Google offers a desktop application that allows you to sync your Drive folder structure with your computer. This allows you to save directly to Drive and access already existing files from within desktop applications. Your Drive will appear as if it is an external device connected to your computer. This version of the Drive desktop application does require an internet connection to display your Drive folders and files. You can find more information by checking out the official Drive File Stream documentation from Google.
Drive File Stream is still considered a Beta application by Google, so features may change quickly and issues may arise. If you ever have an issue logging in or accessing Drive File Stream, your Drive and all of its contents will always be available via a web browser with the use of the internet.
Download Drive File Stream
Logging into the App
After you download the application and launch it for the first time, you will be presented with a Google login screen.
- Enter your full Swarthmore email address (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- You will be redirected to the Swarthmore login page
- Sign in using your Swarthmore credentials
- Complete your Duo authentication
Once successfully logged in File Stream will begin syncing your files. File Stream will show up as an external device in your Finder for Mac users and as the G drive in your file explorer for Windows users.
Tips and Tricks
Pin the App
In order to make it easier to find the app, pin it to your Dock or Taskbar. When you launch the app for the first time, right-click on the app icon that shows up in your Dock or Taskbar and choose the option to pin it to that location. This is useful because some system updates close the application or log you out, making the folder disappear. Having the app in an easy to find location helps you get it back open and logged in so you can access your files and folders again.
Saving for Offline Use
You can save files for offline use if needed. You will need to choose which files you want for offline for the first time while connected to the internet. Files saved for offline use will create a local copy of that file on your computer so you are able to access and edit it at any time. If you do not have the internet while editing one of these files, it will not sync those edits to your Drive until internet access is restored.