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IT Update: Google Drive File Stream

Last Updated: Apr 09, 2018 07:51AM EDT

This week's IT tip is all about a new way to use Google Drive to get the best of both worlds: both to store as much as you can off of your computer and in the cloud, but also to have access to all of your files both off and online: Google Drive Stream

All your Drive files appear and can be streamed on demand, so they don’t take up all your storage space on your computer. (If you decide later to uninstall Drive File Stream, your Drive files won’t be affected. They can still be accessed from Drive on the web.)


  1. Once you install the application, you'll see Drive File Stream at the bottom right on Windows or at the top right on Mac.
  2. Click Drive File Stream.
  3. Click Open Google Drive Folder to access your Drive files and folders.

As you make changes to files, Google Drive Stream immediately syncs them with Drive Online. If your internet connection breaks or you need to go offline in the middle of a sync, Drive File Stream picks up where it left off when you’re back online.

Other Advantages

  • All files look just like files saved on our computer, and can be moved and used in the same way.
  • The ability to work natively both with Microsoft Office files as well as Google Drive files from the same interface. Just double-click on the Microsoft Office file, and it open in Word, Excel, or Powerpoint. No need for any conversion or concern about unwanted file changes.
  • You can still store files offline by right-clicking on a file or folder and selecting 'Drive File Stream'.
  • Drive File Stream automatically takes the least amount of disk space possible to store your active files, ensuring that you both have the flexbility to work and share files anywhere, but also to know that your files will be accessible even when the internet might not be at its best.
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