How to use Proton Drive on macOS

5 mins
macOS app

Proton Drive makes it easy to securely store your files and folders online. All files and folders stored on Proton Drive are end-to-end encrypted, meaning your files are encrypted on your device before they’re uploaded to our servers. 

Only you can decrypt your files and folders (unless you share them with others using a secure link(new window)). Proton can never access files stored on Proton Drive or shared with a link.

Learn more about how Proton Drive keeps your files secure(new window)

In this article, we look at how to use the Proton Drive macOS app.

You can also access Proton Drive on your Mac using your browser via the Proton Drive web app(new window).  

How to install and set up Proton Drive

By default, macOS only allows apps to be installed from the App Store. To install the Proton Drive app, you’ll need to adjust your Mac’s settings to allow apps to be installed from other sources.

To do this (if you haven’t done so already), open SettingsPrivacy & SecuritySecurityDownload applications from and select App Store and identified developers.

Allow third-party apps in macOS

1. Sign up(new window) for a Proton Drive account. You can get started with 5 GB of free cloud storage. If you use any other Proton service (such as Proton Mail or Proton VPN), you automatically have a Proton Drive account. Just sign in with your existing Proton Account username and password. 

2. Download the Proton Drive app.

3. Locate the downloaded DMG file in Finder (by default, it’ll be in your Downloads folder), double-click on it, and drag Proton Drive to your Applications folder

4. Launch Proton Drive from Launchpad and click Open at the security prompt.

Confirm that you wish to open the file

Your Drive folder

Proton Drive creates a special folder on your system and uploads all files and folders you place in it to the cloud. To access your Drive folder, open Finder and go to LocationsProton Drive

The Proton Drive folder in Finder

You can also open your Drive folder by clicking the Proton Drive icon in the macOS menu barOpen Drive Folder.

You can also open your Drive folder from the macOS menu bar

How to upload, download, and delete files

 In many ways, the Drive folder acts like any other macOS folder — you can:

  • Drag and drop files and folders into the Drive folder to upload them.
  • Double-click a file or folder or drag files and folders from the Drive folder to another folder on your Mac to download them.
  • Rename a file. Proton Drive will rename this file on all your synced devices if you do this. 
  • Move a file to your macOS Trash. Proton Drive will remove this file   from your regular cloud storage on all your synced devices if you do this. However, it will still be accessible in your local macOS Trash and the Drive web app’s Trash folder.  
The Drive web app’s Trash folder

How to make a file or folder available offline

All files and folders in your Proton Drive folder will automatically be uploaded to your Proton Drive storage and available on other synced devices. A local copy of the file or folder will remain on your Mac by default. 

You can free up local storage space by removing uploaded files or folders locally from your device. To do this, right-click on the file or folder → Remove Download. The file will still be available online, and you can download it to any synced device. 

Make a file online-only

Files not currently stored locally on your device but available in Proton Drive storage are marked with a cloud icon. 

How to access your Drive folder when not signed in

When you sign out of the Proton Drive app, the Drive folder will no longer appear in your Finder Sidebar. If you’re signed out of Proton Drive and want to access local files or files that failed to upload, you must:

1. Open Finder and go to the macOS menu barGoGo to folder… search for Library and double-click the result.

Open the macOS Library folder

2. Your Library folder will open in Finder. Go to Cloud Storage and open the ProtonDrive-[your Proton Account email address ([time stamp]} folder. The time stamp part of the folder name will be the date and time you signed out of the Proton Drive app. 

For example: (22-04-2024 13/57)

Locate your Drive backup folder

Proton Drive generates a new folder each time you sign out, so if you’ve signed out of the app before, you may see multiple Proton Drive folders in your /Library/Cloud Storage folder. 

How to hide your Drive folder in Finder

By default, your Drive folder will show in the Finder Sidebar under Locations. To hide the Drive folder in Finder, open Finder and go to the macOS menu barSettings…Sidebar tab → Locations and uncheck Cloud Storage.  

Finder Settings

Note that even if you hide your Drive folder in Finder, it will still be accessible via the Proton Drive icon in your macOS menu bar. 

How to uninstall the Proton Drive app

1. Open FinderApplications folder, locate the Proton Drive app, and drag it to the macOS Trash

Drag the Drive app to Trash

Note: Uninstalling Proton Drive in this way leaves some files and Proton Account information on your Mac. To remove all traces of Proton Drive from your Mac, please contact our Support team(new window)

Didn’t find what you were looking for?