Use-Edit-Google-Docs-From-Desktop

With potentially 15 GB of storage on your Google Drive account, why not have permanent access to all your files directly from your Desktop? IDrive Connect does just that.

Setup the program akin to a mapped network drive, and have access to all your folders and files in an easy-to-use window. Perform edits or share files just like on Google Drive but without ever logging into a browser.

SEE ALSO: How to Get Started with Offline Google Docs and Calendar 

Set up IDrive to edit Google Docs from your desktop

Setup IDrive Connect with your Google Account

Download IDrive Connect here. After installing, you’ll need to reboot, as it won’t work as it should until this has been done.

The only prerequisite to setting IDrive up is to enter the details of your Google Drive account. Choose a letter for the drive, which will appear as a network drive, and click “Connect.”

Login-to-IDrive-Connect-with-your-regular-Google-account

Check My Computer for the new drive. It should be listed under “Other.”

Open-the-IDrive-account-from-Computer,-as-if-it-were-a-regular-local-or-mapped-drive

You can get to this drive as you would any drive using the icon here or inserting the drive letter in the navigation bar.

Using the editor and other features

With the drive open, check the left side of the pane to see a summary of disk usage. The right side of course hosts all the files and folders.

View-a-disk-usage-summary-and-all-the-files-for-the-Drive-account

The menu bar adjusts a bit when in the mapped drive. You need to right-click in the empty space to get the menu for creating a new folder. A few other options have been included to search or quickly remove/copy objects.

Access-a-menu-of-options-from-the-top-of-the-IDrive-Explorer-window

Here are a few shots of the editor so you can see it’s equivalent to the online editor when working in Google Drive. It’s pulling it down to a dedicated browser window, so it will be exactly the same.

Comments and sharing option

Share-a-file-or-view-its-comments-on-IDrive-Connect

The regular menu

Access-the-regular-Google-Drive-menu-from-the-IDrive-Connect-editor

Revision history

View-a-file-revision-history-from-IDrive-for-any-Google-Drive-document

To see history for the account, up to 20 edits, right-click the IDrive taskbar icon to “Show Monitor.”

View-the-revision-history-for-the-whole-Drive-account-from-the-IDrive-menu

Easily share or revoke file and folder admittance from the “Share” menu item.

Share-a-Google-Drive-file-with-anyone-right-form-the-Desktop-in-IDrive-Connect

When you upload new files to the drive, an automatic prompt gives you the option to convert them to the Google Docs format.

Select-settings-when-uploading-files-to-Google-Drive-from-IDrive-Connect

The function of IDrive Connect is comparable to working of Google Docs. The menus are all the same, uploading and editing is easy, sharing is done directly from the file or main window. In short, this is a marvelous way to access all your files from your Desktop. Since it also stores your password, you never have to login again.

There are, however, some limitations I ran across while trying out all these functions. While they are somewhat pesky, it doesn’t discourage me from benefiting from IDrive in the least.

Limitations

  • Can’t manually drag an open window to resize it at a specific point. You need to maximize using the regular button next to the exit.
  • There’s no easy way to sign out from the settings menu. You must right-click and exit the application from the taskbar. Open it again to have the option of changing the drive letter and account credentials.
  • Though not unbearable by any means, navigation through folders can be slow. This isn’t reflected in overall computer performance, but just within the drive itself.
  • Only one Google account can be used at one time. It’d be nice to have multiple accounts running at the same time under different drive letters.
  • Can’t open files in installed programs like LibreOffice or Notepad, or anything else. You first have to copy these files out of the IDrive window and then re-copy back in to save the changes.

Conclusion

Despite the few annoyances I have with IDrive Connect, it’s a pleasure being able to quickly open and edit my documents to have automatically synced back to my account. The editor is the same one found in the browser with Google Drive, so you don’t have to learn about a new menu bar or design structure.

You should also take a peek at these Google Drive extensions which help you work more efficiently if you’re a regular user of Google Drive.

Update: Idrive Connect is currently discontinued.

Download IDrive Connect