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Google's new Drive for desktop app switchover: Here's what's happening and when

Google's Backup and Sync and Drive File Stream apps are being merged into Google Drive for desktop for everyone.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Google has outlined plans to move its users on Backup and Sync apps to the unified Drive desktop app for macOS and Windows desktops. 

Google has two sync options available: Backup and Sync, which was built for consumer users, and Drive File Stream, which was built for business users. These clients are being combined into the new Drive for desktop. The change is coming to Google's consumer users and to its Workspace users. 

This month, Google will prompt users to make the switch via notifications in the existing sync apps and will cut off functionality to them by September 2021. After that time, users will see a notification in the apps to make the switch in order to continue syncing files.  

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The transition schedule for Google Workspace business customers is more clearly defined with key dates. 

From July 19, Backup and Sync will offer a "guided flow", helping users move to Drive for desktop. 

On August 18, Workspace users still on Backup and Sync will see in-product notifications to move to Drive for desktop. 

From October 1, Worksapce users will not be able to sign into Backup and Sync. 

"To continue syncing with Drive and/or Google Photos, users will need to transition to Drive for desktop," Google notes on the Workspace updates blog.    

Google says the unified sync client provides a consistent experience for Drive users across business, education and personal purposes. Files and folders are saved and can be accessed at a familiar location. The unified Drive for desktop automatically syncs local files to the cloud in the background to help free up desktop diskspace and save network bandwidth.     

Google Workspace
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