You may have already received an email from Google advising that from 12 May 2018, the Google Drive Sync desktop application for PC or MAC will stop working. This will affect Google Drive Sync installed prior to July 2017. In its place are two newer models called Drive Backup & Sync & Drive File Stream. Drive Backup & Sync essentially works the same as Drive Sync with the added option to backup your desktop data, such as documents & photos to Google Drive as an offsite backup service. Here is a video I created showing how to install the new Backup & sync app.Google has also released Drive File Stream, an application which allows files to be streamed in real-time to your desktop ensuring that bandwidth and hard drive space usage are kept to a minimum.For our G Suite customers, we highly recommend Drive File Stream over Drive Backup & Sync as we believe it is a superior product.We do however still encourage, as a matter of best practice, to operate Google Drive through the web browser. This enables users to power their search of Google Docs & Sheets for collaboration using the Google search engine.With the recent update to Google Drive you can now comment on Microsoft Office files, PDFs and photos in the browser; an additional bonus. For businesses that do design work, Drive File Stream or Backup & Sync may still be the more suitable option.
If you wish to continue to create and edit files with applications like Microsoft Office and use Google Drive as the cloud storage service, then here are the steps to move from old Google Drive Sync to Google File Stream.
1. Uninstall Google Drive Sync app
Uninstall Google Drive Sync App from your computer (speak to your IT support if you don't know how to do this). You dont need to worry about losing data as your Google Drive folder will remain on the computer. This step is important as you dont want Google Drive Syncing if using Drive File Stream as it could cause lots of problems.
2. Check your data is on Google Drive (Cloud)
Hopefully, your Google Drive Sync was working correctly before you uninstalled and all your data was synced to the Google Cloud. Its important to doublecheck this is the case as often a slow internet upload speeds can cause some data to never make it to Google. Simply log into Google Drive via the Google Chrome browser and visually compare what you have on your local Google Drive folder on the computer vs whats in the browser. Make sure you check deep into subfolders, especially items that you have recently worked on. If all looks good, then continue to next step. If not then speak to your IT support.
3. Remove Local Google Drive Folder
Make sure you have done step 1 as if Google Drive Sync is running, you will lose your data on both your local computer and in Google Drive Cloud. If your 100% confident then you can delete the contents in the local Google Drive folder on your computer. This will free up hard drive space and prevent any conflicts or versioning issues once you install File Stream. If your not that confident, you can ask your IT support for help. Or subscribe to a 3rd party G Suite backup service.
4. Google File Stream Installation
Now your ready to install File stream and shouldn't encounter any issues. You can download the installation files for both Windows & Mac from Google by clicking here. Just run the install file and follow the install prompts.
A few items to be aware of
By default, Google Drive File Stream does not store a copy of your files on your local computer. This means that if you do not have an Internet connection, you will not be able to access these files. If you wish to have offline access, right-click on a file or folder and select Available Offline under the Drive File Stream menu.
If you want to sync all your data offline. Then Google Backup & Sync may be a better option than File Stream, However Backup and Sync will not give you access to Team Drives , should you choose to use this feature in your organisation.
Drive File Stream is still at risk of Ransomware and other Malware infecting or encrypting your files. Its therefore recommended to use a Cloud to cloud backup service.
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