Google Drive is now available as a progressive web app (PWA) for desktop and mobile, giving users an alternative to launching the service in their regular browsers. PWAs look and feel like stripped-down apps, even though they’re basically living in a stripped-down version of your browser. They’re like the middle ground between apps and websites; while they still require an internet connection to open and run, they take up less space than apps and are often much faster to deal with than loading your full browser (and its many tabs).
You can install the Drive PWA right now on Windows 10, macOS , and Chrome OS using the Chrome browser, though Windows 10 users can also install the app via Edge Chromium.
- Open Google Drive in a Chrome tab.
- Once you’re in your Drive, click the “+” icon in the URL bar next to the bookmark star icon.
- A pop up will appear asking if you want to install the Drive app. Click “Install.”
- A new Drive app window will appear with the same interface at the website version. A shortcuts will also get added to your desktop.
Android users can install a mobile variant of the Drive PWA by going to Drive in the Chrome mobile browser and tapping the Hamburger icon, and then “add to homescreen,” but we recommend just sticking with the stock Android app instead. (It’s easier to use)
Unlike other PWAs, which usually run entirely in their own window, certain Drive files will open in a Chrome tab rather than in the app (this happens on both desktop and mobile). So, you’re running a sort-of PWA experience for the time being, but it’s still useful if you’re always dealing with Google Drive.