The Issue: Google Drive offers the ability to access files when you do not have an internet connection. Doing so offers plenty of flexibility when you are working from an area with a weak or non-existent internet connection, although it consumes hard drive space. If you choose to make more files available offline than your hard drive has space for, your computer will become slow and unresponsive, and Google Drive may crash.
Action to take: Periodically, you want to move files and folders back to "Online Only" mode so they don't take up space on your computer. To do this:
- Open File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac).
- Open the Google network folder.
- Right-click on the file or folder that you’d like to change to online-only.
- Hover over Google Drive in the pop-up menu that appears (see screenshot below).
- Click Online Only in the sub-menu. This action will resync google drive and remove the files from your computer. They will remain online in the Google cloud environment.
- If you’d like to save your file(s) or folder(s) back to your computer’s hard drive again, click Available Offline.
We'd like to stress that you don't need to make files available offline in order to use them. Google Drive automatically synchronizes to your computer any files that you double-click on in the Finder or Windows Explorer. If your internet connection is fast, this should be your standard use case. If your internet connection is slower, you should consider using the "available offline" option.