8 Guaranteed FIXES for “Can’t launch Drive for desktop” Error

Are you struggling to launch Google Drive on your desktop? You’re certainly not the only one facing this issue. Google Drive stands out as a top choice among cloud services. It’s budget-friendly and great for syncing data across various devices. Plus, you can access it online or on a desktop app.

However, some people face problems opening the Google Drive app on their Windows computers. If you’re facing this issue, too, don’t worry.

While such challenges might seem daunting initially, they’re often solvable with the right steps. We will go over 8 working solutions for the “Can’t launch Drive for Desktop” error in this guide.

Why is Google Drive for desktop not launching on my computer?

Can’t launch Drive on desktop

There might be a temporary bug on your computer or a problem with the system that keeps files and folders from being backed up to Drive for the desktop. An unstable internet connection could also be the reason.

Here’s a breakdown of reasons your Drive for Desktop might be acting up:

  • Unsupported file size or type: If the files you’re attempting to upload exceed the set file size limit, they won’t. Similarly, if Google Drive doesn’t recognize the file type, it can’t be backed up there.
  • Firewall blocking: Your computer’s Firewall usually is on. If it limits the drive for the desktop’s internet access, you’ll need to grant it permission for private and public networks.
  • Slow internet speed: A lagging internet might prevent you from syncing or uploading folders to Drive for desktop.

Read More: Slow Internet in Windows 10? Try these methods to Improve it

How to fix the can’t launch Drive for desktop error?

Several things might be preventing the Drive for the desktop from launching. The good thing is, regardless of the cause, there’s usually an easy way to fix it.

1. Restart your computer

Restart your-computer

Before attempting troubleshooting methods, restart your computer. Restarting your computer can help eliminate minor bugs and issues that otherwise seem unexplainable. You never know what magic a simple “turn off and on” can do.

2. Clear the app cache

Cached data and temporary files might be causing the problem. To fix this, clear the app’s cached data. Follow these steps:

  1. Press the “Windows key + R” to open the “Run” box. In this box Type “%LOCALAPPDATA%\Google\DriveFS” and press “OK
    Type and press OK
    Type and press OK
  2. Press “Ctrl + A” to select everything in that folder.
    Use Ctrl A to select everything in that folder
    Use Ctrl A
  3. Hit “Shift + Delete” or right-click and select “Delete” to remove all those files.
    Hit Shift Delete
    Hit Shift + Delete

3. Force quit Google Drive

If Google Drive isn’t responding or is stuck, force closing it can often fix the problem.

  1. Press “Ctrl + Shift + Esc” together to open the “Task Manager.”
  2. Choose the “Processes” tab.
    Choose the Processes tab
    Choose the Processes tab
  3. Find and select “Google Drive” from the list.
    Find and select Google Drive from the list
    Find and select Google Drive
  4. Press the “End task.”
    Press the End task button at the bottom right of the Task Manager
    Press the End task

By doing this, you shut down Google Drive quickly. Then, you can start it again, which should clear up your troubles.

4. Uninstall and reinstall Drive for desktop

Perhaps you have installed the wrong Google Drive desktop app version on your computer. To resolve this, uninstall and reinstall the desktop Drive from the appropriate source.

  1. Open Windows “Settings“, then choose “Apps.”
    Click on Windows Settings then choose Apps
    Open Windows Settings then choose Apps
  2. Find it in the list, right-click, and “Uninstall.”
    Click Uninstall
    Click Uninstall
  3. Install Drive for desktop from the official Google Drive site and set it up.
    Download Drive for desktop from the official Google Drive site and set it up
    Download Drive for desktop

5. Opening Google Drive as an administrator

Sometimes, giving Google Drive more control can help. Starting it with admin rights ensures it has all the access it needs to properly start and function as intended. Here’s how:

  1. Click on “Start” and type in “Google Drive.”
    Search Google Drive from Start
    Search Google Drive from Start
  2. Choose “Run as Administrator.”
    Choose Run as Administrator
    Choose Run as Administrator
  3. See if the Google Drive launch issue is sorted out.

6. Changing the proxy settings for Google Drive

Changing the proxy server settings in Google Drive might fix the problem. Incorrect proxy settings can be why Google Drive isn’t opening as it should on your computer.

Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Find the Google Drive icon on the Windows taskbar and open its “Preferences.
    Open its Preferences
    Open its Preferences
  2. Click on the “Gear” symbol to see more options.
    Click on the Gear symbol
    Click on the Gear symbol
  3. Scroll down and look for “Proxy Settings.”
    Scroll down and, look for Proxy Settings
    Look for Proxy Settings
  4. Switch Proxy Settings from “Auto-detect” to “Direct Connection” and click “Save” to see if the problem’s fixed.
    Switch Proxy Settings from Auto detect to Direct Connection and click Save to see if the problem's fixed
    Click Save to see if the problem’s fixed

7. Check your internet connection

Make sure your internet is running smoothly. Some firewall, proxy, or network configurations might disrupt Drive for desktop works.

8. Disconnect & reconnect your account

If there were any unsynced files, they might be in your Lost & Found folder. This folder will be removed once you log out. Ensure you save these files elsewhere before proceeding.

  1. Access “Google Drive” from the Windows taskbar.
    Access Google Drive
    Access Google Drive
  2. Select the account you want to disconnect and Click “Settings.”
    Select the account you want to disconnect and Click Settings
    Select the account you want to disconnect and Click Settings
  3. Go to “Preferences.”
    Go to Preferences
    Go to Preferences
  4. Choose “Disconnect” account.
    Choose Disconnect account
    Choose Disconnect account
  5. Sign in again.
    Sign in again
    Sign in again
  6. Select a new location for your Google Drive folder.

How to solve the can’t launch Drive for desktop on Mac?

How to solve the can’t launch Drive for desktop on Mac?

If Google Drive doesn’t work on your Mac, there could be various reasons, like a weak internet connection, software bugs, or your Mac’s safety settings blocking the app. Easy steps include ensuring your internet is OK, updating your Mac’s software, and checking its privacy and security options.

For advanced troubleshooting, you might need to log out and log back into Google Drive or remove and re-download the app, especially if it asks for login or gives permission issues.

Also, using the screen share feature on Mac can mess with Google Drive, so turning that off might help. You’ll want to check each potential problem individually to figure out what’s stopping Google Drive on your Mac.

Final Thoughts

Google Drive can sometimes give you trouble on a Windows computer. Issues might arise due to a weak internet connection, software problems, or specific settings on your PC. Simple steps like checking your connection, updating your software, or adjusting settings can often fix these problems.

Always go step by step to identify and solve any issues. Stay patient, and remember that most tech problems can be solved with some effort. Keep exploring solutions, and you’ll quickly get your Drive running smoothly on Windows.


Why can’t I launch Google Drive for desktop on Windows 10/11?

The problem might come from different reasons, like files being too big, your firewall stopping it, or a slow net connection. Sometimes, little computer glitches could be the reason. Try turning your computer off and on first; it often helps with small issues.

What should I do if Google Drive stops working or gets stuck?

You can shut down the app using the Task Manager. Just hit Ctrl + Shift + Esc to pull up Task Manager, find Google Drive on the list, click on it, and then choose the “End Task” option. After that, open Google Drive again to check if it’s working.

How do I clear the cache to fix Google Drive?

Press Windows key + R, which brings up the Run box. Type in %LOCALAPPDATA%\Google\DriveFS and hit Enter. Pick every file in that folder (Ctrl + A) and delete them for good (Shift + Delete). This action clears stored data, which might make Google Drive work better.

How do I fix incorrect proxy settings for Google Drive on Windows?

Spot the Google Drive sign on your Windows taskbar and click on Preferences. Hit the Gear icon to see more. Go down the list to find Proxy Settings. Change the Proxy Settings from Auto-detect to Direct Connection and press Save. This could sort out the issue.


Khalid Ali

Khalid is a versatile analyst honing his expertise for the past 5 years. With certifications from Google and IBM to back him up, his knowledge extends far beyond the routine coverage of the latest trends and in the industry.