Google Team Drive

Google Drive is ending support for its desktop apps in March.  In the below columns, you’ll find a rundown of Google's plans for its cloud-storage service, and how you should prepare for them.

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What is staying the same? 

For many users, the changes will have minimal impact. The main Google Drive service and office suite, where you store files and work on documents, will remain in place. On the whole, you can carry on using Google Drive as usual, creating documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, streaming videos from the web, and uploading files from your computer via your web browser.

You will still be able to open your web browser and access your data through the Drive website. Similarly, the mobile apps for Android and iOS will look just the same. If you rely on apps that plug into Google Drive or use it for cloud storage, then these should carry on working fine too. Even your storage plan, if you've paid for one, will stay in place.

What is Changing? 

Google is making changes to its desktop client app, called Google Drive, for both Windows and macOS.  This app is used to synch files to and from Google Drive on a desktop or laptop, comparable to the service Dropbox provides.

For Home use, Google provides a new tool called Backup & Sync, which Google announced back in July. This tool provides a more comprehensive backup for your whole computer. As with the old Google Drive client, Backup & Sync lets you choose specific folders from Google Drive to sync to your computer, so you don't have to have everything on your desktop or laptop at once. In addition, the new tool lets you upload files from outside your designated local Google Drive folder—so you can back up your Desktop or Documents folder without moving those files to the Google Drive folder. Previously, Drive and Photos had separate desktop apps for syncing. One of the new program's perks is that it combines the two: Backup & Sync lets you upload pictures to Google Photos as well as files to Google Drive.

For business users—that's companies who manage branded Google Drive and Gmail accounts for their employees—the desktop clients are bowing out in favor of a two options, Backup & Sync as well as a new program called Drive File Stream. Drive File Stream lets you download and open local files on demand, so all data can stay in the cloud and only transfer to the local hard drives when needed. This frees up disk space. Company administrators can choose to share either Backup & Sync, Drive File Stream, or both with their users.

How do I prepare? 

Google will completely block its Drive App on March 12, 2018. To prepare for that, please take the following steps:

To prepare, simply download and install Backup & Sync. Don't worry about uninstalling your existing Google Drive client, because the new software will take care of that for you.

Backup & Sync will even carry over the settings you've already configured. After you've finished the installation, double-check that the app is syncing the folders you want it to.

The new tool will automatically sync folders of your choice up to the web, as long as you have enough cloud storage space for them. And it can automatically back up all the photos and videos on your hard drive and your memory cards too. If you prefer to access Google Drive through a browser, then just carry on as normal.