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Map Google Drive on Mac, Windows and Linux

Map Google Drive as a Drive Letter on Windows, Mac and Linux

In this post you’ll learn how to connect to Google Drive as a fast network drive on Mac, Windows or Linux. Access your entire GSuite account on-demand.

Getting started with Google

Google Drive is Google’s file storage and sharing product for GSuite. For personal accounts it comes with 15GB of free online storage. Business, enterprise and academic GSuite plans have unlimited storage.

Most people use Drive via their browser directly at https://drive.google.com. Serious users need a full native integration on their desktop that lets them access files in the cloud from within any application.

Google provides native integration options such their iOS/Android App and their backup and sync client, available for regular GSuite accounts. If you’re looking to get full native access to Google Drive in Finder or Explorer a shared network drive is a great option.

Mounting Google Drive

ExpanDrive is a powerful Google Drive client that connects to Google’s API transforming Drive into a fast network drive. It makes your entire accounts available from any app on your desktop.

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Download ExpanDrive
Version 7.4.2 for Mac, Windows and Linux
December 3rd, 2019

A mounted volume of a single team drive

Sync clients generally require you pre-download and keep a copy of all the files you’re interested in on your machine. This takes up valuable harddrive space, time and bandwidth. Often for files you don’t need. With a shared drive you can access everything on-demand. If your company has many TB of data stored in the cloud and you travel with a small laptop, a mapping a network drive to Google lets you have the best of both worlds.

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.

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

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. It adds Google Drive to Finder so 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.

ExpanDrive
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Download ExpanDrive for Mac, Windows & Linux