Google Drive for Desktop User Guide


Google Drive for Desktop (formerly Google Drive File Stream) is an application that allows you to quickly access all of your Google Drive files on demand, directly from your computer without losing precious drive space. With Google Drive, your files are stored on 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.


  1. Download Google Drive for Desktop for Mac or Windows. You must be logged into your Google account to see this page.
  2. Run the installation package.
  3. Log in to the portal with your UT email address and password.
  4. Select Allow on the required permissions prompt.

System Requirements

  • Windows: Windows 7 and up. Windows Server editions are not supported.
  • Mac: El Capitan (10.11) and up. For High Sierra (10.13), follow these steps.

Getting Started

Once Google Drive is installed, a folder called Google Drive will appear on the left in Finder or File Explorer. This folder will contain both your personal Google Drive and any Team Drives you are part of. The only difference between these files and any other file on your computer is that these files are not stored on your computer by default, and any changes you make to them will sync automatically with your cloud storage.

macOS known issue: If you receive an error that says, Google Drive File Stream encountered a problem and has stopped, Go to System Preferences > Security and Privacy > Allow Google Drive Files Stream

What are the features of Google Drive for Desktop?

  • Quickly see all your Google Drive files in Finder/Explorer (including Team Drives).
  • Browse and organize Google Drive files without downloading all of them to your computer.
  • Choose which files or folders you'd like to make available offline.
  • Open files in common apps like Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop.

How much storage do I have for my Drive files?

UTK Google Accounts have unlimited storage.

Making Files Available Offline

By default, Google Drive for Desktop does not store a copy of your files on your local computer. This means that if you do not have an Internet connection, you will not be able to access these files. In order to make your files accessible offline, right-click on a file or folder and select Available Offline under the Drive Drive menu. Please note that doing so will store a copy on your computer, using up more of your hard drive space.

Where can I get more information?

To get started with Drive, visit the Drive Help Center. Please note that to see this page and install the new app, you must log in to Google with your UT Google Account username and password.


Article ID: 113592
Tue 8/11/20 5:12 PM
Tue 3/2/21 4:06 PM
Google Drive