How to install Google File Stream and Google Teams

Many businesses have a G-Suite account, Google give them to non for profit organisations for free. A G-suite account includes 30GB of Google Drive space free to each user. It also has a clever permission system where certain folders can be shared with members of teams. So you can set up various teams, put people in those teams, and any files placed in a folder for that team will be automatically shared with the users of that team.

The application that you need to run on your computer to give you access to all this is called Google File Stream. It allows you to sync a G-Suite Google Drive with your Macintosh computer. It mounts your Google Drive as a hard drive onto your desktop, and then OSX treats it like any other hard drive. This is similar to dropbox in that it is an external cloud storage solution. Is it different to dropbox in that it appears on your computer as a separate hard disk (like a thumb drive would) rather than inside a folder. This means that items you place into your Google Drive are copied there rather than moved. It also means they are not backed up to your time machine backup. (With dropbox any items you place into dropbox are moved there (not copied) and your dropbox folder is backed up to time machine.)

To use Google File Stream you need to have access to a G-suite account.

Here’s how to install Google File Stream.

1, Download the installer ‘googlefilestream.dmg’ from here:

2. Run the installer.

3. Go to your applications folder and run the ‘Google File Stream’ application. A little icon will appear in your menu bar, click on it like the picture below.


4. Sign in to your Google Account. Note – this is not a normal Gmail email account. You need to sign in to a G-suite account set up by your workplace, your own business or a not for profit organisation.

5. Your Google Drive will appear on your desktop like your normal hard drive.

6, Inside your ‘Google Drive’ will be your own Drive (‘My Drive”) which is for your own files, plus a “team drive” folder where you will find any files that shared by your organisation.  (Your organisation administrator will need to specifically share those files with you for you to see them in your team drives folder.)

The folders are automatically kept up to date and synced with your online Google Drive. If you setup Google File Sync on a second computer, the files will be synced between computers. Your ‘My Drive’ file swill be synced to your other computers. Fiiles in the ‘Team Drives’ folders will be shared with anyone in your organisation who has access to those team drives.

Here is a screenshot of my own ‘Team Drive’ folder. There is a folder ‘DPC’ and any files I put in there will be shared with anyone else in the ‘DPC’ team. There is a folder called ‘Kids Church’ and any file I put in there will be shared with members of the ‘Kids Church’ team and so on.

You cannot setup who is in what teams. That is done by your organisation system administrator. You will see the ‘team drives’ for any teams that you have been put in.







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