Google Drive is Dead, Long Live Google Drive

By Kathrese McKee | Word Marker Tips

You probably use Google Drive as a sort of back up system for your most important files, so pay attention. Google Drive, as we currently know it on our PCs and Mac computers is going away. Support will end on December 11, and the apps will no longer function after March 12, 2018.

Do not panic! Your files are safe as long as you take action in time. Continue reading for all the information you need to make an informed transition to Google Backup and Sync.

The following tips are from my weekly newsletter.

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Tip #1 – Be aware that the Google Drive application for your computer is going away.

Yes, the Google Drive app on your PC or Mac will no longer be supported after December 11, and it won’t work at all after March 12, 2018. However, the service is not going away. Google has been itching to transition business customers, those who use G Suite, away from ye olde Google Drive to a more enterprise-friendly solution.

Do you use G Suite? I don’t. If you do use G Suite, the rest of this will not apply to you. For those of you who don’t use G Suite, let’s continue.

For regular folks who currently use Google Drive, all you have to know is that the replacement for Google Drive is Google Backup and Sync. Don’t get confused by discussions about Drive File Stream; that’s the new service for business customers only. Okay? Okay.

Let’s be specific. The client app, the application that you downloaded and installed on your computer so long ago, is the piece that is being replaced by Backup and Sync. The online portion of Google Drive is still Google Drive and stays the same. Thanks, Google, for confusing the issue.

By the way, the old Google Photos desktop app (if you use it) is also being replaced by Backup and Sync. Google Drive and Google Photos are being combined.

If you want to delve a bit deeper or read it for yourself, see PC Magazine’s article, “Google Drive is being replaced by Backup and Sync: What to expect”

Tip #2 – The replacement for Google Drive is Google Backup and Sync.

Backup and Sync will look familiar to Google Drive users because it is basically identical; the service still backs up to the online My Drive folder and syncs files as you add, change, and delete them in your local Google Drive folder. But the application has been enhanced to do more.

  • The most exciting enhancement is the ability to choose local folders to sync to the cloud, such as Documents or Desktop. These folders will appear in the Computers section in Drive on the web. This is new, and it provides you with an extra layer of protection for your most valuable folders. When you delete a file in your Documents folder, for example, you will be prompted to choose if you want it deleted from the Google cloud too. This will help you to keep your Google space from getting cluttered.
  • As usual, you can access files in My Drive. See? They didn’t even change the name of the folder.
  • Choose which folders in My Drive to sync to your computer. This comes in handy if your laptop doesn’t have as much storage as your desktop; simply limit the files that sync to your laptop machine.

  • Continue to use native Windows applications like Microsoft Word and Excel and Adobe Photoshop.
  • Upload photos and videos to the cloud in their original quality (important if you’re a pro) or just high quality (the files get compressed). With high quality, you receive unlimited storage for photos and videos.
  • If you are going to offload a lot of your desktop clutter into the cloud, you will have the option of upgrading your Google Drive storage subscription.
  • Just like always, access your files from any device with internet access.
  • Work offline, too, on files that are synced to your computer. When you have internet access again, these files will be synced to the cloud.

For another take on the shift to Backup and Sync, see Rhett Jones’s article for Gizmodo, “What’s Really Going On With Google Drive?”.

Tip #3 – What do you do about Google Drive?

Basically, you need to download Google Backup and Sync and install it. Then, follow the prompts. If you already have Google Drive, then your folders will pass to the new program seamlessly. If you want to back up your photos and videos, then choose original or high quality when the time comes.

NOTE: If you have Google Drive on two computers, then let both computers sync before your transition.

Before you begin, look over the download page for pointers.

The following YouTube video covers the entire process:
“Google Backup and Sync: How to backup your computer to Google Drive”.

I am interested in your experience with Backup and Sync. Please leave your comments below.


About the Author

Award-winning author, Kathrese McKee, writes Young Adult Fantasy and helps others bring their fiction to life through editing and mentoring.