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 2012 and up.
    • Mac: El Capitan (10.11) and up. For High Sierra (10.13) or newer, 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. (Optional) At the same Admin console page where you turned on sync, check Allow users to enable real-time presence in Microsoft Office from Drive File Stream. This lets users see when someone is editing shared Microsoft Office files, and can help prevent editing conflicts.
  4. 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 --desktop_shortcut

        The desktop_shortcut flag for Drive File Stream is optional. Users can also find Drive File Stream in the Windows Task Bar.

        Drive File Stream includes desktop shortcuts to Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides by default. You can turn the Docs editors shortcuts off by adding the
        --gsuite_shortcuts=false parameter to the installer.

      3. (Recommended) Uninstall 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 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.

    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.

If you have problems installing Drive File Stream, restart the computer where you're having trouble and try again.

Tip: As an administrator, you can find information about the Drive File Stream installation in the Admin console. You can verify the version number, last sync date, or the amount of offline data on a device.

Uninstall or reinstall Drive File Stream

Uninstall Drive File Stream

After you uninstall Drive File Stream from your computer, you can still open your files on the web at

Step 1: Sign out and quit Drive File Stream.

  1. In your task bar, open Drive File Stream Drive File Stream.
  2. Click MoreMoreand then Sign out.
  3. Return to Drive File Stream Drive File Stream, click MoreMoreand then Quit.

Step 2: Uninstall Drive File Stream

On a single computer:

Use standard procedures to uninstall the Drive File Stream application. Consult the OS instructions for your computer if you need assistance.

Across your organization:

  • On Windows, use the command:
    %PROGRAMFILES%\Google\Drive File Stream\<VERSION>\uninstall.exe --silent --force_stop

    The --force_stop argument is required if Drive File Stream is currently running. The --silent argument is optional. It will suppress uninstall dialogs and skip end-user confirmation of the uninstall.

    The UninstallString registry key for Drive File Stream, (Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\{6BBAE539-2232-434A-A4E5-9A33560C6283}), points to the uninstall.exe.
  • On macOS, right-click /Applications/Google Drive File in Finder, then Move to Trash.

Step 3: Clear files cached on your computer.

To clear the Drive File Stream cache, delete the user folder found here:

  • Windows: %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Google\DriveFS

  • Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/Google/DriveFS/

    On macOS, the library folder may be hidden. To find it:

    1. Open Finder.
    2. On your keyboard, hold Option.
    3. In the menus at the top of your screen, click Goand thenLibrary.

Warning: Be cautious about clearing the Drive File Stream cache to try to fix general problems. Files are moved here before they're uploaded. If you clear the cache before an upload is complete, that file will be lost.

Reinstall Drive File Stream
  1. Uninstall Drive File Stream, as described above. Make sure to complete step 3, to clear cached files.
  2. Redeploy or reinstall Drive File Stream.

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 Backup and Sync
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 Drive files in Finder/Explorer.
  • Browse and organize 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.

  • Some virus detection and security software can interfere with the operation of Drive File Stream. If you experience issues, try disabling this software for Drive File Stream and the content cache.

Related topics

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