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How to Use Google Drive on the iPad



There’s no Google Drive iPad app available from Google, and the mobile version of the Google Drive service fails to load on the iPad more often than not.

There are a number of ways to use Google Drive on the iPad while we wait for an official Google Drive iPad app.

GoodReader for iPad is a $5 app that connects to web storage services on the iPad, including Google Drive. The app doesn’t offer a Google Drive option in setup, but it does connect to Google Docs, which is now Google Drive.

GoodReader allows users to download and use a wide array of file types from music and movies to photos, documents and spreadsheets. GoodReader can even unzip zipped files on the iPad. The app also allows users to annotate PDF files.

Productivity minded users will love that GoodReader allows them to open files from Google Drive in iPad apps like Pages, Numbers, iBooks, SignMyPad, and many more.

How to Use Google Drive on the iPad

1. Purchase and download GoodReader, then open the app and tap on Connect to Servers on the right side of the iPad.

2. Tap on Google Docs.

3. Name the folder Drive. Enter your full Gmail address and Gmail password. (You need to have Google Drive active on this account)

4. The new Google Drive connection will now appear on the iPad under the Connect to Servers section.

5. Tap on Drive to access Google Drive from the iPad.

Now it is possible to download and use most files from Google Drive on the iPad. Some will preview and open in GoodReader, and others will open in the available iPad apps.

I have been able to download and use PDF files, video files, documents and spreadsheets on the ad without any issues.

While waiting for The official Google Drive iPad app, GoodReader is the best way to use Google Drive on the iPad.




  1. SamuelCMericle

    04/29/2012 at 7:58 am

  2. Sharif Shajib Ahammed

    04/29/2012 at 9:14 pm

    How to add Google Drive on iPhone app of “Goodreader”

    • ipad cases

      04/30/2012 at 3:58 am

      Download “GoodReader App” for iPad and tap on Connect to Servers which appears on the right side of the screen. Tap on Google Docs and name the folder Drive. Enter you Google mail id & password. You will see a new Google Drive connection under the Connect to Servers section. Tap on Drive in order to access Google Drive from your iPad.

  3. Vicfrances

    04/30/2012 at 12:24 pm

    If you have a security code send it by Google to authetication, your Google drive won´t work, it doesn´t allow to send the code by Google…  :(((

    • Bob

      05/01/2012 at 11:23 pm

      Use application specific passwords under account settings

      • bdumais15

        02/20/2013 at 2:56 pm


  4. Fixerman

    05/01/2012 at 10:25 am

    Thanks for the tip on Google Drive. I have carried out your instructions and am very happy!

  5. bill

    05/09/2012 at 8:07 am

    I’m new to the Apple world. I just got my iPad, and used GoodReader to download an mp3 from my Google Drive account. Is it possible to get the Ipad’s native music player to see this file, since it wasn’t synced via iTunes? Or can I only use GoodReader’s facility to play it?

  6. Jonathan

    05/12/2012 at 8:58 am

    Thanks for the instructions for accessing Google Drive via GoodReader. How do you upload files from an iPad to Google Docs?

  7. Tony

    05/12/2012 at 11:38 am

    Great! Seems to work perfectly! Thanks!

  8. Sarmad

    05/19/2012 at 3:26 am

    you can also use cloudon free app for that

  9. Doug didier

    05/26/2012 at 11:20 am

    The problem I’m having is finding the file to download into goodreader, save2pdf, etc…

    My files are organized into directorys subdirectories etc..

    Do a google search to find the file of interest..

    Google doesn’t provide, as far as I can tell, the path to the file..

    On the Mac.. Searching with finder, does… Cumbersome work around..

  10. Peter

    06/09/2012 at 9:55 am

    There is a new app called GDrive for ipad. It is free and works great!

  11. skyman

    06/17/2012 at 4:55 pm

    The problem with using google drive and goodreader is that it still downloads a local copy of the file, which sort of negates a lot of the live synch features offered by drive (and dropbox et al)

    If you have a new version of the file you still have to save a local copy.
    The good reader dropbox connector seems to just resynch the file automatically (great when sharing briefing papers etc)

    I was hoping drive would be a more secure option compared to dropbox but unless google pulls their finger out it isn’t looking that way.

  12. J. Meester

    06/26/2012 at 3:33 pm

    Google Drive doesn’t have the option to sync, correct?
    Is that feature coming anytime soon?

  13. J. Meester

    06/26/2012 at 3:34 pm

    Google Drive doesn’t have the option to sync, correct?
    Is that feature coming anytime soon?
    (double post; this post notifies me on replies so the above can be removed)

  14. Brody

    07/10/2012 at 8:36 am

    We just started using Google drive and I can’t believe you can’t upload from you ipad. It would be great if there was a way to move a file from say pages to google drive somehow to share to all the others in the office. We all use our ipads for meetings and having all the reports in one spot is nice, but updating is difficult to figure out.

    • Peter

      07/10/2012 at 8:50 am

      I use G DRIVE for iPad. It seems to work well.

  15. Dustin

    11/13/2012 at 9:27 am

    google drive for ipad is now available. you can find it in the app store.

  16. ThomsonScience

    12/22/2013 at 1:51 pm

    And I continue to search for a PDF annotation app that will SYNC with GoogleDrive, rather than having to download a copy to the iPad, then upload it back to the iPad. I’m venturing into dangerous waters here, but with a Windows 8 tablet, this would be such an easy operation. I find it hard to believe it won’t work. I’ve tried other apps also, with no luck in finding one that doesn’t force a download.

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