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Google Drive and File Stream Instructions

If you have installed the desktop software for Google Drive on your computer, you may have received a notice that it is going away, and you need to upgrade. There are two different software options. Option 1 is "Backup and Sync." Option 2 is "Google Drive File Stream." We are using Option 2! The second option is designed for business apps accounts.  So to help you with installing "GOOGLE DRIVE FILE STREAM," Here are the steps to follow:

Drive File Stream is designed for you 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.

Here is how you get started...

Upgrading from Google Drive to the new Google Drive File Stream

Step 1:

Before you upgrade, make sure your current Google Drive Desktop folder is fully synced to your online folder. You can confirm that by clicking on the Google Drive icon in the top right of your desktop menu bar, and click on the old Google Drive Icon which looks like this:

New: March 2019: If Google Drive App is no longer available, then you'll need to download a temporary application called: "Backup and Sync" to first sync all your files to your online google folder. Download here:

Run this new , and ensure your computer's Google Drive is not fully synced with your online google Drive. Once done, you can go to step 2!

You will confirm you are synced, if you see the words "Sync Complete" and a green checkmark at the bottom of that menu:  

Inline image 3

Hey Brian, what if I don't see that icon? If you don't see that icon, you either are not running Google Drive on your desktop, OR it was turned off. If you have never installed Google Drive for desktop, then no worries, and go to Step 2.  If you aren't sure, look in your Applications Folder for Google Drive (looks like this: Inline image 6 )and launch it.  That will turn on the program and put the icon back on your menu.  Then, go back to the start of Step 1 and try again.

Wait for it to sync and give you the check mark, before going to step 2. It may take a while!


Step 2:

2.1 Are you sure you completed step 1?! Make sure.
2.2 Download Google Drive File Stream here:
2.3 Launch the application
2.4 You might get a notice that your system blocked the extension like I did. It looked like this:

Inline image 1

No worries! Just 1) Open System Preferences, 2)click on the padlock on the bottom left to unlock the options, and 3) Click "Allow" where you see the prompt saying ":System Software from Developer "Google" was blocked from loading".  It looks like this:

Inline image 2

Go back to step 2.3 and Launch the Application again to install it.

Step 3:

3.1 You will now see a NEW version of the Drive icon in your menubar. It looks like a black box with the drive icon inside it.  Here is a screenshot: Inline image 8 (go back to step 1 to see how it looks different compared to the old Google Drive System)

3.2 Click on that icon, and you will see that Google is updating your online Drive. Once it is complete, you will see a double-check mark on the bottom with "EVERYTHING IS UP TO DATE" (this may take a few minutes).
Inline image 9

Step 4:  (a.k.a So what just happened? )

1) Your old Google Drive Folder is still on your computer. But those files are no longer the ones being synced. See step 5 for what to do with your old Google Drive Folder.
2) You're NEW Google Drive File Stream Folder is accessible by clicking on the Drive Icon
 Drive File Stream in the menu bar, and clicking on the folder in the drop down.

3) In the new folder, all of your Drive files are now ONLY stored online by default. You can confirm this becuase next to each file name, you will see a little cloud-like icon: " Inline image 10".  Here is what it looks like in the file menu.
Inline image 11

If you want to also access any of your Google Drive files offline, follow these steps:

  • Click the Drive File Stream Menu Drive File Stream.
  • Click Open Google Drive folder Google Drive folder.
  • Select the Folder or Files you want to also keep on your desktop, and two-finger or Right-click it. Looks like this:
  • Inline image 1
  • Click Drive File Stream and then Select: "Available offline."
  • You will start to see the drive icon spinning, and the syncing process looks like this:
Inline image 12
6.  Once complete, the cloud symbol in the finder will be replaced with a green check circle (see my Tier 1 folder below):
Inline image 13

Step 5: 

(What should you do with your old Google Drive on your computer?)

5.0: Rename it to: "OLD Google Drive"
5.1 Delete it?? I think you can. Or if you are a scaredy cat, like me, go with Step 2:
5.2: Change PERMISSIONS to make it "read only" following these steps:

Find your Old Google Drive foler in your finder, and right-click or two-finger click on it to get the drop down menu:
Inline image 1

The, Change the permission from "Read & Write" to "Read Only"

Inline image 2

IMPORTANT: Then Apply to all of the enclosing folder items by selecting the GEAR icon, and click on "Apply to enclosed items."

Inline image 1

Step 6: 

Make sure you remove any old shortcuts to your old Google Folder in your finder. Replace those with short cuts to your NEW Google Folder.

How Your NEW Google Drive File Stream Works

There is so much to cover on what you can do with Google Drive. We will get into that soon. To see Google's One tips on how to use the new Drive, check out their resource page here: