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Google Drive

Google Drive is a web and desktop file sync and share service that's part of Google Workspaces (formerly G Suite). It's available to all Stanford affiliates and full-sponsored SUNet IDs. Associated tools include Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and other collaboration tools.


  • Accessible via Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari and other modern browsers for all operating systems
  • Google Drive for macOS, Windows, iOS, iPadOS and Android mobile devices 
  • Google Drive for desktops (formerly File Stream) presents your Drive as a navigable icon on your desktop, giving you browsable access to terabytes of data without filling up your hard drive
  • Google Drive Backup & Sync, which replicates files across your devices and the cloud
  • Well-integrated with Stanford Slack
  • Can be used with Protected Health Information (PHI) with the use of Cardinal Key plus University IT setup assistance



Use this option when you…

  • Want to use the primary sync and share tool on campus
  • Need a tool that automatically integrates with campus directory of workgroups
  • Want something with an easy-to-use permissions model
  • Want to send large files over email, Slack or other collaboration tools
  • Are seeking to extend the capabilities using API and command line tools
  • Prefer a desktop application that shows all your shared workgroup or department files


Google Drive, a part of Google Workspaces, is ending its unlimited storage model. University IT working with key stakeholders to prepare for this change.

“Google has traditionally offered unlimited storage to qualifying schools and universities for free. However, as we’ve grown to serve more schools and universities each year, storage consumption has also rapidly accelerated. Storage is not being consumed equitably across —  nor within — institutions, and school leaders often don't have the tools they need to manage this. To support schools into the future and ensure fair distribution of this valuable resource, we will be implementing a new pooled storage model and helping admins and school leaders manage their storage. Nothing is changing today and we expect that more than 99% of institutions will be within the pooled storage provided by the new policy.”

Additionally, Google may impose daily limits on uploads (data ingress) by reducing bandwidth on transmissions.

Example Use Cases

  • Personal file storage with automatic replication of some directories
  • Sharing files among a workgroup or school
  • Sharing files with external collaborators
  • As a replacement for department file servers

Cost Considerations

Google Workspace accounts, which include Google Drive, are automatically provisioned to all students, staff and faculty for free. Affiliates and guests can be provisioned a Google Workspace account that through a fully-sponsored (not free) SUNet ID.


Support for the service is provided to the campus community by University IT. Some departments may have CRC Endpoint Support for additional support.