Upcoming changes to Google Drive sync clients

You can now download Drive for desktop. To learn more about how to transition to Drive for desktop, go to Moving from Backup and Sync to Google Drive for desktop.

How this affects your data & features you use

Like Backup and Sync, Drive for desktop lets you easily sync your content across all your devices and the Cloud. However there are some feature differences across the two products. See below for more details on how Drive for desktop differs from Backup and Sync:
Learn about the full list of features
  Backup and Sync  Drive for desktop
Use files in My Drive Yes Yes
Use files in shared drives No Yes, if your plan includes shared drives or you’re invited to a shared drive
Sync selected folders in My Drive to your computer Yes No, to save hard drive space, you can stream files and select folders to be available offline. For details, go to the FAQs below.
Make select files in Drive available offline No Yes
Open and store non-Google files, like Microsoft Office & Photoshop Yes Yes
Show who's editing a document in Microsoft Office No Yes
Sync local folders, like Documents or Desktop, to Google Drive Yes Yes
Back up photos and videos to Google Photos Yes Yes
Back up only photos and videos to Google Drive Yes No, you can back up folders directly to Google Photos
Use multiple accounts at the same time Yes Yes
Upload Apple Photos library Yes Yes
Upload from USB Yes Yes
Dark mode No Yes
Exclude the upload of select file extensions to Drive or Photos Yes No
Prevent deletes from syncing between folders from your computer and Drive Yes No

How Backup and Sync users can start using Drive for desktop

You can move your accounts and settings from Backup and Sync to Google Drive for desktop. During the process, you’ll review and confirm the settings for the folders on your computer you’re backing up and syncing with the cloud through Backup and Sync. Backup and Sync will be automatically uninstalled after you’ve moved your accounts to Drive for desktop.

Learn more about using Google Drive for desktop.

Frequently asked questions

Why are you making this change?
Google Drive for desktop will bring together the best and most used features from Drive File Stream and Backup and Sync. This creates a powerful and unified sync client for everyone who uses Drive, whether for business or personal purposes.
Are my files affected after Drive for desktop releases?
No, your files aren't affected. This is only an update to Backup and Sync, not your stored files.
I use Drive File Stream. How will this affect me?
There’s no significant impact to Drive File Stream users like you. In the latest release, you will just see the tool renamed to “Drive for desktop”. You’ll also get new features from Backup and Sync as part of a release later this year.
I am a Workspace Admin and my organization uses Drive File Stream. I’m concerned about these new features. What can I do?
We will allow admins control over these new features via registry key. You will be able to see when the new features are available through release notes. For more info about how to control these features, learn how to configure Drive File Stream.
In Backup and Sync, I could select specific folders from Drive to sync to my computer. How can I do this in Drive for desktop? 

In Backup and Sync, you synced specific folders from My Drive to your computer to save hard drive space. With Drive for desktop, you can stream your My Drive files and only use hard drive space for select files.

To make specific files and folders available offline when streaming:

  1. Right-click a file or folder.
  2. Click Offline access and then Available offline.
To learn more about the differences between streaming and mirroring, go to Moving from Backup and Sync to Google Drive for desktop.
I’m a Workspace Admin and my organization uses Drive for desktop. How can I control my team's access to new features in Backup and Sync?
Admins can deactivate the new Drive for desktop features previously specific to Backup and Sync. These features include the ability to:
  • Mirror local folders to Drive and Photos
  • Back up files from external drives and devices
Management of these features will become available directly in the Drive for desktop section of Admin console in an upcoming release. Until then, disabling Backup and Sync in the Admin console will have the same effect.
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