How to Sync Google Drive On Mac in 2023 (and Backup)

🗓️ August 24, 2023 By ✍️ Jaysukh patel

You may safely use Google Drive to store your files and photos online. It is useful for storing and accessing your documents, media, photos, and more. Google Drive offers 15 GB of free storage and requires you to upgrade and subscribe to Google One for more storage of up to 100 GB. You may have come to find a way to sync and access your Google Drive to your Mac. Here, we’ve discussed everything you need to know about syncing your Google Drive with your Mac.

Step 1: Set up Google Drive on Mac.

Here, we’ve explained how to set up Google Drive on your Mac.

Download and install Google Drive on Mac

  • If you want to use Google Drive on Mac, you’ll need to download its desktop app from the Google Drive Download page and install it on your mac. You’ll also need a Google account to log in and use it. 

Create and add your account to Google Drive

  • After you install and launch Google Drive, a Drive icon appears in the Menu bar. You can sign in to your account from here. 
  • You can use your existing Google account or make a new one to log in and access Google Drive on your Mac. If you have multiple accounts with drive, you can log in to them and manage them all here.

Open Google Drive on Mac

  • After setting up your Drive, you can access it from the Drive icon in the menu bar on your mac. You can browse your Google Drive through Finder to see and manage your files.
See also  How to Search Folders Located in the Google Drive Folder on Mac

Step 2: Set Google Backup Drive and Change Sync Settings on Mac

Use Google Drive Menu Bar Icon

  • Once you log in, your Google Drive will automatically set to sync on your mac. The Drive icon lets you see your drive activity and notifications and control its preferences.
  • You can open preferences, offline files, the error list, and pause/resume syncing from the preferences menu.  
  • You can select exit if you want to exit and hide the Drive icon. To get it back, open Drive from the Dock, Finder, or Launchpad.

Sync Mac Backup Folder to Google Drive

Here’s how to sync folders in google drive by selecting it and saving it for google drive.

Here, you can select or add multiple accounts, manage offline files, select folders to back up to Drive and change the sync type between Stream and Mirror files.

First, Open the Google Drive app on Mac (If not Opened), Now, Click on the Drive icon from the top menu.

Click on Settings gear icon > Preferences.


In preferences, there’re two tabs – My iMac and Google Drive


In My Mac, you can safely back up your files by adding folders from your Mac. It will upload, store, and sync your files to Google Drive and Google Photos

  1. To add a folder, click on Add folder button and select a folder from Finder. It will open a box with two options, ‘Sync with Google Drive’ and ‘Backup to Google Photos’. 
  1. Select ‘Sync with Google Drive’ to upload them to Drive, select ‘Backup to Google Photos’ to upload photos and videos on Google Photos, or you can select both.
  1. You can add as many folders as you want. If you want to remove any folder, click on that folder and uncheck the ‘Sync with Google Drive’ option, and click Done.

See the Syncing process and Successfully synced files for the selected backup folder from your Mac.


In Google Drive, you can open and browse your Drive by clicking on ‘Open in Finder’.  You can manage my drive syncing options between Stream files and Mirror files. 

Change Google Drive Syncing Settings

Google Drive provides two syncing options, Stream files and Mirror files. You can set them from preferences as shown in the following steps. 

  1. Click on the Google Drive Shortcut icon from the top Mac menu bar.
  2. Click on the settings gear icon > Preferences.
See also  How to Switch to Apple Music Plan on iPhone, iPad
  1. Select Google Drive.

Stream Files 

  • In stream files, your files are uploaded and saved on cloud storage that you can access anytime using the internet in Finder. You can make Select files available for offline access. And remove access when you don’t need them. 
  • Streaming files will save space on your computer by making them available only when you need them through the internet.

Mirror Files

  • In mirror files, your files are saved and stored on your Mac and Google Drive. So you can access them even when you’re offline. The changes you make are in sync when you’re back online. 
  • Mirror files will use more space because it stores all files on your Mac and your Drive.

Difference between Stream Files and Mirror Files sync options

Stream filesMirror files
Stores on cloud onlyOn the cloud, and your mac
Virtual access from a drive or folder Direct access from a folder on mac
Selected files and folders areAll files are available offline
Saves spaceUses more space

Change Google Drive Settings on Mac

  • Google Drive preferences window has a gear icon at the upper right corner to open the settings page. Here you can disconnect An account from the Drive Desktop app and click on manage storage for an account to open its page in the browser. 

Further, you will find Google Drive and Google Photos settings for each of your Google Accounts.


Enable Real-time Presence in Microsoft Office

  • Here, you can enable/disable the Real-time presence of someone editing a shared Microsoft Office file. 

Show/hide the Google Drive folder

  • You can show/hide the Google Drive folder in Locations in Finder from here. 
  • If you want to hide your Drive directly from the Locations in Finder, right-click on it and select ‘Remove from Sidebar’. 
  • To get it back, go to Finder > Settings > Click on Sidebar > Check the Cloud Storage box. 

Change photo upload settings for Google Photos

  • Here, you can change the photo upload size to ‘Storage saver’ or ‘Original quality’. 
  • You can enable/disable photos and videos from the System Library to be uploaded automatically to Google Photos. 
  • You can enable/disable uploading screenshots and RAW files from your System Library.

Other drive-related settings

There are more drive settings below the account settings. Here you can enable/disable to launch the Drive at system startup. Set proxy settings and bandwidth settings, and configure hotkey and notification preferences.

See also  Sonoma Fixed “Cannot be opened because the developer cannot be verified on MacBook Mac

Step 3: Access files on Drive through Mac

Open Google Drive in Finder

  • You can manage Google Drive storage on Mac, browse and sync your files between your Mac and Drive in Finder. You will find your drive in the Locations tab in Finder. If you have multiple Accounts with Drive, you can access them from here after logging in. 
  • You can open your drive from the Drive icon in the Menu bar. Click on the Drive icon > Click on Accounts > Click on the Folder icon.
  • You can manage all your files in the My Drive folder. You can open, share, copy, rename, or make a shortcut for any file by right-clicking on it. You can make any file ‘available offline’ or ‘online only’ with a right-click menu option. 
  • However, Google Doc files can only be downloaded or removed offline. Both the files, available offline or online only, are labeled with a green tick mark or cloud symbol, respectively. You can create a new folder in My Drive. 

Move files from Google Drive to Mac

  • To move or download a file from Drive to mac, you can open finder, select your Drive, and open the My Drive folder. Right-click on the file in that folder and select the ‘make available offline’ or ‘download now’ option.

Move files from Mac to Google Drive

To move or upload files from your mac, you don’t need to go to Drive from your browser. You can directly do that using the My Drive folder in Finder. 

  • You can drag & drop the file/folder you want to move to Drive in Finder.
  • You can go to and click on the +new button in the upper left corner. Select file upload or folder upload, and choose a file or folder from Finder.
  • You need to right-click on the folder you want to sync or back up on Drive, select ‘Sync or back up this folder, and then your drive account id.


  1. Is Google Drive supported on Mac?

Yes, Google Drive is supported on macOS. You can download and install its Desktop app from Google Drive Web page. Not Available on the Mac app store.

  1. Where is Google Drive located on my Mac?

You can launch Google Drive from Finder, Launchpad, and Menu bar. To access your Drive files, open Finder and select your drive under Locations.

  1. Why ‘Offline access’ option is not showing?

In Finder, the Offline access option is shown for files other than Google Doc files because they open in the browser and not on your Mac.

  1. How do I add Google Drive to my toolbar on my Mac?

To add Google Drive to your Toolbar/Dock, open Drive from Finder or Launchpad. Then select the Drive icon in the menu bar and open preferences. After that, right-click on the Drive icon in the Dock/Toolbar and select Options > Keep in Dock

  1. Does Google Drive work on macOS?

Yes, Google Drive works on macOS Mojave 10.14 and up.. You can download its Desktop app from the google drive web page.

Jaysukh Patel
Jaysukh Patel

Jaysukh Patel is the founder of howtoisolve. Also self Professional Developer, Techno lover mainly for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and iOS, Jaysukh is one of responsible person in his family. Contact On: [OR]

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply