Manage your Google Drive files from (any) Desktop with Google Drive File Stream

If you’re looking to gain some cloud based storage space, or even to manage your Google Drive files more simply from your Desktop (without having to go online) there has always historically been a Google Drive connection to desktops, but the most recent way to do this is to download and use Google Drive File stream.

This advice is mainly for Google Workspace Business customers, who would like to make more of their Goode Drive storage capacity.,

Getting started

The first thing to do is to download Google Drive File Stream – visit this page (opens in a new tab!), and select either Windorw or Mac as appropriate.

Next – Login to your Google Workspace account

After the files have downloaded, and you open the program, you will be prompted to login to your Google Workspace account. Do this using your usual Google Drive login details. If you have 2 factor enabled on your account, you will likely need to verify this – its for your security to confirm the new login and usage.

Login and open Explorer

Next up you should see “open explorer” – you’ll be familiar with this layout. Its like Windows Explorer. Because it “is” Windows Explorer (if you’re a Windows user!). There’s your file structure here – under My Drive you’ll find all your content.

Deleting folders and files

To delete a file, right click and hit “delete”. This will also trash it in your Google Drive too.  If you delete a whole folder, the folder and all its contents will be removed.

Shared files and folders

Files and folders which were shared with you, may not be visible here unless you placed these into a folder structure in your drive. If you delete the file from here, and it was shared, it does not delete the actual file, rather it removes it from your Drive.

Only the owner can physically delete the file

Only the owner of a file or folder can physically delete it for all time, so in the Google Drive web application, right click the file and click “view details” and you can see the owner in the right hand side. This owner would then be able to use the above process to clean out some old junk from your teams file system using the Google Drive File Stream process.

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