Drive File Stream - What You Need To Know

Last week, Google announced the launch of a new desktop application for Google Drive users, called Drive File Stream. This app will replace Google Drive desktop apps.


According to Google Blog, "Launched to early adopters in March, Drive File Stream is a new desktop application that allows you to quickly access all of your Google Drive files on demand, directly from your computer, meaning you use almost none of your hard drive space and spend less time waiting for files to sync." While the Drive File Stream settings are appearing today, Google notes that they won't go into effect until Tuesday, September 26th, when the solution becomes generally available.

Google previously released "Backup and Sync" which allows access to photos and files on your PC. However, this app does not support team files, where the new Drive File Stream will.

What else is different between Backup and Sync and Drive File Stream?

While Backup and Sync works for G Suite users, Drive File Stream may be better suited. For businesses, this solution minimizes the amount of company data stored on local hard drives, while also freeing up disk space and network bandwidth involved in downloading and then syncing files to and from the cloud.

File Stream vs Backup and Sync

What you need to know:

  • With Drive File Stream, you stream your Drive files directly from the cloud to your Mac or PC, freeing up disk space and network bandwidth.
  • Rather than forcing you to download all the files you need, File Stream makes them searchable from your desktop and intelligently downloads the files you use.
  • Google Drive for Mac/PC is officially deprecated. It will no longer be supported starting on December 11th, 2017, and it will shut down completely on March 12th, 2018.
  • Team Drive editors won't be able to edit their Team Drive files when they're opened in Drive File Stream; they'll only be able to view them. To edit these files, they'll need to open them in Drive on the web.
  • You can still install Backup and Sync, either as an alternative to or in addition to the Drive File Stream enterprise software.
  • Although the change will not go into effect until late September, you can configure and distribute the solution for their domain, including turning sync on, specifying how the software is installed, disabling Google Update if the company prefers manual updates, and managing other settings. However, the launch of the settings signals the official deprecation for the tool File Stream replaces: Google Drive for Mac and PC. Check out this how-to article on how to prepare for the change.

What to do next?

Prepare your team for the change by configuring Google Drive for sync, and by making note of the change dates. You can also suggest to your team members to download Backup and Sync now to start the process.

If you have any questions or concerns about the change, feel free to reach out to the LinkPoint Media team!