Google Drive


Google Drive is an online file storage platform. Google Drive is separate from Google Docs, although they work together nicely. You can store any kind of file in Google Drive, including native Word (.doc and .docx) and Excel (.xls and .xlsx) files. You can use Google Drive in two ways:

  1. In the web browser, you can find, view, and organize files. You can also open files (e.g. .docx) in Google Docs natively, without converting the file to a Google Doc.
  2. On your computer using Google Drive for desktop, which "mounts" your Google Drive on your desktop allowing you to manage it just like you would internal storage. You can open files using native applications such as Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat.

Shared Drives

If you share a folder in your My Drive, users will get an email notification and see the folder in the "Shared with me" section. They can then move the folder into their drive... anywhere. This means that Tom might put the folder within his "projects" folder, while Jane might put it in her "home directory". You have no way to tell someone where the folder is and they might have a difficult time remembering where they put it.

There are three sections in Google Drive:

My Drive is a place for your personal files. You can organize this any way that you want and share files and folders as needed.

Shared with me has a complete list of files that others have shared with you.

Shared Drives offer an organized file structure that everyone can access in the same way.

We suggest using Shared Drives for inter and intra-organization projects, committees, and groups.

Create a Shared Drive and manage member access

Securely file sharing

To prevent "viewers" from editing, downloading, copying, and printing a file:

  1. Right click on a file
  2. Click Share
  3. Click on the settings (gear) icon in the top-right corner of the share window
  4. Uncheck the box that says “Viewers and commenters can see the option to download, print, and copy”
  5. Click the back arrow in the top-left corner
  6. Enter the names/email addresses of those you want to share with
  7. Select “Viewer” or “Commenter" from the dropdown menu next to the list of people
  8. Click “Send” or “Share”

Google Drive for desktop

Google Drive for desktop is an application that allows you to access your Google Drive files directly from your computer. It makes it easy to open Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents stored on Google Drive in their native [Microsoft] applications.

In macOS, you can find Google Drive on your desktop and in Finder (see green highlights below).

Install Google Drive for Desktop
  1. Go to
  2. Click on the install button near the top of the page
  3. Download and install the application

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