While Apple users can easily use the ICloud storage service, it comes with only 5 GB of free storage. Rather than paying extra, you can switch to using Google Drive on your Mac, which gives you more space and tools in the process.
Once you’ve installed and configured Google Drive, it will appear as a folder in the Finder app. You will need a Google account installed and configured to use Google Drive.
Installing Google Backup and Sync on Mac
To access Google Drive on your Mac (not from a browser), you need to download and install the Google Backup and Sync software.
Head to the Google Drive website and click the “Download” button in the “Personal” section.
Accept the terms and conditions to begin downloading the software. Open the DMG file once the download is complete.
In the DMG installer, drag the “Backup and sync from Google” icon to the “Applications” folder on the other side.
After a few moments, the backup and synchronization software for Google Drive will be installed on your Mac.
You can access it from your Launchpad or by searching for “Backup and synchronization” in Spotlight Search, accessible by clicking on the search icon at the top right of your Mac screen or by pressing the keys on the CMD + Space bar.
Depending on your version of macOS, a warning regarding the use of backup and synchronization may appear on the first launch.
Click “Open” to allow it to launch.
You will then need to allow Backup and Sync access to your files and allow it to back up your Desktop folder.
Click “Do not allow” if you prefer not to allow it, but you will configure these options later. Otherwise, click “OK” to allow access to backup and synchronization.
Authorize the same for your Documents folder by clicking on the “OK” button.
Click “OK” to allow the same access for your photos and videos. This will allow them to be saved to your Google account.
With the appropriate permissions applied, the backup and synchronization will start.
Configuring Google Backup and Sync on Mac
Once the Google Backup and Sync software is launched with the appropriate permissions, click the “Start” button, then sign in with your Google Account username and password.
You will then need to select the folders on your Mac that you want to sync with Google Drive.
Click “Got It” to start, then select the folders you want to sync in the top section. By default, your Office, Documents and Pictures folders will be synchronized. You can uncheck them if you prefer.
You will need to choose the quality of your photo and video downloads. Select the radio button next to your preferred option.
“High quality” will convert your photos and videos to a lower quality, but these files will not be taken into account in your storage quota. If you prefer to leave them intact, choose the “Original quality” option. This will use your provided Google Drive storage quota.
Check the “Download photos and videos to Google Photos” box to automatically download them to Google Photos, then click “Next” to continue.
You will then need to decide which folders from your Google Drive storage you want to automatically sync with your Mac for immediate access.
Click “Got It” to get started. Select “Synchronize all to my disc” to synchronize all the files in your Google Drive storage, or select individual files by clicking on the option “Synchronize these folders only”.
This will provide you with a list of available files. Uncheck the folders you don’t want to sync, click “Start” to complete the setup process, then start syncing your files.
Access Google Drive on your Mac
Once the Google Backup and Sync software is configured, a configuration tool will appear in your macOS menu bar. This will give you information on the progress of all sync files and allow you to configure Google Drive in the future.
Your Google Drive folder will appear so that you can access it like any other folder in the Finder, in the “Favorites” section of the left menu. You can launch the Finder from your Launchpad or by searching for it by clicking on the Spotlight search icon in your menu bar.
This folder is where you can add, edit, or delete files and folders on your Google Drive storage. The folder will also appear when you try to save or open files in other software.
Depending on the synchronization options you selected during the installation process, your Office, Document and Photo files will also be automatically synchronized with your Google Drive storage, whether or not you have saved them directly to your Google Drive storage folder.