BCS Instructional Technology Podcasts News and Notes Tech Tip Tuesday

Back Up & Sync and Drive File Stream

Tech Tip Tuesday Episode 12

Backup & Sync and Drive File Stream

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This week’s Tech Tip Tuesday episode will focus on exploring Google’s answer to backing up your Google Drive and accessing Drive files while offline. 

 As you know, it is a challenge to keep your things safe, backed up, and organized. With Google’s Backup & Sync and Drive File Stream, you can have your cake and it too. 

Google Drive File Stream can be installed on your computer and there are some pretty snazzy features! First, with the new Google Drive File Stream you’re able to access everything that’s in your My Drive, but also any of the files that are stored in Shared Drives. You can make selected Drive files available for offline use.

Second, Drive File Stream lets you see all of your Google Drive without having to synchronize all of your Cloud content to your computer. Think of it as having a virtual window into all of your Drive files, but you only download the files as you actually open them. Thankfully, you don’t have to be connected to the internet 24/7. Files or folders that you need access to can be selected to be available offline, and are automatically kept in sync and kept locally on your machine and accessible offline. Drive File Stream is only available for a G Suite accounts.

There is yet another option to sync files between Google Drive and your computer; however, with Backup and Sync, it stores Drive content locally on your computer. Think of it as a back-up utility rather than an interactive update. 

Sync can be a two-way street

Meaning that Backup and Sync not only syncs folders on your computer to Google Drive, but it can also sync folders you have in Drive to your computer. This is essential since you can have access to your documents and spreadsheets regardless of the device you are using or your ability to be online.  You can choose to download and sync your entire, top-level My Drive folder on Google Drive, or you can select specific folders. Google is intuitive and constantly monitors your folders and the changes you make – these changes in files show up immediately. When I make a change to a file on my computer, the synced file on Google Drive displays the change by the time I clicked over to check it.

Which is right for you? Both Backup and Sync and Drive File Stream are essentially the same.

 Drive File Stream 

  • Creates a drive in your tree, and every time you open a file, it will keep it offline for 30 days for easy access. 
  • Desire to have access to all the files but don’t necessarily want to keep them all stored on your PC. For example, I only have a 128gb drive in my computer, but I have 500gb in my Google Drive. I can’t keep all that on my PC, but I have it any time I have the Internet.

Backup and Sync 

  • Makes a permanent folder on your machine 
  • Keeps a current copy at all times on your device
  • Local files are always available offline
  •  You can add content to this folder on your local machine and it will upload to Drive and vise versa.  
  • Always available even with a personal account, so if you want your whole drive to be available offline always, 

Extension of the Week:

ColorZilla for Chrome is a color picker that allows you to get a color reading from any point in your browser. I love to perfectly match a school’s mascot or theme…..You don’t have to be a web designer to appreciate having the perfect color for your engaging presentation or creative ad. With ColorZilla, you use the eyedropper to pick a color from a page. Follow the link in the Show Notes if you want to further explore the myriad of features that ColorZilla has to offer!

Thanks so much for listening to this episode of Tech Tip Tuesday. I’ve enjoyed my time with you today and look forward to the next time! 


Get Drive File Stream or Download Backup and Sync

About the author

Pam Coleman

Pam began teaching as a second career in 2006 at Black Fox Elementary. She taught kindergarten and fifth grade prior to becoming an Instructional Technology Coach in 2016. She loves collaborating with teachers to find ways to implement technology in the classroom, promoting Bradley County
School by creating flyers or shooting pictures, teaching students about digital citizenship, and training teachers and students on new programs or software.

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