Backing up your files with Google File Stream and Google Backup and Sync

Most people think of Google Drive as an easy way to share files with other people or to work on the same file from different computers. However, Google File Stream and Google Backup and Sync are two ways to access your Google Drive that will let you edit your files from anywhere and back up files.

UD supports both Backup and Sync and File Stream, so consult the below chart from Google to determine which service would work best for you.


Google Backup and Sync versus Google Drive File Stream
  Backup and Sync Drive File Stream
Use files in My Drive Yes Yes
Use files in Team Drives No Yes
Sync only selected folders in My Drive Yes Yes
Sync only individual files in My Drive No Yes
Use native apps, like Microsoft Office & Photoshop Yes Yes
Sync other folders, like Documents or Desktop Yes No
Use with your personal Google Account Yes No
Use with your work or school Google Account Maybe* Yes

*While Backup and Sync might not work with other school accounts, it will work with your UD account.

To access either of these services you will have to download the corresponding app for you computer. Links to the pages where you can download these apps are below.

File Stream

Backup and Sync

Google File Stream

File Stream is used to store your files in the Google Drive instead of on your computer's local drive.

  1. After downloading the application, there will now be a folder labelled "Google Drive" on your desktop that will have all the files from your personal Google Drive and any Team Drives you are part of.

  2. Editing files within that folder will only be possible when you are online, but you will be able to indicate ahead of time what files to allow to be edited offline. If you make changes on your computer to files within the "Google Drive" folder, the file will be automatically updated on the online Google Drive.

    • You can choose which files to edit offline, but if your computer is connected to the Internet, selecting a file within the "Google Drive" folder is all that's needed to begin working on that file.

If you have questions about Google File Stream, visit the Google Help Center. For step-by-step instructions on operating Google File Stream, visit the GSuite Learning Center.

Google Backup and Sync

Backup and Sync is used very similarly to how the old Google Drive application worked. It is used to store the most up to date version of the files you choose to add to your computer's local Google Drive folder.

  1. After downloading the application, choose which folders you wish to automatically back up to Google Drive. A copy of those folders will be synced to when your computer connects to the Internet.

  2. There will be a folder labelled "Google Drive" on your local desktop. You can now open and edit files within the "Google Drive" folder and the file will be automatically synced to the online Google Drive.

For questions on how to use Backup and Sync, visit Google's Support Center.

Storage space

  • Note that your Google drive has a quota, and these files count against this quota. Only important University data (class assignments, office files, etc.) should be set up to use this feature.

  • Native Google files (Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, etc.) don't count against your Google Drive quota.

  • Files owned by others and shared with you don't count against your Google Drive quota.

  • You can store just about any type of computer file in your Google Drive folder, but it is best to avoid very large files such as research data, videos, etc.

  • Your quota is on your Google Drive page, on the left side below your Trash folder.

Google storage quota is displayed

Automatic syncing

Both File Stream and Backup and Sync automatically syncs the files that are in your computer's (local) Google Drive folder with those stored at

  • When you are connected to the Internet and save a file in your local Google Drive, the file is automatically synced to

  • If you're not connected to the Internet, Google Drive will automatically sync any new or changed files in your comptuer's local Google Drive folder the next time your computer connects to the Internet.

More information

Visit our Known issues with Google Drive page to learn about Google Drive limitations.

For complete information about Google Drive, go to the Google Drive Support Web site.


Article ID: 128
Wed 7/10/19 8:58 AM
Thu 1/12/23 3:14 PM

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