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Google Drive File Stream

You can install Google Drive File Stream on your Windows or Mac computer as soon as you have access to Google Drive on the web. Google Drive File stream is a desktop application that lets you stream My Drive and Team Drive files directly from the cloud.


  • Frees up disk space and network bandwidth.
  • Decreases sync time.
  • Minimizes the amount of company data stored on users’ hard drives.

With Drive File Stream, you can open and edit most document types directly out of Drive File Stream without having to download the file onto your computer. When you make edits to the file, the changes are automatically saved in My Drive.

You can also make My Drive and Team Drive files available for offline access. These cached files sync back to the cloud when you are online, so the latest version is available on all your devices.

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Limitations/known issues

There are a few limitations and known issues with using Drive File Stream.

Team Drive file editing

If you share a document in a Team Drive with a person who is not a member of that Team Drive, that person will only have the ability to “edit” the file. Team Drive editors cannot edit any Team Drive files when they are open in Drive File Stream; they can only view them. To edit Team Drive files, the editor must open the file in Google Team Drive in a web browser.

Conflict with System Center Endpoint Protection

On a Macintosh computer that does not have BigFix installed, the computer will begin responding very slowly when you install Google Drive File Stream. The spinning pinwheel will appear and the computer will respond to your commands very slowly.

To immediately stop the problem, disable the system protection scan in System Center Endpoint Protection (SCEP). Follow the steps below to do so.

  1. In the menu bar of the computer, click the SCEP icon.

  2. Open SCEP.

  3. Click Activate advanced mode at the bottom of the window.

  4. Click the SCEP icon again and click on Disable Real-Time File System Protection.

  5. Click Disable.


To resolve the SCEP conflict permanently, follow the steps below:

  1. In the menu bar of the computer, click the SCEP icon.

  2. Open the SCEP Preferences.

  3. Click the Exclusions tab.

  4. Click Add.
  5. In the Exclusion path, add /Volumes/GoogleDrive/*.*

  6. Click OK.
  7. Click OK.
  8. Click on the SCEP icon again and click Enable Real-time File System Protection.

Note: Occasionally, adding the exclusion in SCEP does not correct the problem. In this case, uninstall Google Drive File Stream by dragging the application icon to the Trash.

Deprecation of Google Drive for Mac/PC sync tool

With the launch of Drive File Stream, Google will begin the process of deprecating the Google Drive for Mac/PC sync tool. Support for the tool ends on December 11, 2017 and the application will no longer be available starting March 12, 2018. As an alternative to Google Drive for Mac/PC, you can use the Backup and Sync tool from Google.

Last modified March 8, 2018