Drive File Stream is now called Google Drive for desktop. Later this year, we will unify our sync clients and bring features from Backup and Sync to Google Drive for desktop to create a better user experience.
How this affects your data and the features you use
|Backup and Sync||Drive File Stream||Drive for desktop|
|Use files in My Drive||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Use files in shared drives||No||Yes, if your plan includes shared drives or you’re invited to a shared drive||Yes, if your plan includes shared drives or you’re invited to a shared drive|
|Sync only selected folders in My Drive to your computer||Yes||No, but you can stream files instead to save disk space||No, but you can stream files instead to save disk space|
|Sync only individual files in My Drive for offline use||No||Yes||Yes|
|Open and store non-Google files like Microsoft Office & Photoshop||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|See who's editing with real-time presence in Microsoft Office||No||Yes||Yes|
|Integrates with Microsoft Outlook, Meet scheduling||No||Yes||Yes|
|Sync local folders, like Documents or Desktop, to Google Drive||Yes||No||Yes|
|Back up photos and videos to Google Photos||Yes||No||Yes|
|Back up photos and videos directly to Google Photos instead of Google Drive||No||No||Yes|
|Access multiple accounts at the same time||Yes||No||Yes|
|Upload Apple Photos library||Yes||No||Yes|
|Upload from USB||Yes||No||Yes|
|File extensions you can ignore||Yes||No||No|
How Backup and Sync users can start using Drive for desktop
We’ll announce when Drive for desktop is ready for Backup and Sync users. We will share more details later this year on how Backup and Sync users can get started with Drive for desktop. We will provide 3 months’ notice for Google Workspace admins and end users before the deadline to transition to Drive for desktop.
Frequently asked questionsWhy are you making this change?
Fix error messages
Drive for desktop won’t work if your hard drive is too full. If you receive an error message that your hard drive space is running low, free up space.
- On your computer, open Drive for desktop.
- Delete files you don’t want from the drive specified in the error message.
- Restart Drive for desktop.
When using Drive for desktop, you stream Google Drive to your computer. The entry point for your Drive content is called a mount point and each account needs a different mount point.
Mount point in use by another account
Make sure to select different mount points for each Google account. The first account should have a mount point of “/Google Drive” and any other accounts should use a unique ID, like “/Google Drive[account name].”
Mount point in use by another device (Windows)
If you use Drive for desktop on Windows, you will get a notification telling you that Google Drive is temporarily mounted to a different location because your selected location is unavailable. You can choose to continue using Drive for desktop with the temporary mount point. If you want to use your selected location, quit Drive for desktop and disconnect the other device.
Mount point in use by another device (macOS)
If you use Drive for desktop on Mac, you might get an error message telling you that your selected mount point is unavailable. To use Drive for desktop, free up your selected mount point and try again.
No mount points available
You might get an error message if mount points are unavailable for one or more of your Drive for desktop accounts. You can continue using Drive for desktop without loading all of your accounts or you can quit and try again.
Mount point can’t be changed (macOS)
If you use Drive for desktop on Mac and use File Provider to access your files, your mount point can’t be changed. Your mount point location is determined by File Provider.
Mount point failure
If something goes wrong with your mount point and Drive for desktop can’t launch, try restarting your computer.