Google Drive for Mac/PC App: you may be using on your Mac and PC is going away soon. But Google has a brand new alternative for it, one that’ll let you quickly access all your files from the cloud. It’s called Drive File Stream, and it’s what you should be using going forward.The regular Google Drive app will be shut down by next March, so the faster you move to Drive File Stream, the better for yourself and your business.
Google explained in a blog post that starting Thursday, Drive users will see settings for the Drive File Stream app appear in the Admin console. The settings won’t go into effect until September 26th when the app becomes available, and links will be shown in the Drive interface only if you see them in Backup and Sync or Google Drive for Mac and PC.
Google Drive on PC/Mac is dead, long live Backup and Sync
Google Drive and Photos on PC and Mac, beware that both of those apps are being eliminated starting December 11th, 2017 and shut off completely in March of next year. Don’t mourn their loss too much, though. Both have already been replaced by a single app called Google Backup and Sync, which handles both photos and data at once. Business and enterprise users, meanwhile, are being shuffled to Drive File Stream, which is now in wide release after a limited launch in March.
Backup and Sync lets you, well, backup and sync photos and files from PC folders, USB keys and SD cards to the cloud, so they’re available anywhere. The original Google Drive was not so convenient, as it required you to use two separate apps for files and photos. That could affect your storage space dramatically — if you upload images to Drive, it counts against your space, but if you upload them to Photos (using the “high,” not “original” setting), it doesn’t. At the same time, PC backups are now a more automated process.
If you’re a G Suite admin managing Google products for a company, then you’d better get acquainted with the new Drive File Stream and use it instead of Google Drive and Backup and Sync.
Regular Google users will be better off getting the consumer sync client announced a few weeks ago, the Backup and Sync tool that’s already available to download. Businesses can also use Backup and Sync, though they should pick just one solution to manage their files — the Drive File Stream app is optimized for enterprise use, and may be the better choice. You should pick one or the other soon, as Google Drive is going away for good, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
So what is this application?
According to PC World magazine, Google is not making changes to the cloud service called Google Drive but rather to the app that you may have installed on your computer so that your files reside on your computer as well as in the cloud. This app, called Google Drive for Mac/PC, will cease to exist on March 12, 2018. However, it is being replaced by Drive File Stream.
Drive File Stream is a new app that allows you to (kind of) share a hard drive between teams and organizations. All files will be kept in the cloud and will be available from anywhere. Your computer will appear to have a folder of all of your files in your Drive. This will allow you to edit non-Google files without having to download them from the cloud.
An example would be if you had a Adobe Photoshop file (.psd extension) in your drive and wanted to edit it, you don’t have to download it – edit it – upload it. Now you can simply edit while it remains in the cloud.
Drive File Stream is a G-Suite app and thus is only available with your school Google account. If you have used Google Drive for Mac/PC with your personal Gmail account, you have another option and that is called Backup and Sync. Backup and Sync is available to all Google users (i.e., you can use this with your winchesterps account, too). This works more similarly to the app that is disappearing. With this option, your files will be stored physically on your PC or Mac hard drive.
The Google Drive App is Going Away. But Relax — There’s a Better Solution
That’s right. The old Google Drive app is going away, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have to migrate off of the popular cloud storage app or move to a different service.
The replacement app will depend on whether you are a business or consumer user. Right now, both groups are using the same Google Drive app. However, they are splitting into separate desktop apps.
Business users (using the full GSuite of apps) should click to install Drive File Stream. This allows the same functionality as before, but with much needed bandwidth and storage improvements. Support has been added for the syncing of Team Drives. Files are accessed on demand, to use less storage space on hard drives.
The app is available for both Windows and Mac users, however the location of Drive has changed. For Mac users, Drive is found in Finder under Devices. In Windows, users can find their files as a mounted drive in My Computer.
Consumer users of the free Google products (such as Drive, Gmail, Calendar, etc.) will be directed to download Google Backup and Sync. This makes it easy to access, sync and backup both files and photos from external SD cards, such as from digital cameras, GoPros and drones.
You’ll still be using the same Google Drive interface on the web, and those synced photos will be there. Previously consumers needed two separate apps, one for Google Drive, and one for Photos. This new single app replaces both of those.
Google Backup and Sync is available for both Windows and Mac users. The mobile apps you are using for Google Drive will stay the same, just as the web version of Drive will. The only change is the desktop sync apps. If you’ve been unsure or hesitating, it’s perfectly OK to download these replacement apps. It’s a positive change and both apps contain new features that will save both time and hard drive space.
What is Drive File Stream for G Suite Users?
According to the G Suite blog post, Drive File Stream will be a new application that G Suite for Education domain users can install on their laptop or desktop computers. This will not be something available for regular consumer Google accounts.
The Drive File Stream will
allow access to Google Drive files on demand on your computer
allow view access to Team Drive files on demand on your computer
spend less time waiting for files to sync!
Drive File Stream does not replace Backup & Sync. A G Suite for Education user will be able to use both Backup & Syncand Drive File Stream at the same time on their computer, but there are some things to understand and consider between the two separate applications. Here is an explanation of what users can do when they have both applications installed and running at the same time. But here’s the gist:
Drive File Stream can be used to access and sync Google Drive files to your computer
Backup & Synccan be used to backup & sync your photos and other folders on your computer to Google Drive
It is recommended that you turn off Google Drive sync in Backup & Sync (because Drive File Stream will do this for you already and it will save hard drive space on your computer)
When you setup Drive File Stream, you will be prompted to turn off Google Dive sync on Backup & Sync (this is the recommendation)
So why does everyone think Google Drive is going away?
In the G Suite blog post it is mentioned that “With this launch, 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.” So what does this really mean?
If you haven’t updatedthe Drive for Mac/PC computer application to the new Backup & Sync computer application you will need to do so by March 12, 2018. (the Drive for Mac/PC application on your computer will no longer work)
In October, if you haven’t updated yet, you will start to see warning messages about Drive for Mac/PC going away
That’s all this fuss really means! See, it’s not that big of a deal! And in fact, the new Backup & Sync and Drive File Stream will work better and faster for you!
Google also fully launched Drive File Stream, an app that performs roughly the same chores as Backup and Sync, but for enterprise and business users. It has more team-oriented features, like on-demand file streaming and access to Team Drives
The loss of Drive on the desktop won’t affect your life much, unless you really liked the old Drive logo, which has been changed to something that resembles Microsoft’s OneDrive icon. Google also points out that you may soon see messages notifying you that “Drive for Mac/PC is going away,” presumably to join Google Reader and others in the great App Graveyard.