Google Will Replace Its Google Drive Desktop App By March 2018

If you use Google Drive on your desktop, you’re going to want to listen up. While Google Drive itself won’t be going away, the desktop app will be gone by March 12, 2018.

Google announced the change in a blog post, noting that support will be cut off even sooner (meaning you won’t be able to update the app), on Dec. 11, 2017. If you are still using the Drive app on your computer, you’ll begin seeing notifications this October telling you it will soon be gone. You will then be guided toward a replacement.

After March, you can still access Google Drive from the web, your smartphone or the new replacement options. You can keep using Google Drive until the very last moment, if you want, but it’s probably a good idea to take a look at the replacements now so you can prepare.

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Getty Images | Scott Barbour

If you’re using Google Drive on your personal computer, you’ll want to choose the Backup and Sync option, as that is geared more toward consumers, not organizations (although they can use it, too). With this option, all the content on your drive is stored locally. This option lets you access your files, sync only selected folders, use applications like Microsoft Word and Photoshop and sync other folders, like your documents. It also includes functionality from the Google Photos Uploader, which was discontinued.

The second option is best if you’re using Google Drive for work. Drive File Stream will be available Sept. 26 and will let you stream My Drive and Team Drive files directly from the cloud, which, Google says, will free up disk space and network bandwidth, decrease sync time and minimize the amount of company data stored on users’ hard drives.

Check out this side-by-side comparison of the two options, which shows what each can and cannot do.


For more on the change and new options, visit Google’s help pages. There, you can find more information about what to expect and what option is best when it comes to replacing your Google Drive app.