Deploy Drive File Stream

Deploy Drive File Stream to your organization for a quick and easy way to access your Drive files from your computer.

This article is for administrators. To learn how to use Drive File Stream, see the user Help Center.

How it works

With Drive File Stream, you stream your Drive files directly from the cloud to your Mac or PC, freeing up disk space and network bandwidth. Because Drive files are stored in the cloud, any changes you or your collaborators make are automatically updated everywhere. You’ll always have the latest version.

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.

Install or deploy Drive File Stream

  1. Verify that Drive File Stream will work for your organization. You can use Drive File Stream on these operating systems:
    • Windows: Windows 7 and up. Windows Server editions are not supported.
    • Mac: El Capitan (10.11) and up. For High Sierra (10.13), follow these steps.

    Also make sure to use a supported browser

  2. If you haven’t already done so, turn on sync for your organization. Make sure to allow Drive File Stream and specify whether users can see Drive File Stream download links.
  3. Install Drive File Stream on each user's computer using one of these options:

    • Let each user install Drive File Stream on their own machine. For this option, users need administrator rights to their computer. 

    • Download the Drive File Stream .exe file and deploy it in silent mode:

      1. Download GoogleDriveFSSetup.exe.
        Download now
      2. Run the installer in silent mode:
            GoogleDriveFSSetup --silent
      3. (Recommended) Uninstall Drive for Mac/PC and Backup and Sync in your organization.
      4. (Optional) Delete the Google Drive folder at \Users\%USER%\Google Drive. Use caution deleting this folder, as it may contain content that has not yet been saved or synced.
      1. Download GoogleDriveFileStream.dmg.
        Download now
      2. Run the installer in silent mode:
        hdiutil mount GoogleDriveFileStream.dmg; sudo installer -pkg /Volumes/Install\ Google\ Drive\ File\ Stream/GoogleDriveFileStream.pkg -target "/Volumes/Macintosh HD"; hdiutil unmount /Volumes/Install\ Google\ Drive\ File\ Stream/
      3. (Recommended) Delete the Drive for Mac/PC and Backup and Sync applications.
      4. (Optional) Delete the Google Drive folder at ~/Google Drive. Use caution deleting this folder, as it may contain content that has not yet been saved or synced.

    Note: Drive File Stream comes packaged with Google Update (Windows) or Google Software Update (Mac) to automatically update Drive File Stream on your users’ computers. You can configure policy settings for these applications if you don't want Drive File Stream to automatically update.

Train your users

To notify your users about Drive File Stream and help them get started, you can customize our sample email templates. Pick a template based on whether your users are:

  • New to Google Drive
  • Transitioning to Drive File Stream from either Backup and Sync or the previous version, Drive for Mac/PC
Sample email for new Drive users

To introduce Drive to new users, see the sample Google Drive email for users.

Sample email for users transitioning to Drive File Stream

Delete the red comments and modify the email as appropriate for your organization.

SUBJECT: Google Drive just got easier for you and your team

We’re pleased to announce Drive File Stream, a new application for your Mac or PC. Use Drive File Stream to access all your Google Drive files from your computer while using less disk space and decreasing sync time.

How does it work?

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.

How do I get started?

Visit the Drive Help Center to install Drive File Stream and get started.
Delete “install Drive File Stream” if you’ll deploy this yourself.  


- {Name}, Your G Suite administrator

Known issues

  • You can't currently duplicate Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.

  • 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.

Related topics

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