Pin Google Drive to File Explorer Navigation Pane

When you install Google Drive Backup and Sync client, the Google Drive folder is pinned to the Quick Access area, but isn’t shown as a separate category (like OneDrive or Dropbox). To Pin Google Drive to the left pane in File Explorer, you need to create a custom shell folder object and add the System.IsPinnedToNamespaceTree DWORD registry value, setting its value data to 1. (Example)

Pin Google Drive to the Explorer Navigation pane Using Registry Edit

Download the registry files, unzip and run the appropriate REG file, logoff and login back for the change to take effect.

You should see Google Drive Pinned as a separate item on the navigation pane.

pin google drive to explorer navigation pane



If you decide to remove Google Drive from the navigation pane, run the undo REG file gdrive-undo.reg.

REG File Contents

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\CLSID\{81539FE6-33C7-4CE7-90C7-1C7B8F2F2D41}]
@="Google Drive"
"System.IsPinnedToNamespaceTree"=dword:00000001
"SortOrderIndex"=dword:00000042

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\CLSID\{81539FE6-33C7-4CE7-90C7-1C7B8F2F2D41}\InProcServer32]
@=hex(2):25,00,53,00,59,00,53,00,54,00,45,00,4D,00,52,00,4F,00,4F,00,54,00,\
25,00,5C,00,73,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6D,00,33,00,32,00,5C,00,73,00,68,\
00,65,00,6C,00,6C,00,33,00,32,00,2E,00,64,00,6C,00,6C,00,00,00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\CLSID\{81539FE6-33C7-4CE7-90C7-1C7B8F2F2D41}\ShellFolder]
"FolderValueFlags"=dword:00000028
"Attributes"=dword:f080004d

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\HideDesktopIcons\NewStartPanel]
"{81539FE6-33C7-4CE7-90C7-1C7B8F2F2D41}"=dword:00000001

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Desktop\NameSpace\{81539FE6-33C7-4CE7-90C7-1C7B8F2F2D41}]
@="Google Drive"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\CLSID\{81539FE6-33C7-4CE7-90C7-1C7B8F2F2D41}\DefaultIcon]
@="C:\\Program Files\\Google\\Drive\\googledrivesync.exe,0"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\CLSID\{81539FE6-33C7-4CE7-90C7-1C7B8F2F2D41}\Instance]
"CLSID"="{0E5AAE11-A475-4c5b-AB00-C66DE400274E}"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\CLSID\{81539FE6-33C7-4CE7-90C7-1C7B8F2F2D41}\Instance\InitPropertyBag]
"Attributes"=dword:00000011
"TargetFolderPath"=hex(2):25,00,55,00,53,00,45,00,52,00,50,00,52,00,4f,00,46,\
00,49,00,4c,00,45,00,25,00,5c,00,47,00,6f,00,6f,00,67,00,6c,00,65,00,20,00,\
44,00,72,00,69,00,76,00,65,00,00,00
 

That’s it! This adds Google Drive icon to the File Explorer navigation pane.

The above registry settings were last tested with Google Backup & Sync Version 3.43.4275.9540.

About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in Windows — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP (2003-2012) who contributes to various Windows support forums.

21 thoughts on “Pin Google Drive to File Explorer Navigation Pane”

  1. This works as I expected except in one instance: when I am asked by my browser or a third party program to navigate to a file to upload and I click the Gdrive icon it says the path doesn’t exist. Otherwise, there are no problems.

    • @Earl: Not sure why this happens. May be you can export the registry key and send it (or upload somewhere). I’ll see if I can repro the problem.

  2. These .reg files do NOT work if you have selected a different path than
    %USERPROFILE%\Google Drive
    like I did.

    I that case you need to change the two “TargetFolderPath” variables and insert the ascii hex string of your destination. You can use this tool for converting back and fourth: http://www.rapidtables.com/convert/number/hex-to-ascii.htm

    Remember to add “00” every two characters and add “,00,00” to the end. You don’t need the \ and if can fit in one line.

  3. Doesn’t work with google drive not in the default folder. The undo reg file doesn’t work either. Now stuck with shitty explorer setup. Thanks, no thanks.

    • @Neah. If you’re comfortable using regedit.exe, then you can alter the “TargetFolderPath” value to reflect the actual Google Drive folder path.

    • @Neah: I’ve updated the “undo” REG file inside google_drive-pinned.zip. the old one seemed to have some encoding issues. Pls download it again and run it.

  4. I can’t seem to remove quick access now, everything is where it should be. It tells me the undo isn’t a registry file. Any suggestions?

    • @VES: I’ve updated the “undo” REG file inside google_drive-pinned.zip. the old one seemed to have some encoding issues. Pls download it again and run it.

  5. In my win10 64 bits, the path for GoogleSync is at “Program Files” (64 bits version) and not “Program Files (x86)” as in your 64bits reg file.

    So for anyone that has the same config pls run the 32bits version.

    Thanks

  6. Hi, Ramesh. Thanks for the code. It actually helped a lot, but I had to do some minor customization: my Google Drive folder is not located in the default path, so I altered the “TargetFolderPath” value to reflect the actual folder. Also, as commented above by Daniel Crespo, the filenames “gdrive 32-bit.reg” and “gdrive 64-bit.reg” are inverted. So i used “gdrive 32-bit.reg” in my 64bit Windows 10 for it to set the correct path. Finally, the icon displayed by default is the Backup and Sync from Google icon and not Google Drive icon. So I substituted “googledrivesync.exe” for “contextmenu64.dll” and everything worked like a charm!

  7. Instead of the Google Drive icon (the little blue-green-yellow triangle), I’m getting a standard folder icon. Is it possible to change that?

  8. Hi Ramesh,
    Thanks for creating this. Before I use it, I want to ask a few things because I’m not familiar with editing a .reg file. Also, I’m using Win7Pro 64bit.
    – I would like to put the google drive in windows explorer and in the end have it appear as GoogleDriveNET (P:) just in front of the usual windows explorer drive icon in the left pane of explorer.

    Is this possible using what’ you’ve provided above for windows 10 (will it work the same for win7Pro 64?)
    Are there any mods I need to do to the .reg file to make it work the way I described above?
    Thanks for your help and I really appreciate it.

  9. 31/5/2019

    I tried it and it does indeed create two ‘google drive’ entries, one with a brown box, the other with the triangular logo. But neither leads me to the tree of my google drive, so they are of little use. What to do?
    w64 version, toshiba w10 laptop.

    • @Ed: “%USERPROFILE%\Google Drive” is the default folder path for Google Drive. Can you verify if it’s the same in your system?

  10. @Turing Machine – I am having the same problem. Standard yellow folder; not the Google Drive icon.

    Does anyone know how to fix?

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