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Google Drive for Mac - Changing the Account Name

posted Sep 24, 2015, 6:35 AM by Kevin Melillo   [ updated Sep 24, 2015, 6:37 AM ]
Google Drive
I had a customer recently that needed to change the account name associated with their Google Drive for Mac client.  The general flow of why this needed to be done went something like this.  A secondary domain was added to the account, because bought was then added as a secondary domain to the Google Apps instance.  Then was assigned to run Company B, so her login on the Google Apps side was changed to, giving her the alias of  Follow me so far?  

If you are not following, then just consider this.  You have a personal GMail account, and your company has a professional Google Apps account.  You installed the Google Drive application on your Mac to sync with your personal GMail account.  Now you want to change that, and sync files with your companies Google Apps account.  Follow me now?

Whatever the reasoning, you need to change the account that the Google Drive application for Mac is connecting as.  There is no way to do this from the application, because the initial setup of Google Drive locks you into that one account.  If you try and disconnect the account, and set Google Drive up again, it will notice that the other account exists, and not let you proceed with the new account setup.  In order to successfully complete this process, there are a few steps you must go through.

Word of Warning: Following these procedures will remove all settings and data in your current Google Drive account.  You need to backup the files that are in your Google Drive sync folder to a separate location before performing these steps.  BACK UP YOUR GOOGLE DRIVE FOLDER.  Once these files are moved to a different location, your Google Drive folder should be empty.  You can not transfer ownership of Google formatted documents in this way.
  • First you need to shut Google Drive off.  To do this, Control-Click the icon in the Ribbon Bar (Up top on the right) and choose Quit.
  • Open a Finder Window, then press Command + Shift + G.  This will open a Go window and ask you which directory you need to view
  • Type the following (without quotes): "~/Library/Application Support/Google"
  • Delete the Drive folder (right click, choose delete)
Now when you open the Drive application it will ask you to sign in, and walk you through the initial setup.  Once this is complete, you can copy your backup files into the newly created Google Drive directory.