Upcoming changes to Google Drive sync clients

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

As part of this new unified sync client, we’re working to bring customers the best and most used features from both Backup and Sync and Drive File Stream. See below for more details:
See the full list of features
  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
Dark mode No Yes 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 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.
Will anything happen to my files when Drive for desktop releases?
No, your files are not affected. This is just an update to the Backup and Sync and Drive File Stream tools, 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.

Fix error messages

Hard drive running low

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.

  1. On your computer, open Drive for desktop.
  2. Delete files you don’t want from the drive specified in the error message.
  3. Restart Drive for desktop.
Mount point errors

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.

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