Tag Archives: Drive File Stream

Updates on how to sync Google Drive content to your computer

What’s changing 

In the coming months, we’ll make some changes to the solutions we offer to access Google Drive files and keep them in sync on your desktop. There is no immediate action required, but we suggest familiarizing yourself with the changes and plans described below. 

Currently, we have two sync solutions available—Drive File Stream, which was built for business users, and Backup and Sync, which was built for consumer users. 

Some of our Google Workspace customers have deployed both sync solutions, which can be confusing for end users and challenging for IT departments to manage. To address this, we're planning to unify these sync clients later in 2021, bringing the most used features from both Drive File Stream and Backup and Sync to all of our users. Check out the Additional details section below for more information, and sign up to preview the unified sync client in beta


Who’s impacted 

Admins and end users 


Why it’s important 

We’re planning to unify our sync clients and bring all of our customers the best and most used features from both Drive File Stream and Backup and Sync. This will create a powerful and unified sync client for anyone who uses Drive, whether for business or personal purposes, and will: 
  • Make it easier for admins and IT teams to manage deployments 
  • Reduce user confusion around which app to use 
  • Result in better performance for end users 
The beta for the new unified client will help organizations currently using Backup and Sync understand how the new client will work prior to it becoming generally available later in 2021. 


Additional details 


Drive File Stream is now Google Drive for desktop 
As of version 45, Drive File Stream is known as Google Drive for desktop. This is simply a name change; all functionality will remain the same and most admins and end users won’t need to take any action to continue using the client. See our release notes for more details. 


Backup and Sync functionality and users will be transitioned to a new version of Drive for desktop later this year 
Later this year, Backup and Sync users will need to transition to Drive for desktop, the unified sync client. Until then, we’re working to incorporate features from Backup and Sync into the new solution and to make it as easy as possible for users. 

We’ll announce when Drive for desktop is ready for Backup and Sync users. We will share more details later this year on how Backup and Sync users can get started with Drive for desktop. We will provide 3 months’ notice for Google Workspace admins and end users before the deadline to transition to Drive for desktop. The transition will be self-serve for end users. More details on consumer timelines will be announced closer to availability. Visit our Help Center to learn more about which features will be transitioned to Drive for desktop


Google Workspace customers can now preview the new Drive for desktop client in beta 
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. Learn more, and sign up for the beta


Getting started 

  • End users: The name change from Drive File Stream to Drive for desktop will take place by default. Functionality won’t change, and there is no user action required. 
    • Note that there’s also no action required for Backup & Sync users with personal Google accounts at this time. 

Rollout pace 

Drive File Stream renaming to Drive for desktop 

Drive for desktop unified client beta 

Availability 

  • Drive for desktop is available to Google Workspace Essentials, Business Starter, Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Essentials, Enterprise Standard, and Enterprise Plus, as well as G Suite Basic, Business, Education, Enterprise for Education, Nonprofits customers, and users with personal Accounts. 
  • The beta for the new unified client is available to Google Workspace Essentials, Business Starter, Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Essentials, Enterprise Standard, and Enterprise Plus, as well as G Suite Basic, Business, Education, Enterprise for Education, and Nonprofits customers who currently have users with the Backup and Sync deployed. 

Resources 

Folder sharing in shared drives now generally available

Quick launch summary 

You can now share folders in shared drives. Previously, this feature was available in beta

Shared drives empower teams and organizations to store, access, and collaborate on files. With this launch, you can share a specific folder with other users, or upgrade member access to provide users with additional permissions on specific folders within shared drives. 

At launch, the feature is available via Drive on the web, the Drive API, Drive File Stream (v. 42+) and the latest Google Drive apps for iOS (v. 4.2020.36202+) and Android (v. 2.20.321+). It will be available through the native file system on ChromeOS with an upcoming release

See our beta announcement for more details and examples of how you could use the feature

Some updates and reminders from the beta post: 
  • Commenter role available in My Drive: In order to align My Drive and shared drives, ‘Commenter’ roles will now be available for folders in My Drive. Previously, only Viewer and Editor were available.
  • Manager role required to move folders between shared drives: As explained in our previous post, moving folders between shared drives are only allowed for users who are managers on both the original as well as the target location. 

Getting started 

Rollout pace 

Availability

  • Available to G Suite Business, G Suite Enterprise, G Suite for Education, G Suite Enterprise for Education, G Suite for Nonprofits, and G Suite Essentials customers 
  • Not available to G Suite Basic customers

Resources 

Roadmap 

Create pointers to any file or folder in Google Drive with shortcuts

What’s changing 

Last year, we announced a beta for shortcuts in Google Drive. This feature is now generally available and has started rolling out to all G Suite customers and users with personal Google Accounts. 

Shortcuts in Drive make it easier to organize content and point users to relevant information and files across various drives.

Who’s impacted 

Admins, end users, and developers

Why you’d use it 


Shortcuts are pointers to content that can be stored in another folder or drive, a shared drive, or an individual user's “My Drive.”

For example, Paul, a marketing manager, creates a “Marketing Strategy” document and shares it with the sales team. Greta, the sales manager, can now create a shortcut to the document in the “Sales” shared drive, enabling everyone on the sales team to quickly and easily access the file.

Additional details 


Shortcut visibility and sharing permissions 
Shortcuts are visible to anyone who has access to the folder or drive containing the shortcut. Even if someone can see the shortcut, however, they can only open it if they have the appropriate access to the original file or folder.

Simplifying how files and folders appear in multiple locations 
In order to create a consistent experience for managing and viewing reference files across Drive, we’ve changed the “Add to My Drive” option to “Add shortcut to Drive.”


Changes to Drive’s folder structure and sharing model starting September 30 
Starting September 30, 2020, it will no longer be possible to place a file in multiple folders in My Drive, including via the Drive API. Going forward, every file will live in a single location.

After September 30, 2020, all files already living in multiple locations in My Drive will gradually be migrated to shortcuts.

No admin or end user action is required. We recommend developers read more about this and other Drive API changes on the Cloud blog.

Getting started 




Rollout pace 

Drive Web



Drive Android/iOS

  • Gradual rollout starting on March 26, 2020. Requires app version 2.20.10 and up for Android and 4.2020.08 and up for iOS 


Drive File Stream

  • This feature is already available and requires app version 37.0 and up 


Backup and Sync

  • This feature is already available and requires app version 3.46 and up 


Availability 


  • Available to all G Suite customers and users with personal Google Accounts 


Resources 




Roadmap 


Restrict the use of Drive File Stream to company-owned devices

Quick launch summary

Earlier this year, we gave admins more control over their corporate data by integrating controls for Drive File Stream in Google’s device management interface. The option to restrict the use of Drive File Stream to company owned-devices only is now available to opt into.

Admins can access the setting by going to the Admin console and navigating to Apps > G Suite > Settings for Drive and Docs > Features and Applications. Then, select “Allow Drive File Stream in your Organization” and “Only allow Drive File Stream on authorized devices (Beta)".

Availability

G Suite editions

  • Available to all G Suite editions


On/off by default?

  • This feature will be OFF by default and can be enabled at the OU level.



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Get extra visibility and control over how Drive File Stream is used in your organization

This announcement was made at Google Cloud Next ‘19 in San Francisco. Check out Next OnAir to tune into the livestream or watch session recordings following the event.


What’s changing 

We’re giving admins more control over their corporate data by integrating controls for Drive File Stream into Google’s device management interface. Drive File Stream streams data between devices and the cloud to ensure users can access the files they need safely and efficiently whether they’re online or offline. Device management helps you easily manage and protect corporate data on devices.
This integration will allow admins to:

  • Control which devices can use Drive File Stream by restricting use to company-owned devices only. 
  • See the status of Drive File Stream on a device (size of the offline content cache, software version, time of last sync etc.). 
  • Remotely block the device and wipe the account specific offline content cache from a machine should it become lost or they no longer want Drive File Stream to be used on the device. 


Who’s impacted 

Admins only

Why you’d use it 

Drive File Stream is a simple and efficient way for users to access Drive data on Windows and Mac devices. This integration provides tools for administrators to gain extra visibility into how it’s used in their organization, and ensure corporate data is protected by controlling which devices can be used to access Drive File Stream. With the ability to block or wipe drive cache with a few clicks, admins have more control on over remediation activities.

How to get started 


  • Admins: 
    • To see the Drive File Stream information for specific devices in the Admin console at Admin console > Device Management > Devices
    • To restrict Drive File Stream to company owned devices, go to Admin console > Apps > G Suite > Drive and Docs > Features and Applications > Drive File Stream > Only allow Drive File Stream on authorized devices
    • To manually approve new Drive File Stream installations, go to Admin console > Device management > Setup > Device Approvals > Requires Admin approval 
  • End users: No action needed. Notifications are sent to the user when a device is blocked, account is wiped, or if a device is pending approval. 


Additional details 

Control which devices can use Drive File Stream 
If you do not choose to manually approve devices before they can use Drive File Stream (see above), there will be no change to how your users set up Drive File Stream today unless the device also has a pending admin approval for Endpoint Verification. However, you will still be able to block and wipe Drive File Stream data from the devices. If you activate the “Requires Admin approval” setting, devices with Drive File Stream already installed will be grandfathered to continue working, unless the device also has a pending admin approval for endpoint verification.

See the status of Drive File Stream on devices 
With the new integration, you can see and manage the Drive File Stream information for specific devices in the Admin console at Admin console > Device Management > Devices. You’ll be able to see information such as the Drive File Stream offline content cache size, when Drive File Stream last synced, the device model, OS and more.

Remotely block the device and wipe the Drive File Stream data 
If a device is lost or you don’t want Drive File Stream to be used on a device, you can block the device. If you do this, all Drive File Stream data will be wiped, and the device will not be able to re-login and access Drive File Stream again.


You can see and manage Drive File Stream information in the Devices section of the Admin console. 


New admin policies to control the use of Drive File Stream 

Helpful links 




Availability 

Rollout details

  • Rapid Release domains: Extended rollout (potentially more than 15 days for feature visibility) starting on April 10, 2019.
  • Scheduled Release domains: Extended rollout (potentially more than 15 days for feature visibility) starting on April 10, 2019. 


G Suite editions 

  • Available to all G Suite editions. 


On/off by default? 

  • By default, devices will be able to use Drive File Stream without specific approval. You can require manual approval by adjusting the endpoint verification setting as described here
  • Devices already using Drive File Stream will be grandfathered to continue working with Drive File Stream, unless the device also has a pending admin approval for Endpoint Verification
  • The setting to only allow Drive File Stream on company-owned devices will be OFF by default.


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Launching new Google Drive / Microsoft Outlook integration, shutting down legacy plugin

What’s changing 

We’re updating Drive File Stream to replace the functionality of the “Google Drive plug-in for Microsoft Office.” As a result, the outdated plugin will be shut down on June 26, 2019. This only impacts users of the Google Drive plug-in for Microsoft Office. Those users will notice two key changes:

  1. New Drive / Outlook integration: The update to Drive File Stream will include a plugin to manage Google Drive files from Microsoft Outlook. This will make it easier for users to use Google Drive without leaving the Outlook interface. 
  2. New process to save to, or open from Drive: Drive File Stream users can save and open Drive files through the regular menu, rather than using the Google Drive plug-in for Microsoft Office interface. 
    • To save to Drive, use File > Save, then choose a destination in Drive File Stream. 
    • To open from Drive, Open through the File > Open menu and find the file you want. 

If your organization uses the Google Drive plug-in for Microsoft Office, you should make sure your users are using the latest version of Drive File Stream before June 26, 2019 to ensure continued access to this functionality.
The new plugin will bring Drive to the Outlook interface 

Who’s impacted 

Admins and end users

Why you’d use it 

Drive File Stream offers an easy way to integrate Microsoft Office and Google Drive. The latest versions (30.1 and up) will include the new Outlook plugin that will make it easier for users to:

  • Save attachments from Outlook to Drive 
  • Attach Drive files to Outlook messages 
  • Ensure recipients always have access to Drive links sent in Outlook emails 

Drive File Stream already makes it easy to save to the local Drive File Stream folder through the regular “Save” menu.

By ensuring your users are using the new plugin before June 26, 2019, there will be little to no disruption to their workflows.

How to get started 




Additional details 

Users of the Drive for Office plugin will see an in-product notification, pictured below, starting on March 27, 2019. This will encourage them to update to the new plugin to continue using Drive from Outlook.


Helpful links 




Availability 

Rollout details 

  • Rapid Release domains: Available in Drive File Stream version 30.1 and up, which will become available on March 27, 2019. 
  • Scheduled Release domains: Available in Drive File Stream version 30.1 and up, which will become available on March 27, 2019. 


G Suite editions 
Available to all G Suite editions.

On/off by default? 
This feature will be ON by default.

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Real-time presence in Microsoft Office to become available October 17th

On October 17th, 2018, we’ll begin rolling out real-time presence for Microsoft Office files in Google Drive to all G Suite domains. Admin controls for real-time presence are available today.

This feature, included in Drive File Stream, will help you avoid version conflicts when editing Microsoft Office files in Google Drive. Real-time presence will let users know if another user is editing a Word, Excel, or PowerPoint file stored in Drive File Stream, in real time. This feature will start rolling out to end users on October 17th.

Avoid version conflicts when editing Microsoft Office files in Drive

Real-time presence will check to see if someone else is viewing or editing a Microsoft Office file while you have it open. It’ll alert you and them to help avoid version conflicts. When conflicts do occur, it’ll help you resolve them with a side-by-side view of the document versions, allowing you to easily merge them into one up-to-date file. For more details and to fully understand the feature:



Admin controls available now

Admins can choose whether to make real-time presence available to their organizations. Admin controls are live today and on by default. Real-time presence can be disabled for an entire domain or for individual organizational units (OUs) within a domain. To change the setting, go to Apps > G Suite > Drive and Docs > Features and Applications > Allow users to enable real-time presence in Microsoft Office from Drive File Stream in the Admin console.

For more granular control, admins can also deploy a configuration setting to enable or disable real-time presence in Microsoft Office on a per-machine basis.

End user feature available after October 17th

On October 17th, Drive File Stream users will begin to see an educational message when opening Office files stored in Drive File Stream. This message (pictured below), explains that real-time presence helps users see who is editing Microsoft Office files stored in Drive. After opting in to this feature, users will begin to see real-time presence status indicators in the bottom right-hand corner of Word, Excel, and Powerpoint windows that are focused in the foreground.
On macOS, enabling real-time presence may require users to grant accessibility permissions. Additionally, some users may be asked to confirm their identity before using real-time presence, by logging in with their G Suite account. Starting October 17th, employees at G Suite organizations will be able to visit our Help Center to learn more about how to use real-time presence.

Launch Details
Release track:
  • Admin console setting launching to both Rapid Release and Scheduled Release today
  • End user feature included in version of Drive File Stream that will become available to both Rapid Release and Schedule Release on October 17th

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:
Full rollout (1–3 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
Admins and end users

Action:
Admin action suggested/FYI

More Information
G Suite Updates blog: Avoid version conflicts when editing Microsoft Office files in Drive
Demo video: Real-time presence in Microsoft Office
Help Center: Use work or school files on your computer with Drive File Stream


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New Content manager role coming to Team Drives

In October 2018, we will make several changes to membership roles in Team Drives. Most importantly, we’ll add a new “Content manager” role, which will make it easier to manage files in Team Drives. When it takes effect, Content manager will become the default role for new members of a Team Drive.

Many organizations have asked for this role in Team Drives. To help them take full advantage at launch and reduce manual work, we’re offering a one-time migration to move users who currently have “Edit access” to the Content manager role. G Suite admins can opt in to this migration by filling out this form before September 26th.

Content manager role will make file management easier 

Users with the Content manager role will be able to edit, reorganize, and delete Team Drive content, but they won’t be able to modify Team Drive membership or settings. Content manager will replace “Full access” as the default role for new Team Drive members.

There are some important differences between the permissions for Content managers and users with Edit access that are particularly helpful if you use Drive File Stream:


  • Unlike users with edit access, Content managers will be able to reorganize and delete files in a Team Drive. 
  • Content managers will have read and write access to files in Drive File Stream, allowing them to easily manage Team Drive files through their computer’s file system or the Drive web interface. Users with Edit access won’t have this access and so will still need to access Team Drive files on the web to edit them. 


Optional: Enroll your organization in a one-time role migration by September 26th 

We recommend organizations with Drive File Stream enabled use the new role and consider opting in to the migration. However, no action is required in response to these changes. If you don’t do anything, the roles of Team Drive members in your organization will not change in October. If you opt in to the migration:


  • All individual users and groups in your organization who are members of Team Drives with “Edit access” will become “Content managers.” 
  • External users who are members of Team Drives in your organization will not be migrated, unless they belong to a group that also contains internal users. If they belong to a group that also contains internal users and that group is a member of a Team Drive with “Edit access”, those external users will be migrated to the Content manager role. 


To opt in to the migration, complete this form by September 26th, 2018.

To access the form, you must be a G Suite admin for your organization and have received an email with the subject line “Introducing a new role in Team Drives.” If you received this email but can’t access the form, please contact G Suite support and reference ID: 78256060.

Migration will take place in October 

If you fill out the form above and enroll your organization in the one-time migration, it will start on October 15th, 2018, for Rapid Release domains and October 29th, 2018, for Scheduled Release domains. It will be a gradual rollout, so it may take up to 15 days after those dates to reach all domains. When the migration takes place, users and admins will not be explicitly notified, but will be able to see the different role description when they look at their Team Drive membership.

Launch Details 
Release track:

  • Migration applications open now until September 26th, 2018 
  • Migration will start on October 15th for Rapid Release domains and October 29th for Scheduled Release domains (for organizations who’ve opted in only) 


Editions:
Available to G Suite Business, Enterprise, Education, Nonprofit, and Enterprise for Education editions only

Rollout pace: 
Gradual rollout (up to 15 days for feature visibility)

Impact: 
Migration decision applicable to admins only Full launch in October applicable to all end users 

Action: 
Admin action suggested/FYI and change management suggested/FYI


More Information 
Learning Center: Get started with Team Drives
Form to enroll in one-time Team Drives role migration


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Avoid version conflicts when editing Microsoft Office files in Drive

We’re adding a new feature to Google Drive that lets you see when other people are editing files in Microsoft Office products. This will help you collaborate better and avoid version conflicts. This feature uses the Drive File Stream cloud sync solution. Make sure you’re using Drive File Stream to take advantage.

Avoid version conflicts 

When you open a Microsoft Word, Powerpoint or Excel document in Drive, we’ll check if anyone else is currently editing the document. We’ll then let you know if it’s safe to edit or if you should wait. Drive may tell you:


  • Safe to edit: No one else is editing. 
  • Wait to edit: Other people are editing, so your edits will create multiple, conflicting versions. 
  • New version created: Another editor saved a newer version of the file. 
  • New version created (conflict): While you were editing the file, another editor also edited it. Click for a side-by-side comparison to help you create one version.
See when it's safe to edit a file


If conflicts do happen, compare and resolve side by side

If version conflicts do occur, Drive will show the two document versions and their changes side by side. This unique feature will help you quickly merge the multiple versions into a single, up-to-date document.

Compare conflicting versions to create one up to date document 

We believe this feature will go a long way to eliminating “document collisions,” and reduce the frustration and duplicative work caused when they do occur. We also hope that this makes it easier to collaborate on more file types in Drive.

Use Drive File Stream to see this feature 

This features is a part of Drive File Stream. Drive File Stream is a cloud file sync solution that we believe is best for most G Suite organizations. It lets you stream My Drive and Team Drive files directly from the cloud, which:


  • Makes Drive files available for offline access 
  • Frees up disk space and network bandwidth 
  • Minimizes the amount of company data stored on users’ hard drives 
  • Enables new features such as version conflict alerts for Microsoft files 


See the Help Center for how to choose and deploy a sync solution for Google Drive.

Launch Details 
Release track:
Launching to both Rapid Release and Scheduled Release

Editions: 
Available to all G Suite editions 

Rollout pace: 
Gradual rollout (up to 15 days for feature visibility)

Impact: 
All end users

Action: 
Change management suggested/FYI



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Important additional information about the legacy Google Drive desktop sync client shutdown on May 12

As previously announced, the old Drive desktop sync client for Mac and PC—a feature officially known as “Google Drive for Mac/PC”—will start to shut down on May 12th, 2018. After May 12th, the sync client may not work for your organization.

Here are some important things to know: 

1. If you haven’t already, upgrade to a newer sync solution. 

This shutdown is happening because we have better sync solutions available for Drive users. G Suite organizations still using Drive for Mac/PC should transition to Drive File Stream. For non-G Suite users, we recommend Backup and Sync. For more information on choosing the right sync solution for your users, check out this Help Center guide.

2. The turn-down will be gradual. 

We will start the shutdown process on May 12th, but it will be gradual and may take several weeks to impact all organizations. After May 12th, however, updates to files may stop syncing between your users’ computers and Drive, so we recommend upgrading by that date.

3. Once the client shuts down for you, the Google Drive folder will stop syncing. 

When the legacy Google Drive desktop sync client shuts down, it will stop syncing the Google Drive folder to Google Drive. The local Drive folder (containing users’ files) will not be deleted from the machine, but changes made inside this folder will no longer sync to Drive. We don’t recommend editing files inside of this folder after May 12th, as it could lead to users misplacing their edited files (not realizing that this folder isn’t syncing to Drive). To avoid confusion, you may want to delete the legacy Google Drive folder. By default, this folder is located at:

  • Windows: “C:\Users\%USER%\Google Drive” 
  • macOS: “/Users/$USER/Google Drive” 


Use caution when deleting this folder, as it may contain content that has not yet been saved or synced.
In addition, after the legacy desktop client shuts down for you, the app will display this dialog when it starts up:
This message will be shown to end users still using the legacy sync client after it is shut down. 

4. After May 12th, Drive File Stream will display a dialog and rename the old Google Drive folder to clarify that the old folder is not syncing. 


If a user signs in to Drive File Stream and it detects that the old Google Drive folder (from the same account) is still present on the machine, it will append “(Not Syncing)” to the old Google Drive folder, and display the following dialog:


After renaming the old Google Drive folder, Drive File Stream will display this dialog. 
If you don’t want your users to see this dialog, you may remove the old Google Drive folder before May 12th.

After May 12th, if you choose to automate the removal of “~/Google Drive/”, you should remove “~/Google Drive (Not Syncing)/” as well. Note that for users who use Drive File Stream in another language, this folder name will be localized.

It’s important to note that while this folder name change is intended to discourage users from editing files inside the old Google Drive folder, it does not prevent users from making changes in it. We strongly encourage administrators to educate their end users to use Drive File Stream, and not the old Google Drive folder.

More Information 
Blog post (Sept 2017): Drive File Stream launching to all G Suite customers 
Blog post (Jan 2018): Legacy Google Drive desktop sync client now shutting down on May 12th, 2018
Help Center: Deploy Drive File Stream
Help Center: Choose a sync solution


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