Two ways to remove Google Drive from Mac

Google Drive is one of the most popular cloud storage solutions on the market. Initially, it had two versions for macOS and PC: online and desktop.

In October 2021, Google replaced the Backup and Sync desktop app with a tool called Drive for desktop. It takes the place of both Google Drive and Google Photos and offers a more integrated approach to data backup.

If you want to remove Google Drive from Mac for some reason, I’ll show you some tips and tricks on how to do that.

How to remove the Google Drive folder from Mac manually?

To delete the dedicated folder from Finder, uninstall the Google Drive app. Everything within the Drive’s folder is automatically synced up to drive.google.com. So first, you need to disconnect your account to stop syncing and secure your files on the cloud.

Here’s how to remove Google Drive from Mac without deleting files from the cloud:

Step 1. Disconnect your account

  1. Click the Google Drive icon on the menu bar (top right corner).
  2. Quick tip:

    If there is no icon on your menu bar, go to your Applications folder and launch the Google Drive app. The icon should now show up.

  3. Click the settings icon and choose Preferences on the drop-down menu.
  4. Once the Preferences window appears, go to the Setting tab.
  5. Click Disconnect account (under your account name and storage details).
  6. Hit Disconnect to confirm the action.

Done! You successfully disconnected your account from the Drive for desktop app, which means your Google Drive folder is no longer synced. Now, you can trash the app from your computer without affecting cloud-based data.

Step 2. Delete the Google Drive app

  1. Navigate to the Google Drive icon > Settings again.
  2. Choose Quit.

  3. Go to the Applications folder and locate the Google Drive app.

  4. Drag it to the Trash.
  5. Open the Trash and click Empty. 

Note:

Can’t remove the Google Drive app or see an error message? Launch Activity Monitor to check if anything connected to Google Drive runs in the background. If you note some related processes, select them and hit the Force Quit button. Once done, try to trash the app again.

Finally, it’s time to get rid of Google Drive leftovers. All this junk clutters your system and slows down Mac's performance. To eliminate them, follow the steps below.

Step 3. Get rid of leftovers

  1. Hold the Command-Shift-G key shortcut in the Finder.
  2. When the Go to Folder box appears, paste each of the following locations, one by one:

    ~/Library/Cookies/
    ~/Library/Preferences/
    ~/Library/Containers/
    ~/Library/Group Containers/
    ~/Library/Application Scripts/
  3. Press Go after each one.

  4. Search for any files associated with Google Drive.
  5. If you notice anything, drag it to the Trash.

Note:

Be careful about what you move to trash. The deletion of files crucial for computer performance may cost you a system crash.

Now, you’ve completely uninstalled the Drive for desktop app and removed Google Drive files from Mac. Seems like lots of work? Fortunately, there is a much straight and faster way to cope with this task.

How to remove Google Drive files from Mac with extra help?

If you want to get rid of the app and all its remains with one shot, your best bet is to use a third-party uninstaller. CleanMyMac X is a perfect option to try out. I've been relying on it for months, and it impressed me with an easy-to-use interface and rich feature set.

Here’s how to force uninstall Google Drive with the Uninstaller module:

  1. Download, install and launch CleanMyMac X (free version, here)
  2. Go to the Uninstaller tab.
  3. Select Google Drive.
  4. Press Uninstall. That’s all!

To check for remaining launch agents and login items, head over to the Optimization module of CleanMyMac X. Select the items you want to delete and hit Remove. Now, there is no trace of the app on your computer.

You've probably used Google Drive to save some space on your Mac. To save even more precious space and keep your computer in good shape, use CleanMyMac X. Not only will it clear all system junk and reclaim free space, but it'll also increase performance and make your machine run smoothly. See it in action on your Mac!

Laptop with CleanMyMac
CleanMyMac X

Your Mac. As good as new.