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Google merging Backup and Sync and Drive File Stream into Google Drive for Desktop

about 1 year ago by IanDorfman

Google is unifying two previously separate apps for users to handle all of their Google Drive content.

Now that Google Workspace is now available for everyone with a Google account, having personal and enterprise app equivalents available as different apps no longer makes sense. That's why Google has announced that it is merging its Backup and Sync app for personal users and Drive File Stream app for enterprise users into a unified piece of software simply named Google Drive for desktop.

Drive for desktop allows for Google account holders to manage their files, folders, and photos that sync to Google Drive using a local app on their computer. This will work at scale, from small personal collections, to business users that need to sync multiple external drives and need the ability to mirror cloud-based files on their local machine.

Google also provided the following timetable for getting everyone from Backup and Sync and Drive File Stream on to the unified Google Drive for desktop app:

• Starting July 19, 2021: Backup and Sync will support a guided flow to help users transition onto Drive for desktop. • Starting August 18, 2021: Any users still on Backup and Sync will start to receive in-product notifications prompting them to transition to Drive for desktop. • Starting October 1, 2021: Any users still on Backup and Sync after that point will no longer be able to sign in to Backup and Sync. To continue syncing with Drive and/or Google Photos, users will need to transition to Drive for desktop.

In addition to file synchronization, Drive for desktop will also integrate with the scheduling features of Microsoft Office Outlook and Google Meet. It will also show who's actively editing synchronized Microsoft Office Suite files in real-time.

Google Drive for desktop is now available for Windows and macOS at

Further coverage: Google Blog Google Workspace Updates

  • FreeProprietary
  • Mac
  • Windows

Before launching Drive for desktop, we had two sync solutions available: Backup and Sync, which was built primarily for consumer users, and Drive File Stream, which was built for business users.