Methods to arrange a Mac for Google Workspace

Listed here are 5 methods to configure your macOS system to work with Gmail, Google Drive and different Google Workspace apps.

desktop screen on a Mac with menus open for Google Drive, Internet Accounts and Chrome Remote Desktop
Illustration: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic

Apple’s Mac methods work effectively with Google Workspace apps, similar to Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides. Every of the 5 choices under permits you to leverage your Google account from macOS, starting from the only setup to the deeper connections that hyperlink knowledge both to Apple’s apps or enable Google Drive entry from the Finder. Many individuals might wish to sign up to a brand new Mac and configure all 5 of the choices coated under.

SEE: iCloud vs. OneDrive: Which is greatest for Mac, iPad and iPhone customers? (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

If you happen to’re a part of a company, it’s possible you’ll have to comply with procedures apart from those listed under. Each Google Workspace and Apple Business Manager supply varied enterprise administration choices that enable an administrator to simplify sign-ins, safe units and management configurations. Examine together with your system administrator for pointers particular to your group.

Soar to:

Use Safari for a streamlined setup

When you end the macOS preliminary setup course of and have put in all obtainable system updates, it’s possible you’ll begin Safari, go to Gmail after which sign up together with your Google Workspace account credentials. After you might be logged in, it’s possible you’ll entry different Workspace apps both from the app launcher menu (Determine A) or by typing in any Workspace app URL immediately (e.g., for Google Docs). Since most Google Workspace options work effectively inside Safari, this strategy permits you to get to work rapidly.

Determine A


Google Applications menu open in Safari
Check in to your Google account in Safari and use Google Workspace apps on-line.

Nonetheless, as of January 2023, Google Workspace apps don’t supply offline entry when utilized in Safari on a Mac. If it’s essential to use Gmail, Calendar or Drive in your Mac with out web entry, you’ll wish to discover the extra steps under. Nonetheless, in case your Mac at all times has web entry and offline work isn’t a priority for you, then the mix of Google Workspace apps accessed in Safari could also be enough.

Set up Chrome for full-featured work on the net

Most individuals who plan to work with Google Workspace on a Mac will wish to install Chrome (Determine B), then sign up and use that browser for all Workspace-related actions.

Determine B

Google Chrome home page with a link to Download Chrome
To allow offline work, obtain Chrome for macOS, then configure apps similar to Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Drive for offline entry. You additionally might sync Chrome settings, similar to bookmarks and historical past, with Chrome on varied units.

This strategy not solely permits you to configure and sync knowledge for bookmarks, historical past, passwords and extra throughout each Chrome browser you utilize, nevertheless it additionally permits you to configure Workspace apps for offline work. You will want to regulate a couple of permission settings, similar to permitting entry to the webcam and microphone for Google Meet, with further changes wanted to allow screen-sharing.

Check in with Google to attach knowledge to Apple apps

You might sign up together with your Google account and set it to sync Workspace knowledge to Apple’s apps. To do that, choose Apple Menu > System Settings… > Web Accounts > Add Account… > Google, after which proceed by way of the sign-in course of (Determine C).

Determine C

Internet Accounts with the Add Account button highlighted next to a menu of account options with Google highlighted
From Apple Menu > System Settings, choose Web Accounts, then Add Account as proven on the left. Subsequent, select Google, as proven on the precise, and full the authentication course of.

Typically, you’ll want to allow the sliders for Mail, Contacts and Calendars, which permits these apps to sync Gmail, Google Contacts and Google Calendar knowledge to every app, respectively. You may additionally wish to go to the Google Calendar Sync Settings instrument on the net to pick particular Google Calendars to sync with iCal.

Including your Google account within the Apple system settings might be helpful for offline knowledge entry in apps in addition to if you need system actions to stay in sync together with your Google account. For instance, if you click on on a “mailto:” hyperlink on an online web page, the system can open the Apple Mail app and create a brand new electronic mail that’s despatched from and synced to your Google Workspace account.

Deploy Google Drive for desktop for system entry to Drive recordsdata

Obtain and set up Google Drive for desktop (Determine D), then sign up to your account in an effort to entry recordsdata on Google Drive from the Finder. This enables you, for instance, to start out an app in your system and from inside that app open a file saved on Drive.

Determine D

Google Drive Help page with instructions for using Google Drive for desktop
For system entry to Google Drive recordsdata from the Finder, set up Google Drive for desktop.

As an illustration, you would possibly begin a macOS photograph modifying app after which open a picture file saved on Google Drive. Drive for desktop eliminates the necessity to open a browser, obtain a file, work with the file, then add it once more. As a substitute, Drive for desktop permits you to open and save gadgets on to Drive on a Mac.

Configure Chrome Distant Desktop for distant entry

You might wish to set up and configure Chrome Distant Desktop to permit distant entry to your system both by different individuals if you request it, similar to for assist functions, or by your self, similar to for a desktop system you need to entry remotely.

To configure Chrome Distant Desktop, it’s essential to have put in Chrome in your system. Assuming you do, open Chrome and go to to start out the set up and setup course of (Determine E). As soon as accomplished, you’ll be capable to entry your system remotely from Chrome Remote Desktop.

Determine E

Chrome Remote Desktop configuration options to set up remote access
Configure Chrome Distant Desktop to permit distant entry to your system, both for assist or to your personal use from one other laptop.

What’s your expertise with Google Workspace on macOS?

If you happen to use Google Workspace on a Mac, which of the above apps and configurations do you utilize? Are you a minimalist who prefers to solely sign up to Google instruments with Safari? Do you’re employed with Google Workspace solely by way of Chrome for macOS? Or do you join your Google accounts to Apple’s Mail, Calendar and Contacts apps and depend on Drive and Distant Desktop, too? Point out or message me on Mastodon (@awolber) to let me know what kind of Google Workspace setup you utilize in your Mac.