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Google rolls out a new Drive desktop app for syncing files and photos

It's replacing the Backup and Sync and Drive File Stream apps.


Google is streamlining how Drive users backup and sync their files. The company is rolling out the new Drive for desktop app on Mac and Windows.

Drive for desktop will replace the Backup and Sync app (which supplanted the Google Drive desktop app in 2018) as well as Drive File Stream, which is for business users. Given that Google Workspace is now available to everyone, it doesn't make a lot of sense to have separate sync methods.

The new app combines the best parts of Backup and Sync and Drive File Stream, according to Google. You will be able to upload and sync your photos and videos across Google Photos as well as Drive. There's the option to sync external storage devices with the cloud as well. In addition, you'll be able to mirror Drive files on your computer, with locally stored versions of files for faster access.

On top of that, you can sync local folders such as your desktop and documents. There's also integration with Microsoft Outlook and Meet scheduling, and you'll be able to see who's editing Microsoft Office files in real time.

Drive File Stream users won't have to do much. Google renamed the app to Drive for desktop, and it will gain features from Backup and Sync in the coming months. Google will prompt Backup and Sync users to switch over to Drive for desktop. From October 1st, Backup and Sync will stop working, so you'll need to make the transition to keep backing up your files with Drive.