GMailFS for Windows

By Deane Barker on October 9, 2004

GMail Drive shell extension: GMailFS has been around for Linux for a few months, but this is the first Windows port I’ve seen.

Holy Cow, this works well. Double-click installer, very professionally done. I installed it at the office, dragged a few files into the drive, then installed it at home 30 minutes later and retrieved the files. Flawless.

GMail Drive is a Shell Namespace Extension that creates a virtual filesystem around your Google GMail account, allowing you to use GMail as a storage medium.

GMail Drive creates a virtual filesystem on top of your Google GMail account and enables you to save and retrieve files stored on your GMail account directly from inside Windows Explorer. GMail Drive literally adds a new drive to your computer under the My Computer folder, where you can create new folders, copy and drag’n’drop files to.

I wonder if Google will put the kibosh on these things since they really take advantage of the service. Remember that the entire reason Google is giving you 1GB of space is to show you ads. You’re not gonna see any ads using this app.



  1. Keep in mind, too, that it kind of hoses your GMail account from the Web interface. There’s a bunch of messages from “me” in there with the files that you’re storing.

  2. I don’t know how much we actually need stuff like this. With the dropping prices for progressively smaller usb storage devices, the time required to upload to gmail and then download off it at a remote location just seems to be a hassle. But I guess someone out there wanted this and to each his/her own.

  3. Abhimanyu, fedexing usb drives sounds like an interesting way of transporting data, but it sounds so much easier to use a remote harddrive… i think what this is really about is taking advantage (read: pillaging) of google’s attempt to hijack the webmail market with a huge free storage container incentive. I have a decent web host for, but i don’t have anything close to 1GB of storage, and I actually pay for that.

  4. I’d settle for a file-system with search facility that actually works – Windows clearly can’t manage this

  5. Really mbCodeMonkey? I found the winxp file searching really useful.. It seems a lot easier to find files based on content than on any of my bsd boxes?

  6. i kinda like the gmailfs thing. yeah, its not the most practialthing, but its still cool. “the man with the most toys dies happiest” or something like that. it’s just another thing to have . and its god if you need to store a file and you have no CDs, etc., or forgot your flash drive.

  7. Apparently Google changed something which no longer allows GmailFS to work on Windows. Happened that way on Linux, anyways…

  8. Well, I’ve been using it for about a week now, SP2 and all. The developers web page shows that it hasn’t been working for upload recently, but its been great for me! Im currently working on loading more than one gmail drive. If i find a good answer, ill be back.

  9. This is a great ideia. Works fine in Windows XP and will surely take place of some backups utilities I’ve been using. With the increasing of storage spacer offered by e-mail services, this kind of product will be commom. Visit : to get know-how you’ll need to develop gmail based application. You must remember that Google may decide to banish this kind of programs because they don’t let users see the adversitments. But… lets using it for now.

  10. my install of gmailfs took a dump on me too. happened last week. this app was just the right thing for me. as i could have access to all of my favorite apps from any web-connected computer. helped me troubleshoot and repair other’s boxes without a single disc in hand.

  11. I am having problems with the app. too. It started Monday, I think. I am getting messages like “Unable to open the network connection profile”. Any suggestions?

  12. Yup, its dead. Mine doesnt work now either. Its probably only a matter of time before someone is able to get around this. Then it will be a cat and mouse game.

  13. Sure enough, mine came back to life after installing the latest version.

    I noticed this on the guy’s site today:

    “Google recently changed their login procedures again, which broke the tool’s ability to connect to GMail. Version 1.0.3 once again allows you to access GMail.

    Please be aware that support for this tool may suspend at any time if Google decides to block its use.”

  14. No it does not work for me. Same error “Unable to open the network connection profile”. Well i am also trying to use http proxy.

  15. You can create a filter to put auto a label gmailfs on it. So you can see with one click what you put in your gmailfs.

  16. Being not-so computer literate, I see that Richard Jones’ site has the programs for Linux-based systems…what about Windows-pased systems? Does anyone have a link for that?

  17. Mine is now broken again. It allows me to see 1 file. Each time I drag/drop another file, I can no longer see the previous file in explorer. The files do still exist on the gmail account.

  18. Mine wont connect. Keep getting messages such as: ‘unable to open network connection profile’ – Any suggestions on what to do??

  19. Guys, gmailfs is a proof of concept “yes, it can be done” and at the same time a big step on google’s toes. No wonder they try to stop people from using it. However, having said that, I must say this is a wonderful idea and I hope somebody will start selling this kind of service at a reasonable price, because the benefits are enormous. A remote file host will not only store your files but have them always online, backed up safely in a secure location probably away from the main server(s) etc. And if it is done right, your files are always available no matter where you are, that is one of the greatest things about this kind of web based service.

  20. I just installed it. It works just fine. Even behind my work’s firewall. I’ve been wanting something like this for ages. A new killer app as far as I’m concerned.

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