Recent Changes to Google Drive

Recent Changes to Google Drive

Google announced the launch of new desktop application for Google Drive users, called Drive File Stream. It will serve as a replacement for the Google Drive desktop software, which will shut down on March 18, 2018(Drive software support ends on December 11, 2017). However, the Google drive service will be online as it is. Rather, it is software which is being terminated, and it is being replaced. Just to be clear, the Google Drive software for Windows and Mac are approaching end-of-life.

Please note that many users don’t use Google’s desktop software, as they access Drive in a web browser (and/or on phones and tablets). In this case, there is nothing to worry about or they do not need any additional sync software required.

Backup and Sync: This software replaces both the Drive and Photos desktop software for Windows PCs and Macs. Also, you can use Backup and Sync to back up the contents of your entire computer, or just selected folders.

Drive File Stream: It is a new desktop software that allows you to quickly access all of your Google Drive files on demand, directly from your computer; you use almost none of your hard drive space and spend less time waiting for files to sync. But this is something your workplace may roll out in future; it is not something you need to worry about on your personal Computer.

The differences between ‘Backup and Sync’ and ‘Drive File Stream’ are detailed at Google support.

FeatureDrive File StreamBackup and Sync
Access files in My Drive
Access files in Team Drives
Stream files on demand
Sync only selected folders in My Drive
Sync only individual files in My Drive
Use native applications like MS and Photoshop
Sync other folders, such as Documents or Desktop

If you are transferring from ‘Backup and Sync’ to ‘Drive File Stream’, here are primary differences, you will notice in the :

Drive File Stream Drive File StreamBackup and Sync Backup and Sync
Access Google Drive like any other local or network drive.

Mac: Google Drive appears in Finder under Devices.
Windows 7: Google Drive appears in Explorer as a mounted drive under My Computer and Favorites.
Windows 10: Google Drive appears in Explorer as a mounted drive under This PC and Quick Access.

Access Google Drive like a folder on your hard drive.*

Mac: Google Drive appears in Finder under Favorites.
Windows: Google Drive appears in Explorer under Quick Access.

When you access Google Drive on your computer, you see both My Drive and Team Drives.When you access Google Drive on your computer, you see My Drive. You can find Team Drives only in Drive on the web.*
To sync content from Documents, Desktop, or other folders, you must explicitly move it to My Drive.You can select other folders on your computer to automatically back up and sync besides My Drive (such as Documents or Desktop). These folders appear in the Computers section in Drive on the web.

*Also applies for the previous version, Google Drive for Mac/PC.
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