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Woldemar Zykov
Woldemar Zykov

Google Drive File Stream

By default, Google Drive for desktop (formerly known as Google Drive File Stream) stores cached files in /Library/Application Support/Google/DriveFS/$account_id/content_cache, where $account_id is the numeric ID of your google account. The files aren't encrypted or anything, but they don't have any metadata (or even their original filenames) so I don't think you'll find them terribly useful. The metadata seems to be stored in various SQLite databases in in the $account_id folder. In an emergency an expert might be able to reconstruct the original file names and folder structure.

google drive file stream

Thanks for providing google drive community link. I will post it there as well. Although, I understand Google Drive is not a Microsoft product but it is used by Microsoft OS (in my case it is Windows Server 2008 R2). The question to keep running processes even when user is not logged in also has to do with Microsoft-hence the question was posted.

In March 2017, Google introduced Drive File Stream, a desktop application for G Suite (now Google Workspace) customers using Windows and macOS computers that maps Google Drive to a drive letter on the operating system, and thus allows easy access to Google Drive files and folders without using a web browser. It also features on-demand file access, when the file is downloaded from Google Drive only when it is accessed. Additionally, Drive File Stream supports the Shared Drives functionality of Google Workspace.[92][93]

Drive File Stream is a desktop application designed for organizations, that allows you to quickly access all of your Google Drive files on demand, directly from your computer. This means you'll use almost none of your hard drive space and spend less time waiting for files to sync. Drive File Stream allows you to stream files, similar to how you stream movies on demand.

Once successfully logged in File Stream will begin syncing your files. File Stream will show up as an external device in your Finder for Mac users and as the G drive in your file explorer for Windows users.

Google Drive File Stream, now replaced by Drive for desktop, was used as a desktop application that allows you to quickly access all of the files of your Google Drive, directly from your computer without losing precious drive space.

With Drive for desktop, your files are stored on the cloud, not your computer, and any changes you make will be automatically synchronized with the cloud. After you download and launch Drive for desktop on your computer, there would be an external hard drive.

You can access your Google Drive for Desktop files by going to from a web browser or through desktop (Windows and Mac OS X) and mobile (Android and iOS) apps. This page will explain how to download these apps and configure them up to access your USC Google Drive files.

Google Drive for desktop (formerly Google Drive File Stream) is a desktop application that allows you to quickly access all of your Google Drive files on demand, directly from your computer without losing precious drive space. Your files are stored in the cloud instead of your computer, and any changes you make are automatically synced with the cloud for quick, easy access anywhere you have an Internet connection. In addition, you can select which files you would like to make available for offline use. Drive for desktop is compatible with both shared drives and classic Drive.

When you install Drive for desktop on your computer, it creates a drive in Microsoft Windows Explorer or a device in Apple Mac Finder named Google Drive for desktop. All your My Drive and shared drives files will appear there. You will need administrator access to install new software on your computer. If you do not have administrator access, contact Technology Help or your local IT support staff for assistance.

Unlike apps like Backup and Sync, Dropbox, or Box, Drive File Stream does not create a local folder that mirrors your Drive. It instead mounts a virtual drive on your computer that lists folders stored on the cloud, making them easier to browse through Windows Explorer or Finder, without actually saving the files locally.

I do not know exactly what mechanism allows for the functionality described below, but it is nearly identical in function to the way NTFS alternate data streams work. The thing is, the properties of Drive File Stream's virtual drive show it as being partitioned as FAT32 which do not support alternate data streams. Perhaps Google's file system driver is simply emulating the behavior of NTFS alternate data streams. Regardless, the Drive File Stream driver adds a mechanism for reading special metadata attached to file/folder's located within its file system. This metadata can be accessed by calling 'ReadFile' on any file/folder path that is suffixed with a colon followed by a special identifier describing the metadata one wants to retrieve. These are the identifiers I've discovered so far (including descriptions for some of them):

Note: If you are using this in some type of script that is creating new files/folders and quickly reading the '