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Google Drive for desktop lets you quickly copy files to the cloud and even several at a time. Despite the fact that the online version of google cloud storage is easy to use, the PC software greatly simplifies the process of working with documents. Let’s take a look at how to set up Google Drive on desktop and the list of alternative apps.
Reasons for Installing the Desktop App
If you’re using Google Drive in the browser there’s a big chance you think you’re not missing out on anything for not installing the desktop app. And while it’s fair to assume both versions of Google’s cloud storage tool offer the same experience, there are some differences as well.
First of all, you get local file system access to Google Drive. This means you will see Google Drive in Windows Explorer, just like any other hard drive on your computer or laptop. Another benefit comes from the ability to customize offline access and make use of features like drive file stream or mirror.
Another great feature only available on Google Drive desktop is the ability to configure Photo backup. So, if you have any photos saved on your computer that you wish to access easily from all devices, you can use the desktop app to sync and access them on all devices.
Lastly, with the Google Drive desktop app, you can access files from four different accounts. Unlike the browser version where you can only use one account at a time, the app allows you to connect several accounts.
Drive for Desktop Settings
There’s a myriad of setting you can access in Google Drive no matter if we’re talking about the browser version or the dedicated desktop app. However, the dedicated app comes with a much wider range of fine-tune actions. Here are just a few examples of in-depth settings you can operate if you install the app on your computer:
- Change the number of accounts that can connect on a machine
- Choose if you want to start Drive automatically wnen Windows starts
- Control the maximum upload and download in kilobytes per second
- Use files offline
- Define permissions for each app or addon
- Set default document formatting
- Change how notifications work
- Assign apps for specific file formats
Selecting to Stream or Mirror Drive Files
One of the most interesting features that the Google Drive desktop app brings on top of what the browser version can do is the ability to stream and mirror files. You must be curious what this means and we’re going to review this feature right now.
When you mirror files with Google Drive it basically stores the My Drive content both in the cloud and on your computer. This means you will take up more space however it enables instant access to all files, no matter if you have internet connections or not.
On the other hand, if you simply choose to stream the files, all the data remains stored solely in the cloud. Your disk space is only needed when you open certain files or you make them available for offline work. However, as you already hinted, you will only be able to work on the files made available for offline work when there’s no internet connection.
Furthermore, when you switch from mirroring to streaming, the location of your files changes on the computer.