I have my own Google Drive and also a shared drive from my organization.

Upon install and log in, I'm able to move what’s in my own Google Drive to an external drive where I can access files and everything.

The shared drive, on the other hand, is shown in my "Locations". If I mark anything for offline access, it gets downloaded on to the computer’s (iMac) internal disk (SSD).

I want avoid this in order to avoid wear and tear of the SSD, and also, there isn't enough space for it all. Can I somehow make Google Drive use a different path for streaming/saving files?

Currently, they are being saved to /Users/me/Library/CloudStorage/ which is on the computer’s internal drive. Yet, Google Drive reports in its settings "Folder location is controlled by macOS."

I was thinking of hardlinking that path to a location on the external drive, but I don’t want to mess it up as I am not sure if that would work properly.

  • Exactly where or when do you get the message "Folder location is controlled by macOS"?
    – Alper
    Oct 8, 2022 at 11:23
  • In google drive's settings. Oct 8, 2022 at 13:44

2 Answers 2


An illustration here of where one sees the message "Folder location is controlled by macOS", within google drive's settings.

screenshot: "Folder location is controlled by macOS"


This requires you to mirror your entire drive but it appears to work.

  1. Go to Google Drive Preferences.
  2. Navigate to Google Drive(Folders from Drive) > My Drive syncing options.
  3. Change the setting from 'Stream files' to 'Mirror files'
  4. Change the save location to the desired folder on your external drive.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .