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 dropbox.com. 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 ›)
Google Drive on the Web
Go to https://www.google.com/drive/ to log in. Enter your Dartmouth email (@dartmouth.edu) 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 Kite logo in the upper lefthand corner.
Collaborating with Google files: Google Docs, Sheets, Forms etc.
Syncing with File Stream
Drive File Stream 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 File Stream simultaneously on any number of computers.
When you launch the Drive File Stream 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 File stream window is also a handy way to navigate to your File Stream 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 File Stream 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 Drive File Stream 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 File Stream 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 File Stream 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 (https://www.google.com/drive/) to search for any files you can't find in the File Stream client.
Folder & File metadata:
File Stream does not update the "Last modified" date of folders, even when you add or delete files.
Accessing shared files using the Google Drive client
Sharing files with others.
- 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 @dartmouth.edu 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com), 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).
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 @dartmouth.edu 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.