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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.jpg

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.jpg

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.

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

somnolentsurfer

macrumors member
Dec 28, 2008
72
85
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.
 
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Phil A.

Moderator
Staff member
Apr 2, 2006
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Shropshire, UK
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)
 
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somnolentsurfer

macrumors member
Dec 28, 2008
72
85
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)
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.
 
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Phil A.

Moderator
Staff member
Apr 2, 2006
5,709
2,864
Shropshire, UK
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

addaccount.png


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 :)
 
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somnolentsurfer

macrumors member
Dec 28, 2008
72
85
When I click my picture at the top right of the preference screen I see this option to add another account
Huh. I guess I don't have the full update yet then. Assumed I did, as it seems to have moved me over automatically from Backup and Sync. I don't have that profile picture:
Screenshot 2021-07-13 at 09.55.45.png
 
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makinao

macrumors 6502
Dec 27, 2009
262
80
I had the original Google drive. But the transition to Backup and Sync screwed up everything, plus it couldnt do multiple accounts. So I switched to InSync and am not going back to a Google app.
 
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somnolentsurfer

macrumors member
Dec 28, 2008
72
85
What version are you on? Mine is showing as 49.0.8.0 and just updated this morning (my MBA updated yesterday)
I can't find anywhere in the app that tells me... But System Information says 49.0, updated on the 7th. Interestingly, when I click on What's new in the help menu it lists 'Use more than one account, without having to switch' as one of the features, but I can't see any way to do it.

Edit: found it in the app, it does say version 49.0.8.0 (Intel).
 
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JayParris

macrumors newbie
Jun 15, 2021
2
1
UK
Will this act as a stand-alone app then, where files are accessible through the app? I’ve never had a problem with the Back up & Sync and have always had it pinned in finder so it just acts like a folder, it’s never failed me before and I’ve always found it as quick to access what I want as opening a local folder on my Mac.
 
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funman895

macrumors member
Jul 30, 2008
86
70
Ann Arbor, MI
I hope this allows for easy folder structure reorganization like Backup&Sync, rather than having to copy/move/delete files one-by-one like Filestream (at least on Mac)
 
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dabi

macrumors member
Feb 20, 2021
36
86
EU
I've tried it briefly on Windows, and it's pretty cool! Shows Gdrive as a separate drive (like an SSD or HDD) and lists all the files in the explorer as if they were there, even if they aren't downloaded. So you can use them in other software, and it'll automatically download when needed. Surprised how well it works. Sometimes can hang for a few seconds tho.
 
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newyorksole

macrumors 601
Apr 2, 2008
4,448
5,234
New York.
Will this act as a stand-alone app then, where files are accessible through the app? I’ve never had a problem with the Back up & Sync and have always had it pinned in finder so it just acts like a folder, it’s never failed me before and I’ve always found it as quick to access what I want as opening a local folder on my Mac.
Idk what they did, but something happened earlier this year where my files just wouldn’t sync properly in like February and March and now it’s flawless. (work PC running Windows 10)

I also just have my necessary folders pinned and it works like a charm. I’m praying this doesn’t change or get messed up again…
 
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tharitm

macrumors 6502
Nov 9, 2009
317
240
Is it M1 or Intel?

Edit: oh I just saw that it’s only in beta.
oh so M1 + Big Sur support is still in beta? Thanks for confirming. I have been using Mountain duck since M1 came out and has been pretty good so far.
 
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saudor

macrumors 65816
Jul 18, 2011
1,050
1,049
Finally. The old app was a nightmare to get shared folders synced down
 
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LaEnsalada

macrumors newbie
Dec 26, 2020
17
2
There's still no way to sync your google photos into your pc, right? I don't know why google removed it in the first place
 
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