FCPS has been testing Google File Stream for several months as part of Google’s Early Adopter Program. Now that it is available for everyone it is our recommended and supported sync client for Google Drive. File Stream works differently than the Google Drive sync client in a few ways. Below are some FAQs I’ve been asked about File Stream.
How do I install Google File Stream?
- Open drive.google.com
- Click the cog (Settings) wheel in the top right corner of the screen
- Click Download Drive File…
- Run the installer
Note: You have to have admin rights on your computer in order to install the client. If you do not have admin rights you can put in a Helpdesk ticket to have File Stream installed for you.
If you are are an admin installing File Stream for another user, have the user run the setup program while they are logged into the computer. Then, enter your admin credentials when prompted.
Can I install Google File Stream on my personal computer?
Sure. Hopefully you have admin rights on it 🙂 Follow the steps above.
Once installed, how do I access Google File Stream?
This is one of my favorite parts. Your entire Google Drive shows up as a drive letter. Which letter may vary, but you can see it in File Explorer.
So when you are opening, saving, or editing a file you can access the file the same way you would normally access one on your computer.
Can I access files in a Team Drive using File Stream?
Yes, When you open the drive the first two folders are My Drive and Team Drives
Can I edit and save files in a Team Drive using File Stream?
If you have FULL access/permissions (default) to the Team Drive, you can add and edit files in the Team Drive using File Stream. For example, you could create a Word document, picture, or PDF and save it.
Currently, if you have EDIT access/permissions to the Team Drive, File Stream access to the the Team Drive is read only.
Do I need to choose which folders I want to access?
No, every folder and file in your Google Drive will show up in File Stream
The files and folder are accessible, but they are not actually saved on your computer. The cloud on the folder tells you that the file is located in the cloud only. Notice my FCPS folder also has a blue head. That means its a shared folder. You can double-click on a folder or file to open it.
Here’s the files inside my Example Folder. You can see the same cloud image on the file images. Notice I have both Google Documents and Office Documents in the folder plus others.
Can I save and open files in File Stream directly from programs like Microsoft Word and PowerPoint?
Yes, just browse to the File Stream drive letter like you would for a file in Documents or your server folder.
Does File Stream make the “Google Drive plug-in for Microsoft Office” unnecessary?
Yes. Yes it does.
If I save a file in the File Stream drive does it remain on my computer?
No. When you save the file it will be uploaded to the cloud. Once uploaded, the file on your computer is removed. The file will still be accessible like any other file in your Drive. This helps save space on your computer.
Can I make a file or folder available when I’m Offline?
Maybe you are using File Stream on a laptop that you sometimes use when not connected to the Internet or maybe you want to make sure you have a particular file available if you lose network connectivity. You can make necessary files and folders available offline.
- Right click on the file you want available offline
- Click on Drive File Stream
- Click on Available offline
The file icon will change to a blue circle while downloading and then change to a green circle with a check mark when done.
The file is now available offline. If you modify the file while offline, the file will sync the next time you connect to the Internet.
Note: You should NOT make your entire Drive available offline. Our Google Drive spaces are unlimited your computer’s hard drive is not.
Can I use Google Drive Sync and Drive File Stream at the same time.
Installing Drive File Stream does not automatically uninstall Google Drive sync. However, they should not both be used. Google Drive sync needs to manually be uninstalled. We are phasing out using Google Drive sync in FCPS. We will be contacting users with the Google Drive Sync client installed in the coming months to help them convert and/or remove the program.