Google to Roll Out New 'Drive for Desktop' App in the Coming Weeks, Replacing Backup & Sync and Drive File Stream Clients

Earlier this year, Google announced that it planned to unify its Drive File Stream and Backup and Sync apps into a single Google Drive for desktop app. The company now says the new sync client will roll out "in the coming weeks" and has released additional information about what users can expect from the transition.

google drive for desktop1
To recap, there are currently two desktop sync solutions for using Google Drive – Drive File Stream, which is for business users, and Backup and Sync, which is designed for personal use. The rollout of Google Drive for desktop will consolidate these two clients into a single app. Indeed, some Drive File Stream users on version 45 or later will already see the name change implemented.

Drive for desktop will perform the same functions as the two older apps – giving users access to their cloud-based files and photos directly on their desktop, and automatic syncing of files to the cloud in the background. From Google's blog post:

We're unifying these sync clients into the new Drive for desktop, bringing people the best and most used features from both Backup and Sync and Drive File Stream, including the ability to:

  • Upload and sync photos and videos to Google Photos and/or Google Drive
  • Sync external storage devices to the cloud, including flash drives and external hard drives
  • Mirror Drive files on your desktop, which stores your files on your local device and enables quicker access to your content.

google drive for desktop2
Over the next few weeks, users on macOS and Windows will see prompts asking them to transition to Drive for desktop, which Google recommends doing before September 2021. After that date, users will see in-app alerts notifying them they'll need to transition to continue syncing their files.

More information about the Drive for desktop transition for business users can be found in Google's Workspace Updates blog post.

Top Rated Comments

JustinCymbal Avatar
11 months ago
I'm glad Google is doing this - I use Google Drive everyday

I hope Google will make this downloadable from the Mac App Store
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cocoua Avatar
11 months ago
gdrive
google drive
Google bussines
Back up and sync
Google workplace
Google one
Google drive
...
“Please b***h”
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
trifero Avatar
11 months ago
Before In install google software in my mac, I should be tortured.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Santiago Avatar
11 months ago

I feel like they change the app for this like once a year. Can they just stick with one and fix it?
As I explained last time:


It's quite simple, really. They had Google Docs, where you stored all your files, then they decided that should only refer to their web-based text documents, with other files now under Google Drive. Then they released the Google Drive desktop client, renamed it to Google Backup & Sync, released Google Drive File Stream with slightly different features for slightly different accounts, and are now renaming Google Drive File Stream to just Google Drive and merging Google Backup & Sync (the old Drive) into the new Drive. I look forward to next year, when they rename it all back to Google Documents and use the Google Drive name for their self-driving cars.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Phil A. Avatar
11 months ago

Not awesome. I got this update the other day, and the convenient switch account button that used to let those of us who are freelancers and have to work with multiple Google Workspace (or whatever they’re calling it these days) accounts switch between them seems to have disappeared. It was never great to start with, but it had been slowly improving. Now it’s gone backward.
You can add up to 4 accounts and they'll all sync simultaneously, so there's no need to switch between them. I tried it with my personal and workspace account and it worked fine (it even supports file streaming from personal accounts)
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Phil A. Avatar
11 months ago

Can you? Where? I was surprised, 'cause I had the impression that was kinda the point, but the only option I see is to disconnect the account I'm signed in with. I think I have six in total, but four would be enough for the ones I use on a day to day basis.

Also, the clipart-style illustrations are really ugly.
When I click my picture at the top right of the preference screen I see this option to add another account



I tried adding my personal google account to make sure it works (it did) but then disconnected it again as I don't really use it :)

Attachment Image
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

Google Logo Feature Slack

Google Launching Privacy Sandbox to Limit Ad Tracking on Android, Calls 'Blunt Approaches' Like Apple's 'Ineffective'

Wednesday February 16, 2022 7:50 am PST by
Google has announced plans to strengthen user privacy on Android with a new initiative that will put an end to cross-app tracking on Android over the next two years, making it more difficult for advertisers to track users across other apps. In a blog post, Google announced a multi-year project named "Privacy Sandbox" that introduces "more private advertising solutions" for mobile apps. The...
Google apps isolated

Google Apps for iOS to Switch to UIKit After Decade of Material Design

Monday October 11, 2021 7:20 am PDT by
Google is winding down its Material Design custom UI for iOS apps to switch to pure UIKit, according to Google's design chief for Apple platforms Jeff Verkoeyen. Google's suite of apps for iOS and iPadOS, including Gmail, Google Maps, Google Photos, Google Drive, and YouTube, have used custom user interfaces that mirror the experience on Android for almost a decade. The purpose of these...
OneDrive

OneDrive Mac Users Unhappy With Buggy Update That Removes Ability to Keep Local Copies of Synced Files

Tuesday February 1, 2022 4:45 am PST by
Changes to the way OneDrive syncs files and folders on Mac has caused upset among users of the cloud storage service, following Microsoft's rollout last month of a new "Files On-Demand Experience" for Macs running macOS 12.1 and later. In a change coming with macOS 12.3, currently still in beta, Apple is deprecating the kernel extensions originally used by OneDrive's syncing features, so the ...
iCloud Bug Feature Green

Developers Unhappy With Bug Causing iCloud Unreliability

Monday January 24, 2022 10:15 am PST by
A number of developers are upset with an increasingly problematic iCloud server issue that is causing some apps that have implemented iCloud support to fail to sync properly. As outlined on the Developer Forums and on Twitter, there are CloudKit connectivity issues that have been occurring since November. Some users of apps that have iCloud support built in are seeing the following message:...
OneDrive

Microsoft Responds to OneDrive Mac User Criticism Following Decision to Enforce Files On-Demand Feature [Updated]

Thursday February 3, 2022 7:50 am PST by
Earlier this week, MacRumors reported on a OneDrive for Mac update that has caused upset among users of the cloud storage service, partly due to alleged bugs it has introduced but mainly because the new version no longer allows users to opt out of its cloud-based Files On-Demand feature, which was previously an optional setting. In an update to its original blog post introducing this aspect...
iCloud Bug Feature Green

Apple Fixed iCloud Bug Causing Syncing Issues for Third-Party Apps

Wednesday January 26, 2022 10:54 am PST by
Apple appears to have fixed an ongoing iCloud server issue that was causing some apps that have implemented iCloud support to fail to sync properly. The bug has persisted since November, and app developers were becoming increasingly upset with Apple's lack of effort to address the problem. According to YarnBuddy developer Becky Hansmeyer, Apple said that it has managed to address the issue...
General Dropbox Feature

macOS 12.3 Will Include Cloud Storage Changes Affecting Dropbox and OneDrive

Tuesday January 25, 2022 3:31 pm PST by
Dropbox today announced that users who update to macOS 12.3 once that software version becomes available may temporarily encounter issues with opening online-only files in some third-party apps on their Mac. In a support document and an email to customers, Dropbox said it is actively working on full support for online-only files on macOS 12.3 and will begin rolling out an updated version of...
oculus health app

Oculus Quest 2 Movement Data Will Sync With Apple Health App Starting in April

Thursday March 10, 2022 11:07 am PST by
Facebook parent company Meta today announced an upcoming fitness update for the Oculus Quest 2, which will allow fitness data captured during VR workouts to be integrated with the Apple Health app. Right now, when people exercise with interactive games like Liteboxer, Beat Saber, or Dance Central using the Oculus Quest 2, the data can only be viewed on the Oculus Mobile app on the headset...

Popular Stories

anker 563 dock ports

Anker's Latest USB-C Docking Station Brings Triple-Display Support to M1 Macs

Wednesday May 18, 2022 7:06 am PDT by
While Apple's early M1-based Macs can only officially support a single external display, there are ways around the limitation. Anker is launching a new 10-in-1 USB-C docking station today which delivers just that. The Anker 563 USB-C dock includes two HDMI ports and a DisplayPort port, and it leverages DisplayLink to carry multiple video signals over a single connection. Given that this hub...
Prosser Series 8 3

Apple Watch Series 8 Rumored to Feature New Design With Flat Display

Wednesday May 18, 2022 6:21 am PDT by
The Apple Watch Series 8 could feature an all-new design with a flat display, according to the leaker known as "ShrimpApplePro." In his latest video on the YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Jon Prosser highlighted information from ShrimpApplePro that suggests the Apple Watch Series 8 could feature a flat display in what seems to be a design originally rumored for the Apple Watch Series 7. ...
apple ar headset concept 1

Apple's Headset Said to Feature 14 Cameras Enabling Lifelike Avatars, Jony Ive Has Remained Involved With Design

Friday May 20, 2022 6:50 am PDT by
Earlier this week, The Information's Wayne Ma outlined struggles that Apple has faced during the development of its long-rumored AR/VR headset. Now, in a follow-up report, he has shared several additional details about the wearable device. Apple headset render created by Ian Zelbo based on The Information reporting For starters, one of the headset's marquee features is said to be lifelike...
apple data auction iphone privacy ad

Apple Highlights iPhone's Latest Privacy Features in New 'Data Auction' Ad

Wednesday May 18, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
Apple today shared a new ad highlighting iPhone privacy features like App Tracking Transparency and Mail Privacy Protection that are designed to give users more transparency and control when it comes to their personal data being collected. The ad revolves around a young woman named Ellie who discovers that her personal data is being sold at an auction house, with bids being placed on her...
apple ar headset concept 2

Apple's AR/VR Headset Nearing Completion as Board Gets Demo

Thursday May 19, 2022 9:52 am PDT by
Apple last week demonstrated its upcoming AR/VR headset to Apple board members, indicating that the device is in an advanced stage of development and could see a debut in the not too distant future, reports Bloomberg. Apple has also ramped up development of the software that runs on the headset, with that software expected to be called "RealityOS," or rOS for short. Render via designer Ian ...