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Google Drive plugin for Microsoft Office

(Available for Windows Only)

If you use Microsoft Office programs, you can save your files directly to Google Drive, open them from Drive, or share them, all from within your Office programs by downloading and installing the Drive plug-in for Microsoft Office offered by Google.

Google’s resource link with full details:, external link

Link to download the plug-in:, external link

Opening a Google Drive File, Editing and Saving it in MS Word

Once the plug-in is installed, Google Drive will display as a file storage location in your Word, Excel, and PowerPoint applications (see the below image). From within your Office application, open a file on Google Drive, make your changes, then save the file back to Google Drive. In these examples, we will use MS Word. In Word, you can open a file from Google Drive:

Example of opening a document in Google Drive

You may first be requested to sign into your Google Drive account. Use your Ryerson username and password. You will also need to grant the plugin permission by clicking Allow as shown in the image below.  This plugin is created by Google (not a 3rd party).  Once you are logged in, you will see your own account as seen below.

Example of granting plugin permission


Open Google Drive

From within Microsoft Word, you can choose to open a file that’s saved in your Google Drive, browsing to the file/folder location to find it in Google Drive to open it:

Open from Google Drive window

Once you are done editing your Word document, in Word, click File, Save.  You will see a pop-up message indicating that your file is being saved to Google Drive.  

When you save a file to Google Drive, the updated file saves to it’s existing location in Google Drive.

Creating a new document in Microsoft Word and saving it to Google Drive

Create a new Word document.  With the plug-in, all you have to do is click Save As within Word, and select Google Drive as the destination, and click Save As again.

Creating a new document in Microsoft Word and saving it to Google Drive

You will be prompted to name the file

Google Drive dialog window

When you click the Save to My Drive button, you can then browse to the location in your Google Drive that you would like to save the word doc, and click Select. Below, I’ve selected a folder in my Google Drive called “Sample Word Documents”.  

Save to Google Drive window

Share a Google Drive file from within MS Word

  1. In your open MS Word Document, Click the Google Drive menu.
    Save to Google Drive in Microsoft Word
  2. In the Google Drive options on the Office ribbon, click Share.
  3. Enter the names or email addresses of the people or Google Groups, external link you want to share the file with, and choose the type of access you want to grant. For more information on access options see How to share, external link.
  4. Click Done.

Users will receive an email letting them know you’ve shared the Word Doc file or folder with them and will be able to access the file on their Google Drive.

Managing versions of non-Google Files in Google Drive

When you re-save your Word Document, it saves as a new version of the file in Google Drive. It still appears as a single file in Google Drive, but with a few clicks, you can see all the revised versions that have been saved or uploaded of this file and who created the version.  Here’s how:

  1. Right-click the file or go to the toolbar at the top, then click the overflow menu .

  2. Choose Manage versions.
    Manage versions menu option

  3. You can also take one of the following actions:

  • Upload a new version of the file (owners and editors only): Click Upload new version.

  • Delete a version (owners and editors only): Click the overflow menu > Delete.

  • Download a version: Click the overflow menu >Download.

  • Keep file versions forever: Click the overflow menu > Keep forever.Example of managing verisons of files

Automatic deletion of non-Google file versions

Google automatically deletes older versions of non-Google files to help free up storage. Not the current version of the file itself, but previous versions older than 30 days will be automatically deleted, unless a version has been marked as as “Keep forever” (see the image below).  Versions marked as “Keep forever” will not be deleted but you won’t be able to keep more than 200 versions (per document or file).

Open file with PowerPoint in Google Drive