File Stream allows you to find and open files from your Google Drive directly on your computer. With File Stream, you can do the following:

  • View and organize your files in your computer’s file system without using your computer’s storage space.
  • Open files from Google Drive on your computer without using a web browser.
  • Save specific files and folders for use offline, including Shared drives.

Download & Install File Stream

Installing File Stream on your college-provided PC

  1. Click the Start button
  2. Begin typing “Software” then click Software Center
  3. From the list of software, select “Google Drive File Stream”
  4. Click Install

You can open File Stream by clicking the File Stream logo in the bottom-right of your screen.

Installing File Stream on your personal PC

  1. Sign in to your Lafayette Google account and go to Google Drive
  2. Click the Gear icon and choose “Get Drive File Stream for PC”
    Get File Stream for your Mac
  3. On the following page, click “Install Google Drive for Mac/PC”
  4. After it downloads, open googledrivefilestream.dmg and double click on GoogleDriveFileStream.pkg
  5. Follow the prompts to install the software

You can open File Stream by clicking the File Stream logo in the bottom-right of your screen.

Installing File Stream on your personal or college-provided Mac

  1. Sign in to your Lafayette Google account and go to Google Drive
  2. Click the Gear icon and choose “Get Drive File Stream for Mac”
    Get File Stream for your Mac
  3. On the following page, click “Install Google Drive for Mac/PC”
  4. After it downloads, open googledrivefilestream.dmg and double click on GoogleDriveFileStream.pkg
  5. Follow the prompts to install the software

Note: If you are running macOS High Sierra (10.13) or newer, you will need to do the following:

  1. Open Drive File Stream
  2. At the top left of your screen, click the Apple > System Preferences > Security & Privacy
  3. Next to “System software from developer ‘Google, Inc.’ was blocked from loading,” click Allow

You can open File Stream by clicking the File Stream logo at the top right of your screen.

Accessing your files

Set files and folders for offline access

Saving files or folders for offline access means that you will be able to access them without an internet connection. To save a file offline:

  1. Open File Stream
  2. Navigate to the appropriate file/folder
  3. Right-click and select Drive File Stream Available offline
  4. Once your file is saved offline, you will see a green check mark next to it in File Stream

See who is editing Microsoft Office files in real time

When you store Microsoft Office files in File Stream and share it with other people who also have real-time presence turned on, you can see whether anyone else is making changes. Real-time presence is turned on by default on a PC.

To enable on a macOS device:

  1. On your Mac, go to System Preferences Security & Privacy Privacy Accessibility 
  2. Click the lock on the bottom left to make changes
  3. Next to “Google Drive File Stream”, check the box
    System Preferences settings to enable real-time presence on a Mac.

Change your File Stream settings

Switch accounts

If you have more than one G Suite for Education Google Account, you can change which one you are using.

On a PC:

  1. Click the File Stream Menu
  2. Click More Preferences
  3. Sign in with the account you want to use

On a Mac:

  1. Click the File Stream button in your top menu bar
  2. Click the gear icon in the upper right and select Preferences…
  3. Select Switch account and sign in with your other account information

Note: Any files that were designated for offline use will be removed from your computer.

Change where offline files are stored

  1. In Preferences, click Change under “Local cached files directory”
  2. Choose where you want your files to be stored
  3. Click Ok

Pause syncing

By default, File Stream syncs the files in File Stream with those on Google Drive ensuring the content matches in both locations.

You can pause the sync from the File Stream Menu by clicking Pause syncing and can resume syncing by clicking Resume syncing.