How to open desktop apps from Google Drive in Chrome

Here's a quick tip that allows you to open desktop applications using Chrome from Google Drive.

Application Launcher for Drive

Nowadays we do everything on the internet and the web browser has become a viral application to access content and cloud services. On the internet now we have many are services that also integrate with other services and software, like Google Drive connects with Gmail and Google Chrome to access different files. However web browsers have limitations, for example, to expand their integration with applications already installed in your computer.

So, Google today is introducing a new Chrome extension that in combination with the Drive application for Windows and Mac, allows you to open files in Google Drive with desktop applications you have already installed in your system without leaving Chrome.

It doesn’t matter what type of file format, if you have a .psd files, you’ll simply right-click the file, navigate to Open with, and Photoshop will be one of the options (that is, of course, if you have Adobe Photoshop installed in your computer). In the same way if you have a .doc file, Microsoft Word will be available in the list of apps. Follow the steps below to get everything setup:

How to launch desktop apps from Google Drive

  1. Download and install the Drive app for Windows or Mac.

  2. Launch Google Chrome and install “Application Launcher for Drive”.

  3. Go to Google Drive, search for the file you want to open with a desktop application, right-click the file and through the “Open with” contextual menu select from one of the app available to you, and watch the magic happen.

More importantly all the changes you make to the file will automatically sync back to the cloud because it’s using the Drive folder to download the file to begin with.

There you have it. It’s a win-win idea; you’ll get more productive getting your task done using the cloud storage service and Google gets more people downloading and installing Drive on Windows and Mac.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].