Google is rolling out Drive for desktop to unify its sync client. Currently, Google has two sync solutions available — Drive File Stream which was built for business users, and Backup and Sync which was built for consumer users.
Some of Google Workspace customers have deployed both sync solutions which can be confusing for end users and challenging for IT departments to manage. To address this, Google is planning to unify these sync clients later in 2021, bringing the most used features from both Drive File Stream and Backup and Sync to all of its users.
This will create a powerful and unified sync client for anyone who uses Drive, whether for business or personal purposes and will:
- Make it easier for admins and IT teams to manage deployments
- Reduce user confusion around which app to use
- Result in better performance for end-users
As of version 45, Drive File Stream is known as Google Drive for desktop. This is simply a name change; all functionality will remain the same and most admins and end-users won’t need to take any action to continue using the client.
Later this year, Backup and Sync users will need to transition to Drive for desktop, the unified sync client. Until then, Google will incorporate features from Backup and Sync into the new solution and make it as easy as possible for users. Google will announce when Drive for desktop is ready for Backup and Sync users and how they can get started with Drive for desktop. A three-month notice will be given out to Google Workspace admins and end-users before the deadline to transition to Drive for desktop. The transition will be self-serve for end users. More details on consumer timelines will be announced closer to availability.
Google Workspace customers with end-users who are currently using Backup and Sync can apply for a beta of the new unified Drive for desktop experience, which includes Backup and Sync features.