File Stream

You may already be familiar with Google Drive, DropBox, OneDrive, and other cloud file storage and management systems.  One of the drawbacks to using cloud storage is offline accessibility.  DropBox and Google Desktop keep a folder with copies of all your cloud files on your local computer and synchronize them when connected to the internet.  Trouble is, this can really clog up your hard drive quickly!

Enter Google File Stream, the latest addition to the Google Apps suite.  File Stream is an installable application that connects to your Willamette Google Drive and any Team Drives to which you are a member.  It looks like a USB device attached to your system...but it's an instant way to access your cloud files from any local application including in Finder (MacOS) and Windows Explorer (kinda obvious which OS).  Once open, the file is run from your computer in the associated locally installed application (Word or Excel, for example) and will remain accessible online or offline.  You can even select entire folders to be accessible offline while avoiding the burden of downloading EVERYTHING in your Google Drive to your computer.

A Few Special Instructions before Installing File Stream

Willamette University will only be supporting File Stream starting Fall 2018.  Many folks already have Google Desktop or Google Backup and Sync installed on their computers.  These applications won't work with File Stream and need to be uninstalled prior to installing File Stream.

Use the following links to help disconnect and remove older Google applications first:

Disconnecting your account from Backup and Sync

Uninstall Google Drive and Install File Stream

Once you've installed File Stream you'll see a new drive attached to your computer.  That's right, it's everything from your Google Drive and Team Drives...all ready to go!

To make a file or folder available offline:  right-click on the file or folder in question (ctrl-click for Mac folks using a single button setting) and select "Drive File Stream" then click  "Available Offline"

If you experience any issues with the removal or installation processes discussed above please contact the WITS HelpDesk at x6767 or email


Willamette University

Willamette Integrated Technology Services

900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.
503-370-6004 voice
503-375-5456 fax

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