Breadcrumb TourArchived: Stay in Sync with Google Drive File Stream

Last Updated: 01/20/2019

Google Drive File Stream, available for Mac or PC, allows you to access all your Google Drive files from your computer while using less disk space and decreasing sync time. This replaced the Google Drive desktop app. You will need to download the app to use it.

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.

Choose a sync solution

There are 2 ways to access Drive files and keep them in sync on all your devices.

Drive File Stream

This application lets you stream My Drive and Team Drive files directly from the cloud, which in turn:

  • Frees up disk space and network bandwidth
  • Decreases sync time
  • Minimizes the amount of company data stored on users’ hard drives

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. 

Download Drive File Stream.

Backup and Sync

With Backup and Sync, all your Drive content is stored locally. The earlier sync client, Drive for Mac/PC, is no longer supported as of December 11, 2017. 

Download Backup and Sync.

Compare sync solutions


Drive File Stream

Backup 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 Word and Photoshop

Sync other folders, such as Documents or Desktop

Please be aware that for Drive File Stream, if you have edit access for a Team Drive (or any files shared within a Team Drive), you can currently only view these files in Drive File Stream. To edit the files, you must access them in Drive on the web.

If a user is running both Drive File Stream and Backup and Sync on the same machine, they’ll be prompted to stop syncing My Drive with Backup and Sync in order to save disk space.


Learn more about Google Drive File Stream on the G Suite help page. If you have any questions, please reach out to the IT Service Center at or 303-735-4357 (5-HELP from a campus phone).