Add Google Drive to File Explorer Navigation Pane in Windows 10

How to add Google Drive to the Navigation Pane of File Explorer in Windows 10

Google Drive is the online document storage solution created by Google corporation which exists in personal and business editions. Users can edit spreadsheets, documents and presentations, as well as share access to them so they can be co-edited in real time. Google offers a special client software, 'Backup and Sync' which simplifies the sync operation. By default, Google Drive doesn't appear in the left area of File Explorer of Windows 10. Here's how to add it there.

For a new user, Google Drive offers 15 GB of storage space. However, this space is shared between Google Photos, Google Drive and Gmail. Google Drive comes with seamless integration with other services, so attachments sent to your Gmail inbox can also be directly saved to Google Drive.

Other cloud storage solutions, including Microsoft's OneDrive, usually add their icons to the Navigation pane(the left area) of File Explorer. However, Google Drive doesn't appear there. Instead, the 'Backup and Sync' app creates a folder shortcut under the Quick Access item which points to the 'Google Drive' folder tied to your Google account.

Google Drive Default Link

If you want, you can create a dedicated icon for your Google Drive which will appear as the root item in the navigation pane, similarly to OneDrive. This can be done with a Registry tweak.

Windows 10 Google Drive In Navigation Pane

To Add Google Drive to Navigation Pane of File Explorer in Windows 10,

  1. Download the following ZIP archive: Download ZIP archive.
  2. Extract its contents to any folder. You can place the files directly to the Desktop.
  3. Unblock the files.
  4. Double click on the Add Google Drive to Navigation Pane.reg file to merge it.
  5. If you are running a 64-bit Windows 10 version, double-click on the file Add Google Drive to Navigation Pane-Wow6432Node.reg.
  6. To remove the entry from the context menu, use the provided file Remove Google Drive From Navigation Pane.reg.

You are done!

How it works

The Registry files above create a new shell folder which assumes that your Google Drive files are stored under the default location, e.g. C:\Users\<you user name>\Google Drive. The contents of the Registry file is as follows:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

; Created with Winaero Tweaker

@="Google Drive"







@="Google Drive"

The file 'Add Google Drive to Navigation Pane-Wow6432Node.reg.' adds Google Drive to the navigation pane of Open/Save dialogs for 32-bit apps running in Windows 10 64-bit.

Custom Google Drive Folder Location

If you store your Google Drive folder under a different location, open the Registry Editor and go to the key


Modify the TargetFolderPath value and set it to the actual path to your Google Drive folder, e.g. d:\Users\Winaero\Google Drive.

Tip: See how to go to a Registry key with one click.

Google Drive Modify Registry Path To Folder

After that, restart the Explorer shell. The Google Drive item is now pointing to the folder location you specified.

That's it.

10 thoughts on “Add Google Drive to File Explorer Navigation Pane in Windows 10

  1. Dirk JW Detmar


    Great option to add to W10 file-explorer, thanks.
    However after 2 tries, nothing happened.
    Is there maybe something I overlooked or maybe there is an error in the procedure?


    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Please share more details.
      What actually happened? Do you have a Google Drive icon on the left?
      Do you have Google Drive installed?

      1. Dirk JW Detmar

        There are no more details.
        Like I said, I see nothing in my file explorer. No Google Drive icon.
        How can I install Google Drive? And why? Because I use GoogleDrive on my cellphone.
        To be exact, I followed all the steps you described cautiously.


  2. Ben

    Nothing happened. I don’t see Google Drive anywhere in File Explorer.

    1. Roman

      Tried to add registry info but without success. Google Drive Icon doesn’t appear on the left in file explorer. I may help in troubleshooting as I realy want this to work Please let me know what to report.

  3. Russel E Furgason

    what a pain, the Google Drive icon showed up in my MacBook’s Finder without me doing anything

  4. Dasom Kim

    Thank you very much for the great tip! It was very successful when I followed your kind guidance. Thanks once again. However, I want to change the folder icon to another picture. Could you explain how to change the folder icon, which is currently a yellow plane folder? Thank you very much in advance for your kind attention and reply!

    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Set here the path to your custom icon.

  5. Martin Griffis

    Still works like a charm in April 2020! I can’t believe that Google Drive still doesn’t come out of the box doing this when other apps have been for years. Thanks to this guide and easy to use reg files, my only issue with Google Drive has been solved. Thank you!

    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Thanks for your feedback


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