On May 12th, the Google Drive app on the laptops and desktops will stop working. Before that happens, we will have moved you to Google Drive File Stream.


Google Drive: Google’s cloud storage service. Files stored in the cloud and made accessible at https://drive.google.com.

Google Drive App: This is an application that syncs the Google Drive cloud storage with a folder on your local machine. Anything saved in the folder is automatically uploaded to Google for safe keeping. This allows you to have back up copies made of your files for you automatically. You also have access to your files from any machine that has an internet connection. The Google Drive App is going away.

Google Drive File Stream: Google’s replacement for the Google Drive App. The main difference is that Google Drive File Stream does not keep copies of everything on the local machine. It syncs the files that you are working with, and not everything. Also, Google Drive File Stream is a separate drive on your local machine, not a folder.

The other difference is that Google Drive File Stream gives you access to Team Drives.

What’s the difference?

Google Drive App is currently being used to sync your Google Drive to your local machine. It stores your files in the cloud and also stores copies on your local hard drive. This arrangement has a few issues:

  • By default, all of your files are synced to your local drive. This can be an issue if you are taking advantage of the unlimited space Google gives us in Google Drive.
  • There is no access to files stored in Team Drives.
  • With the Google Drive App, you interact with a folder. Google Drive File Stream uses a drive and on the Macs show an icon on the desktop.

For Chromebook users, nothing changes.

The upcoming switch

The technology department is currently working on procedures to help you switch to Google Drive File Stream. There will be an announcement when we’re ready for you to upgrade and switch to Google Drive File Stream.