Google confirms huge change coming to Google Drive on Windows 10 and Mac

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Google has announced plans to scrap both of its Google Drive solutions to keep files backed-up from your Windows or macOS computer. As it stands, Google Drive – the cloud storage solution for Google Account owners – has two options. These are Drive File Stream, which is designed for enterprise users, and Backup and Sync, which is designed for consumers.

Both apps do the same thing: they keep tabs on files on your machine and upload any brand-new or altered files that aren’t currently backed-up in the cloud. Running quietly in the background, both Drive File Stream and Backup and Sync should ensure that you always have an up-to-date backup on your most important files. That’s incredibly important as there’s little point paying for space on Google’s servers (all Google Accounts come with a free 15GB allowance) only to find that you haven’t got the latest version of your work or any photos from the last year.

However, as millions of us work and study from home, many will likely to be bouncing between these two apps. One for work files, and then a completely separate app for personal photos and documents. That’s not ideal… and it seems that Google has now recognised that it’s time to streamline things.

“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,” Google confirmed in the announcement.

For those who already use Drive File Stream, you’ll be pleased to know that this is the client that Google has opted to stick with going forwards.

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Google has confirmed that later this year, it will begin rolling out an all-new version of Drive File Stream known as “Google Drive for Desktop” that will handle backing up your most important files to the cloud in the background. The Californian technology company has stated that it will give business customers three-month notice before it makes the change.

After that’s completed, Google will slowly make Google Drive for Desktop available to consumers who are currently using the Backup and Sync app.

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The new desktop app for Google Drive will be designed to make the experience much simpler. In a blog post about its plans, Google stated: “We are bringing features from Backup and Sync to Google Drive for Desktop to create a simpler user experience. New features to Google Drive for Desktop include syncing folders like Documents or Desktop or Drive storage, uploading from USB devices, uploading photos and videos to either Google Photos or Google Drive, and support for multiple accounts.”

If your business or school uses Google Drive to backup or distribute materials, you’ll be able to login with an enterprise account to Google Drive for Desktop. This will live alongside your personal Google Account, with the files from both profiles available to drag-and-drop to your desktop.

This seems like a long-overdue change and one that will be (very) welcome to those who currently juggle both the Drive File Stream and Backup and Sync for work and home.

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