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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Google has announced that it intends to unify its Google Drive solutions for keeping files in sync on users' desktops.


Currently there are 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.

Later this year, these two clients will become one: Google Drive for desktop. Google explains that for Drive File Stream users, this is just a name change, and all functionality will remain the same.

For Backup and Sync users, they will essentially be using Drive File Stream in all but name, except with the features they're used to incorporated into the one client.

The reason for the change is that some Google Workspace customers have deployed both sync solutions, which can be confusing for end users and challenging for IT departments to manage.

As of version 45, Drive File Stream is known as Google Drive for desktop, and the company will give three months' notice for Google Workspace admins and end users before the deadline to transition to Drive for desktop.

Google Workspace customers with end users who are currently using Backup and Sync can apply for a beta of the new unified Drive for desktop experience, which includes Backup and Sync features.

Google says it will announce when Drive for desktop is officially ready for all Backup and Sync users, and will also share more details later this year on how Backup and Sync users can get started with the new client.

Article Link: New Google Drive Desktop App to Replace Backup & Sync and Drive File Stream Clients Later This Year


macrumors 601
Apr 2, 2008
New York.
This is such interest timing considering I just submitted an IT ticket at my company yesterday telling them that my files no longer sync while I’m on the company VPN haha.

I also called it “Google Drive Stream Sync” 😂 so good to know there are actually 2 different clients.


macrumors newbie
Jan 1, 2021
I would never use this. Maybe if they open sourced the clients and someone hacked in end-to-end encryption.


macrumors member
Dec 28, 2008
About time. It should be possible to access personal and company accounts from the same client. Now if they could just implement a menu for account switching like on the web that would be really helpful for us freelancers who need to access multiple company accounts.


macrumors 6502a
Apr 7, 2009
How many different apps does this need Google? Isn’t this like the 4th or 5th one?

Google has always been very consistent about being inconsistent. They're also known for discontinuing good products ... well, because. It seems as if Google is more about "We're putting out a new app to duplicate this existing app and discontinuing the existing app" rather than improving and updating existing apps.


macrumors regular
Sep 23, 2008
Call me when they actually add M1 support. I know it's (supposedly) coming in April, but honestly I can't believe how badly Google dropped the ball on this one... They've had almost two years now to get with the program and ditch the kernel extensions, but I guess I shouldn't expect all that much from the same company that took five years to bring split screen support to its Gmail iPad app.... 🙄


macrumors 6502
Jun 8, 2017
This article is misleading. They’re actually merging them into the best of both worlds. Here’s a feature comparison of all three apps:

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