Change Google Drive Default Folder Location in Windows

About: There are several ways to change or move Google Drive default folder location. On this topic, we will discuss the two easiest ways to do that.

Google Drive for Windows is a client program that will let you sync online and local files. It also gives you the opportunity to transfer and share files to other users without going through the online login. When Google Drive for Windows is installed on the computer, selected files will be accessible from anywhere.

After you install the client software, it will add Google Drive folder under your own user account, which is C:\Users\[your name]\Google Drive. Since C: Drive contains all your Windows programs and essential files, time will come that you may run out of space and will compel to move the default folder location of Google Drive.

That option is available, simply follow this procedure to change default folder location of Google Drive in Windows systems.

First Procedure – Disconnect Google Drive Account

1. Go to system tray and click on the Google Drive icon. Choose Preferences. It will open a window, click on  Disconnect Account. This will break your current connection so be sure that there is no existing file transfer before you execute this step.

 Disconnect Google Drive account

2. Let us presume that all your Google Drive files and folders are updated. Please delete the existing Google Drive folder as well as shortcut under the Favorites. You can execute this through Windows Explorer.

3. Back again at the system tray, please click on Sign in. Enter your user name and password.

4. It will display the welcome screen as if your are installing the program for the first time. Click on Next button.

5. On the next screen, click on Advance Setup. Then, click on Change button and navigate to the new location of Google Drive folder. You can create a new folder by clicking on a Make New Folder button if you want the drive to be inside a folder. Choose a drive letter if you prefer Google Drive folder to be on the root.

Advanced Setup

Google Drive new folder

6. Be sure that the folder you are choosing is empty, otherwise it will display the message “The Google Drive folder you selected is not empty. Please select an empty folder”, you have no other choice but to delete all contents of the target folder.

7. Click Start Sync. That will set your new location as default Google Drive folder. You can now delete the old folder.

Second Procedure – Move Existing Google Drive Folder (without deleting the old)

1. Open Windows Explorer and go to your existing Google Drive folder. Create a folder “Empty”. Make sure that it sync with your account.

2. Next create a desired Folder for your new Google Drive location.

3. Go to Windows system tray and look for Google Drive icon. Go to Preferences and click Disconnect account…

4. Sign-in to Google Drive once more.

5. You will see a welcome screen (1 of 2), click Next.

6. On the next page (2 of 2), click on Advanced setup.

Advanced Setup

7. Go to Folder location area and click on Change… Browse for the new folder you just created to be the new default Google Drive.

8. On Sync Options, select “Only sync some folders to this computer”. Put a check mark on folder Empty. This will allow Google Drive to sync for a minimal time before it sets the new location.

9. Click on Start sync. Google Drive will recognize the new location in less time because it syncs an empty folder only.

Sync Temp Folder Only

10. You may now move files from OLD Google Drive folder to a new location using Windows Explorer. Make sure that you will retain the directory structure. You can keep files from old folder or delete it to save space when syncing is complete.

11. To retain default value for Sync options, click on Google Drive icon on system tray. Select Preferences.

12. Now, remove the check mark on “Only sync some folders to this computer”. Click on Apply changes to save the settings.

37 comments
  1. Wow, that was easy. This information is what I am looking for. It’s good to know that we can always move Google drive folder to any disc, drive, or folder.

  2. Nice try but very different in reality.
    The method described is only for relocating a folder in it’s original location, maybe to repair accidental deletion but then that should have sync deleted the cloud folder anyway.
    I moved the folder from user to root. Gdrive said ‘folder not in original location’ and refused to play. Had to disconnect the account, create an EMPTY C:\Google Drive folder, sign in, choose advanced, point to the new folder location and then let Gdrive populate the folder from the cloud storage.
    Seems totally over the top for what is in essence a PATH change.

  3. Nice !!!

    I’ve tryed 2nd solution (move my Google Folder to a truecrypt place, It’s more secure on laptop)

    But not work “this is not your original Google Drive Folder… \n please find and select the original”

  4. thanks!

    First Procedure is work!

    but Second Procedure not work , tips: this is not your original Google Drive folder. Please find and select the original

  5. Thanks for help, simple and easy to do

  6. It works for me on Windows, but at Mac Os X it doesn’t work to use a networkdrive. Does anyone have a solution?

  7. Tried moving it to a thumb drive. Did not work. Trying to figure out how to do that. That was it’ll just sync when I’m not using linux etc.

  8. Right now even though I am in fact using the active internet access to post this query, google drive claims that it cannot access the internet and to check my connection.

    Any ideas?

  9. Yes, I had problems with the second method too. Google Drive claims “this is not my original folder”. Ouch!

  10. The second method suggested does not work properly due to the “this is not my original folder” problem.
    Also, I wasn’t able to restore the Google Drive folder after moving it back again in its original position (I guess that Google Drive “sensed” it had been copied from a different hard disk…)

    Now I am forced to sync everything back (which I’d rather not, since my connection is kind of slow on this PC).

    I’d suggest to add a HUGE disclaimer on the second method… or possibly, to remove it entirely as it can easily mislead users.

  11. Google drive s—s, dropbox is obviously better. But I am not sure that dropbox will be there all the time. I will never forget when microsoft killed live space.

  12. Why publish on the web a method that does not work?!

    Read the comments and you will see that your method 2 is pure garbage!!!

    See comment #10.

  13. On my Mac (in Lion), the First Procedure works as advertised, even using an external drive. Haven’t tried a network drive, though. As others have found, the Second Procedure does not work, as the moved folder is not recognised as the original one.

    I was a keen user of Apple’s MobileMe, and .Mac and iDisk before it, as a way to back up important files off site, and I am hoping that Google Drive will help fill the gap that the demise of MobileMe has left. I am also using Dropbox, as two off-site backups are better than one.

  14. yep i am looking for this 1
    tnks for sharing
    i like u

  15. Interesting and much-needed topic. I haven’t yet checked the veracity of the methods as documented (method #1 likely being the ‘preferred’ and working method as I’ve experienced separately), I did note that your lead-in featured a statement that, if true, would have precluded my whole need for researching this fix.

    “After you install the client software, it will add Google Drive folder under your own user account, which is C:\Users\[your name]\Google Drive.”

    Having used the software on multiple modern Windows systems, I can tell you that whenever Google Drive software has the opportunity to run a default install on Win7 or Vista, it will pick %USERPROFILE%\My Documents\Google Drive as a default path (on a default install, this translates to C:\Users\[your name]\My Documents\Google Drive, and given the new focus on “libraries” under the user profile folders in Win 6.x (Vista, 7, 2008) I felt it would more naturally belong in the root of the profile. Google’s main free competetor, Skydrive, defaults to that path without any extra configuration (but, like Google Drive, can be configured during setup to add/update the folder anywhere). I use both programs on a number of different laptops and desktops, and in order to ensure uniformity on my newer machines I’ve found it necessary to retroactively adjust Google Drive’s folder path than Skydrive’s.

  16. I can confirm this works on OSX as well.

  17. I have tried #1. It works for a short time, but there is – I believe – a bug. Every time I restart Google Drive on the PC, the folder is reset to the original one.

  18. … and since GD demands an empty directory to start with, the alternative directory needs to be emptied before connection. Not ideal …

  19. The procedure that worked for me was to:

    1. Shut down Google Drive
    2. Rename or move the google drive folder
    3. Start up Google Drive. It will complain that it can’t find the folder. You can click a button to locate the folder. After doing this, it does not require a resync.

  20. Both methods don’t work when using a mac. I had to download everything from the cloud. Even the trick with the empty folder did not work. When you add files and folders to the google drive folder while gdrive is inactive, the program will double all your files and folders, which is even worse than downloading it once!
    It is a pity Google did not design this better, e.g. by adding an identification file to the folder, or by allowing one to switch to a copy of the google drive folder with files in it.
    But thanks for the tip anyway!

  21. Correction: the first method will work on a mac, of course (I did not read it carefully). However, the first method does not allow you so sync without downloading everything again.

  22. Useless

    First method is obvious, it’s just like creating Google Drive all over again. Or Installing Google Drive on a PC for the first time.

    Second method does not work as you think it should. Google starts syncing all your files and folders all over again, as if you have just installed Google Drive for the first time.

    Useless

  23. After disconnecting your account and redirecting in method one, after you click “start Sync”, go to your system tray icon, and pause the sync. Copy all your files and folders from the previous Google Drive folder on the C: drive, and paste into the new folder. Then restart the sync. You can then delete your old, now empty Google Drive folder.

    All done. This worked for me

  24. An easier way which worked on vista:

    1. End Google Drive
    2. Move folder
    3. Start Google Drive
    4. After Google shows the error message similar to “Can’t find Google Drive folder”, right click on the Google Drive icon in the system tray.
    5. Click on the error message on top of the menu “Can’t find Google Drive folder”
    6. Click on “choose folder location”.

    That’s it.

  25. Thanks it was very helpful.

  26. Great! Thanks :D

  27. Excellet ! Tried the first one and it works elegant .But I doubt the second one as before reading this i had tried that trick but didn’t work for me

  28. Thank you for the help. The instructions worked perfectly.

  29. Thank you! First procedure worked perfectly and saved my rear as I need to sync a specific folder!

  30. Love the mix of derisive comments and “thank yous.”

    Some folks (like Jan, #12 and Ommadawn, #22) should note that this did work for some people (please read ALL the comments, not just the one that agreed with you) and consider the wild possibility that the instructions are right, and either a) you made an error, or b) your scenario is different.

    But to bash someone who takes the effort to help others with rudeness, and I’m pleased to add, inaccurate comments just shows how petty YOU are, Jan and Ommadawn.

    To the author: thank you for taking your time to create a FREE help for others. Please ignore the spoiled brats who didn’t get on-site, same-day service…

    [end of rant]

  31. PLEASE REMOVE THE SECOND METHOD, IT DOESN’T WORK, WHY WOULD SOMEONE PUT SOMETHING LIKE THIS TO WASTE OUR TIME?
    I followed the instructions just to notice that drive didn’t recognized the new folders, and started syncing everything again, adding a copy of each folder

  32. Thank you, thank you. That was exactly what I needed, with my due date for project submition and space of 3 MB on my C: drive it was almost impossible to finish the work. Thank you for the info about how to move Google disk to an other place. the first scenario works perfectly!

  33. Asking questions are actually nice thing if you are not understanding anything entirely, but this piece
    of writing provides pleasant understanding yet.

  34. Give this man a Bells!

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  37. When I try to set my Google Drive Folder up on my external hard drive I am getting this error: The folder /Volumes/K/googledrive can’t be used. Please select a folder on an HFS+ drive that is not mounted over a network.

    I am using a Mac Book Pro as my computer and my hard drive is attached to the Mac Book Pro via a USB cable, there is not a network connection that the hard drive uses.

    I had the Google Drive on my Mac Hard Drive initially, but my Google Drive has gotten so large that I had to purchase an external hard drive to keep everything, now it seems as if I can no longer use the Google Drive. I have tried uninstalling and reinstalling the software multiple times but can not get past this error message, please help.

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