Google Drive


Google Drive gives you  unlimited storage space in Google's cloud. You can store any file type (Word Docs, PDF, images, video etc.) in your Kite Drive and you can also create Google Docs, Spreadsheets, and Forms from within your Drive. (see Collaborating with Google files ›)   

Google Drive also allows you to sync files with your computer, similar to other services like With the Google Drive client app, you can access files stored in your Google Drive through a folder on your local machine. Updates you make to documents stored in this Google Drive folder will be automatically synced up to your Drive. (see  Syncing with your device ›)

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Google Drive on the Web

The web interface is where you'll be able to see all the files and documents stored in your Google Drive and shared with you. Your Google Drive storage is cloud-based and provided by Google. If you are using the Google Drive client application, you will only be able to see files and folders you have  chosen to sync.

Logging in 

Go to to log in. Enter your Dartmouth email ( into the user name slot. This will take you to a Dartmouth Web Authentication page where you will enter your NetID and password + DUO Authentication. If your log in is successful, you should be brought to a page like the one below, with the Dartmouth logo in the upper righthand corner.

Collaborating with Google files: Google Docs, Sheets, Forms etc. 

You can store any type of file in your Drive but Google also provides some special online-only file types that allow real-time collaboration with other members of the Thayer Community.
To create one of these types of files, click "NEW" in the top left of your Google Drive home. If you hover over "More" at the bottom of the menu, you will see the option for Google Forms and more. 

Google Docs are for word processing and have almost all the features of Microsoft Word (plus real-time collaboration);  Google Sheets are spreadsheets, very much like Excel spreadsheets;  Google Slides are roughly equivalent to PowerPoint decks.
Google Forms are great for making simple web forms/surveys. You can collect responses in a number of ways: right there in the Form, on a Google Sheet (which you would designate), or as a .csv. You can also set up email notifications for responses. 
Learn more in the  GSuite learning center ›

Syncing with Google Drive App (formerly Google Drive File Stream)

"Google Drive" App is Google's enterprise tool for syncing files between your computer and your Google Drive. It looks and behaves very much like an external drive -- you can think of it as as a thumb drive that holds all the contents of your Google Drive except you can use Google Drive simultaneously on any number of computers.

Basic usage

When you launch the Google Drive application, you should be prompted to sign in to a Google account. Enter your full Dartmouth email address. Then you should be redirected to the familiar Dartmouth web authentication.

Once connected, a Google Drive icon will appear in your menu bar if your on a Mac, or your system tray on Windows. 

Click the icon to get a quick overview of recently synced files. The folder icon in this little Google Drive app window is also a handy way to navigate to your Google Drive drive in your file system.

Google Drive in Apple Finder:

Google Drive in Windows File Explorer:

Open from and save to this virtual drive to start syncing!


Working with files offline:

The Google Drive application will show you all of the files stored in your Google Drive, but it will only sync files when you click to open them for the first time. That means if you are offline you cannot access files that have never been synced. 

If you need a file available offline, right click on the file name and find Google Drive in the popup menu, then check Available offline.  

You can do this for individual files, but it may be more convenient to make entire folders available offline.  If you do this, all subfolders will also be kept cached on your computer, so bear in mind that you may run out of space on your local drive if you have lots of data in the folders you are making available offline.

Searching for files:

Searching for files within your Google Drive is a little limited with the Google Drive client. You can search for a folder or file by name, but if you search by keywords within the document, the file system may not show you a full list of all files containing that keyword. This is because the Google Drive app will only store a file's title and metadata until you open it locally, at which time it will sync all the contents of the file, or when you force it to sync by making it available offline (see above).

As a workaround, you can use the web interface ( to search for any files you can't find in the Google Drive client.

Folder & File metadata:

The Google Drive app does not update the "Last modified" date of folders, even when you add or delete files.

Accessing shared files using the Google Drive client 

To sync files that have been shared with you, you'll first have to go online to the Google Drive web interface ( and move the files. See  instructions below ›


⚠ Security Note: Due to security standards at Dartmouth imposed by  DISC (Dartmouth Information Security Committee), data which is a classified as above level 2, is prohibited from being shared to non-Dartmouth accounts. For a list of DISC's different levels of data classification, please refer to our  DISC Protection Levels article.

Sharing files with others.

Google Drive is set up to easily share with other Google Drive users (who must be logged in with their address), but it is also possible to share with people at other schools or people using alternate Dartmouth email address forms (like, provided you are following DISC security policy.
There are many ways to find the Share option in Google Drive:
  • When you have a Google file open -- Docs, Sheets etc (although the process for sharing Forms is notably different, see below) --  you will see a Share button in the upper right hand corner.

  • From a Folder view, you can click on any file name and then click on the Share icon in the top right

  • And if you are looking at a preview of a regular non-Google file (i.e. Word Doc, Excel sheet, jpg etc), you can click on the stack of dots in the upper right to find the Share option.

No matter which option you use, the Share window should look like this when it opens:

Here is where you can enter addresses of the people you want to share with. If you click the pencil icon to the right, you can limit the permissions of the people you're sharing with. The options are Can edit, Can comment, and Can view (i.e. read-only).

You can also choose to Get a shareable link which you can then email to your collaborators. If you want to share with emails, you MUST get the shareable link and change the default sharing settings!

Changing Sharing Permissions

To share with with people outside Dartmouth or people using alternate Dartmouth email address forms (like, follow the steps above to open the Share window, then:

  • click the Get shareable link button
  • click on "Anyone at Dartmouth Kite with the link can view" to open the drop down menu (image below)
  • click More... at the bottom of the dropdown

You should see a menu that looks like this:

Here is where you can choose to make the file available to Anyone with the link or make it totally public (not recommended). 

⚠ Security Reminder: Remember that DISC prohibits the sharing of data classified as Level 3 and above with non-Dartmouth accounts.

Sharing Forms

Oddly, the process for changing sharing settings on Forms is a little different. If you just click the SEND button in the top right you will find all the options for sending out the form but you won't be able to change the default Share settings there (which means you'll only be able to share with other Kite users). 
To change those settings and share with non-Kite accounts, click on the cog icon next to the SEND button:

In the window that pops up, under the "General" tab, uncheck the Restrict to Dartmouth Kite users option:

Finding files shared with you 

IMPORTANT: More likely than not, you must be logged in to Kite Drive with your address to access files shared with you by other Kite users. If you want to find out how to seamlessly switch between Google Accounts, see our Managing Multiple Google Accounts article ›

In the left hand navigation bar of your Drive, you'll find the Shared with me button that will take you to a folder where all documents shared with you will end up (they will not initially appear in your home folder)

To make these easier to access or to sync shared files to your local Google Drive client you can move them to your Drive home folder: 

Right click (Ctrl+click on Mac) on the file you want to send to the My Drive folder, then find the Add to My Drive icon

Now the file will appear both in your home Drive folder, and in the Shared with me section. You can choose to move it to a sub folder by right-clicking again and choosing the Move option.

For more information about sharing in Google Drive, see  Google's own documentation ›

Other ways to sync 

We have some experience accessing Drive data using alternative sync clients, including Expandrive, rclone, FUSE, and others. Contact us for more information if, for example, you are trying to access lots of Drive data without syncing it all to your local storage.