What is it?
Google Drive File Stream is a new desktop application that replaces the current Google Drive app that you currently use. File stream allows you to quickly access all of your Google Drive files on demand, directly from your computer without losing precious drive space. With Google Drive File Stream, your files are stored on the cloud instead of your computer, and any changes you make are automatically synced with the cloud for quick, easy access anywhere you have an Internet connection.
You can also make Drive files available for offline access. These cached files sync back to the cloud when you're online, so the latest version is available on all your devices.
What if I’m using the current Google Drive sync application?
With this launch, Google Drive for Mac/PC is officially deprecated. It will no longer be supported by Google starting on December 11th, 2017, and it will shut down completely on March 12th, 2018.
Once Google Drive File Stream is installed, a folder called Google Drive (see image below) will appear in the left hand Side bar in Finder.
This folder will contain both your personal Google Drive and any Team Drives you are part of. The only difference between these files and any other file on your computer is that these files are not stored on your computer by default, and any changes you make to them will sync automatically with your cloud storage.
If you are using mac OS 10.13 High Sierra and you receive an error that says, Google Drive File Stream encountered a problem and has stopped, Go to System Preferences > Security and Privacy > Allow Google Drive Files Stream.
What can I do with Google Drive File Stream?
With Drive File Stream, you can:
- Quickly see all your Google Drive files in Finder/Explorer (including Team Drives).
- Browse and organize Google Drive files without downloading all of them to your computer.
- Choose which files or folders you'd like to make available offline.
- Open files in common apps like Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop.
Signing into Google Drive File Stream
Locate Google Drive File stream in the Applications folder and double click it.
Sign in using your RGS Email address and your existing Google Drive Password
You should now see the Google icon in the menu bar at the top.
You will also find a Google drive folder located in the Sidebar of a Finder window.
The first time you use File Stream, it may take a few minutes for your files to be available to view.
Using and Adding Files to Google File Stream
You will be able to view and open all files that are visible in your My Drive or Team Drive. You can copy files and create folders as if they were on your computer. Anything you add or create from your computer will automatically be copied to the cloud.
Making files available offline
By default, you will be able to view and open all files within your own Google Drive account and also anything shared with you in a Team drive. Although they the files are all visible to you, File Stream does not store any documents on your device, if you do not have an internet connection then you will not be able to access the files. It is possible to set individual files or folder to be offline if you will be working without an internet connection.
Before proceeding, please choose carefully the files and folders that you wish to store offline, one purpose of File stream is to help save disk space and some of your folders may be quite large.
Select the Google Drive folder located in the Sidebar of a Finder window.
Click My Drive then locate the file or folder that you would like to make available offline.
Right click on the file or folder then click Drive File Stream then Available offline.
You can see here an example of a cloud file and an offline file.