanDrive
    Version 7.7.9 for Mac, Windows and Linux
    April 23th, 2021

    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.

    Map Dropbox as a Network Drive on Mac, Windows or Linux

    Dropbox is the most popular consumer online storage platform, now with over half a billion users in the system. Their primary client is the Dropbox desktop sync client, which mirrors a folder named Dropbox out to the cloud. It works great. However, as the amount of data you deal with in Dropbox or the number of users all accessing the same storage in Dropbox for Business starts to increase, sync gets pretty messy. Things like figuring out how to deal with different users that only have permission to a subset of the data or dealing with a 5TB dropbox account with users that only have a few hundred GB of storage on their Windows 7 laptops start to become real problems.

    Map Dropbox as a Drive

    ExpanDrive solves this by letting you actually mount Dropbox as a virtual drive on Mac and Windows. This lets you access your content natively, from Finder or Explorer, without having to sync the data. It’s all on demand, like a regular native filesystem. To get started, you want to download ExpanDrive.

    Learn More
    Download ExpanDrive
    Version 7.7.9 for Mac, Windows and Linux
    April 23th, 2021

    dropbox-screenshot1

    Once you’ve downloaded and installed ExpanDrive, you’ll want to select the option to create a new Dropbox Drive.

    ExpanDrive will now ask you to authorize a connection between ExpanDrive and Dropbox. This is a secure direct connection between your computer and Dropbox, ExpanDrive has no server that sits in between you.

    dropbox-screenshot3

    Once you’ve established the connection, you’ll have a virtual drive accessible from every application on your machine including Finder and Explorer.

    System Requirements

    ExpanDrive supports macOS 10.10 or newer and a wide variety of Linux distributions including Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Centos, Fedora, Redhat, and more. Learn more about how to install ExpanDrive for Linux here.

    ExpanDrive runs on 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.