Home Browsers 9 Chrome extensions that supercharge Google Drive

9 Chrome extensions that supercharge Google Drive

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Google Drive is a powerful business tool in its own right, especially when partnered with Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. But a number of Chrome browser extensions can add more file management features and other tricks to Google’s cloud storage and office apps.

If you regularly use Google Drive through Chrome or Chrome OS, consider adding the following extensions to make working with Drive and Google’s productivity apps more efficient and productive.

1. AwesomeDrive for Google Drive

If you use Microsoft Office and store your Office documents in Google Drive, AwesomeDrive is a must. Once the extension is installed in Chrome, you can open an Office document from Google Drive and it will load in the Microsoft Office application (Excel, PowerPoint, Word) that’s installed on your computer.

After you edit and save the document in Office, the new version of it will be saved back to Google Drive. Thus, AwesomeDrive saves you from having to manually download your Office documents from Google Drive and upload them again after you’ve worked on them in Microsoft Office.

2. Checker Plus for Google Drive / 3. Drive Anywhere

Checker Plus lets you access Google Drive and manage your files without needing to open your Google Drive home screen in a Chrome tab. Clicking the Checker Plus icon on the Chrome toolbar opens a panel that shows your files in your Google Drive. Here you can browse or search for files, as well as delete or rename them.

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With Checker Plus, you can open and manage files stored in Google Drive without launching Drive in a new browser tab. (Click image to enlarge it.)

When you click a filename, the document will open in the appropriate Google office app inside a new browser tab. You can also copy shareable web links to files, star items so they’re easy to keep track of, and upload files from your computer to Google Drive.

In addition, Checker Plus can alert you whenever a file in your Google Drive has been changed (such as a document that you’ve shared with someone to edit). These alerts are sent as notification cards that pop up from the lower-right corner of your computer’s desktop and from the Checker Plus icon on the Chrome toolbar.

Drive Anywhere is similar to Checker Plus, but with fewer functions to manage your files. So why would you consider using it? Drive Anywhere lets you download your files through its toolbar panel, something you can’t do through Checker Plus.

4. OmniDrive

While Checker Plus and Drive Anywhere provide a quick way to find files in Google Drive without having to first open your Drive home screen, OmniDrive makes it even faster by adding the ability to search your Drive files right from the Chrome address bar (the “Omnibox” in Google lingo).

You type the word drive into the address bar, followed by a space. As soon as you type that space, “OmniDrive” appears at the beginning of the address bar. Now type in the filename or a word or phrase in the document that you want to find in Google Drive and hit Enter. Your Google Drive page opens in the browser window and shows the search results.

A caveat: This extension hasn’t been updated in several years, but it still works, and its code is available publicly as open source.

5. Google Docs Quick Create

This extension lets you quickly start a new Google Drive document, spreadsheet, presentation, drawing, or form. Click the Google Docs Quick Create icon on the Chrome toolbar, and a panel opens showing icon shortcuts. Click one to launch the corresponding Google Drive office app (Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc.) inside a new browser tab.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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