To continue using Google Drive on Windows XP or Vista, use your browser or install the desktop utility before 1 January 2017 - but be warned that using the utility in 2017 or beyond, will expose you to unpatched vulnerabilities.

On 1 January 2017, the Google Drive desktop utility will no longer be updated on Windows XP or Vista. The cloud sync program follows suit of Dropbox, that also dropped support for older operating systems in April 2016.

The good news is that there still ways to use Google Drive on XP and Vista - read on to find out more. Also see: Best cloud storage services.

Google Drive compatibility: Will Google Drive work on Windows XP or Vista in 2017?

You will still have the option to use Google Drive through your browser - nothing will have changed for XP or Vista users, however the desktop app on these operating systems will no longer be available.

If you've already got it installed on your Win XP or Vista system, then you'll still be able to use the desktop utility, but you should be aware that Google will no longer update the utility, resulting in bugs and vulnerabilities to still be present. In essence, the utility is still available to download and install, but if it were to malfunction and become unsafe due to a vulnerability - Google won't provide you with a patch. Also see: What is Google Photos?

How to use Google Drive on Windows XP or Vista: Use the website version

Just like Dropbox, you can still use the browser version of Google Drive - where you will be able to login online and access your cloud-based files.

Google Drive browser

How to use Google Drive on Windows XP or Vista: Desktop utility

The desktop utility can still be used, as long as you have it installed before 1 January 2017. However, as previously noted the utility will not be patched by Google come 2017. We suggest avoiding the desktop utility on XP and Vista and only using the browser version - or else you might be prone to vulnerabilities.

How to use Google Drive on Windows XP or Vista: Upgrade your system

This last option might be the last thing on your mind, especially after Windows 10 is no longer a free upgrade.

However, if you want to continue using the Google Drive desktop utility safely, then you will need to get Windows 7 or later. Remember that the later the operating system, the longer period of support you will receive - this also apples with other software too, so it's often worth it.