Friday, November 15, 2019

Google Snacks Volume 7 - Google Drive File Stream

If you have ever been in fear of your hard drive getting corrupted and losing all of your files, or if you ever forget your computer at home and need to borrow a loaner, then this training is for you! It's for everyone else too, but Drive File Stream (DFS) makes backing up your files and having them available to you all the time so easy.

DFS is a way to integrate Google Drive into Windows, just like you would your H: drive (home drive) on our servers. The advantage of using Google Drive over our servers is Google Drive has unlimited storage for education accounts and you can make files and folders in your Drive available offline. Our servers have limited storage (although it is a lot), and you can't access your files from our servers outside of our network at this time.

Begin using DFS by clicking on your Start menu (Windows icon in the lower left of your task bar), then select Drive File Stream under the D's in alphabetical order, or you can search for it.

Once you click on DFS to open it, a window will appear to have you sign into Google Drive.

After you sign in, a window will open explaining what DFS does and little on how to use it. Just click through using the right arrow and the last screen will ask you to Open Google Drive Folder, click on that button to open your Google Drive in Windows.

A folder window should open showing your Google Drive. You can access this any time from now on by clicking on the Google Drive Files Stream (or G: drive) on the left side of your folder, where other network drives are located (like your H: drive).

You can now explore your Google Drive from the comfort of your Windows folder. Any files you open within your DFS will open in their "native" or default program. So, that means if you have Word files in your Google Drive, and you open that file within DFS, it will open in Word and not try to convert to Google Docs. The same thing applies to all other files types, Google Docs will open in Chrome, and PDFs will open in Adobe.

You may notice your files in DFS have a little blue/white cloud on the file icon. The cloud icon shows the file is only available online and is not offline synced with your computer. In order to make files available offline, right click on the file or folder, select Drive File Stream, then choose Available Offline.

Files available offline have a green checkmark instead of a cloud on the file icon.

So, how does this all tie in and make my files back up to Google Drive? Start by dragging your files and folders into your G: drive, this will start the upload process. You can see DFS processing when the icon in the task bar is "spinning".

Once it is done spinning and it looks solid, like the image above, the files are synced with your Google Drive. Next is the scary part, you should now delete the files you backed up to your Google Drive off of your computer. Yes, you read that right, delete your files off of your computer. Why, you may ask? Well, DFS will sync files within Google Drive, but not files outside of it. You will need to work on files within your G: Drive to have them constantly back up.

If you are still wanting your desktop shortcuts, we can take care of that too. You can right click on folders and files in your G: Drive and choose Send To, then select Desktop (shortcut) to create a shortcut on your desktop.

Creating shortcuts and deleting your old files will make it so you are always working within your G: Drive and your files are always backed up.

I hope this wasn't too confusing, especially the ending, but you can always stop down to the Tech Office for additional assistance. I hope this helped you get to know a Google feature you didn't already know before. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the comments section.

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