Is Google Drive Going Away?

Google creates so many different products that sometimes it removes products that haven’t gained popularity, and can even remove products that are popular like when it removed it’s RSS feed reader. Rumors have been generating lately, however, that Google is removing Google Drive, which would be a shocking move for the company. If you are currently using Microsoft OneDrive or Dropbox, this information does not apply to you. If you use Google Docs for online file editing and file storage (without desktop syncing) you should also not be affected by the upcoming change.

Why are there rumors?

The main cause of the rumor is the removal and replacement of a Google Drive product. In the battle to store your digital content, Google has had a desktop file syncing utility also called Google Drive. This utility directly competes with Microsoft’s OneDrive and Dropbox. Google Drive for Mac or PC is being deprecated on March 12th, and will no longer function after that date. The notifications of this change are creating confusion on the status of Google Drive in general.

What does this mean for current users of Google Drive for Mac or PC?

If you are using Google Drive for Mac or PC to sync your desktop files to the cloud service, you could be changing your files locally and those changes will not copy over to the cloud copy. So it is important for users to upgrade to the new utility as soon as possible. The good news is you won’t lose any of your files though if you don’t upgrade in time.

What to do if you are using Google Drive’s Syncing utility?

You will need to switch the syncing utility on your computer, depending on which version you will be using. Business users are encouraged to use Drive File Stream. You can also use the new version of Drive for Mac/PC, called Backup and Sync. in addition to or in place of Drive File Stream.

Make sure that your G Suite system administrator turns on Drive File System for your organization and make sure to allow Drive File Stream and specify whether users can see Drive File Stream download links. Then have all of your users install the new utility. You can install the new utility by visiting the help page located here.

Once installed you can select what folders to sync for offline use by:

  1. Clicking the Drive File Stream Menu Drive File Stream.
  2. Click Open Google Drive folder Google Drive folder.
  3. Right-click the file or folder you want to save offline.
  4. Click Drive File Stream and then Available offline.

How does Drive File Stream 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.

It seems extremely similar to how the old program worked, but with some added bells and whistles and a little bit more behind the scenes work to make it function much better than the previous version. Just make sure you make the transition before March 12th if you are affected by this news.