Google Drive allows for access to files from any device and location that has Internet access. It is much more effective and reliable than the network drives that teachers were using in the past, which is why I’ve been encouraging teachers to gradually move all their documents from the network drive folder (your “P: drive”) into Google Drive.

Several tools and recent updates make it even simpler to work with Google Drive together with the applications installed on your computer.

Google Drive Desktop Client

Installing this puts a folder on the hard drive of your computer that automatically syncs with your online Google Drive account. It essentially creates a duplicate copy of your Google Drive account on the local hard drive of your computer.

Here’s a video walk-through of the install procedure, if you prefer to watch (jump to the 11:27 mark in the video).

To install the Google Drive desktop client:
  1. In a web browser go to

  2. Click on the “Download Drive” button and select the option for “Mac and PC

  3. Accept the Google Drive Terms of Service Agreement by clicking “Accept and Install”

  4. You may need to click once more on a pop up to allow the file to be downloaded/saved to your computer.

  5. Click on the googledrivesync.exe file that was just downloaded to run the install program, and click through the windows to proceed with the installation.

  6. You’ll be asked to sign in to your Google account. Use your school Google login ( to sign in.

  7. After clicking through a few more screens, the installation will be complete, and Google Drive will start to sync your Drive folder on your computer with all the files stored in your online Google Drive.

When you open Windows File Explorer, you should see a new folder called Google Drive. Once everything is completely synced, it will be a duplicate of the files and folders that you see when you go to in your web browser.

Any files you move into or edit or delete from this folder will be updated in the cloud, so this provides an easy way to work with files in Google Drive using the more familiar Windows Explorer interface.

Clicking on Google Docs files in the Drive folder will open up the appropriate Google App in a browser tab, while native Windows application files will open on your computer in the original program.

Google Drive Plug-In for Microsoft Office

Google recently released a plug-in that allows you to open and save files to Google Drive directly from within Microsoft Office programs. Visit the following link for how to set this up:

Open Google Drive Files using Desktop Apps

One more recent update to the browser version of Google Drive is the ability to have it open files using the native desktop application. See the following link for how this works: