Google launches new Drive for desktop app, slowly kills off Backup and Sync

Google Drive Icon
Google Drive Icon (Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google is now encouraging Google Drive users to use its new Google Drive for Desktop app.
  • The app replaces the current Backup and Sync app for regular people, as well as the previous Drive client for businesses.
  • Backup and Sync will stop working in October.

As announced earlier in the year, Google is officially rolling out the new Google Drive for Desktop app. This new app will replace the more consumer-focused Backup and Sync and the Google Drive File Stream for businesses. The File Stream app has already been supplanted by Google Drive for Desktop, but the Backup and Sync app still exists separately. That is set to change.

Writing in a blog post, the Google Workspace team said:

Earlier this year, we announced that we were working towards unifying our two existing Google Drive sync clients – Backup and Sync and Drive File Stream – into a single sync client called Drive for desktop. By doing this, we're creating a powerful and unified sync client with the best and most used features from both Backup and Sync and Drive File Stream.

While you can keep using Backup and Sync, for the time being, the app will stop working from October 1st. In the leadup to then, Google will prompt you to update to Google Drive for Desktop. These new in-app notifications will start from August 18 through October, a which point you'll have to switch.

Google says the purpose of this new desktop app is to provide a "consistent experience" for any drive user. The previous Drive experiences were broken up into two apps, offering different functionality and saving files in different locations. This new app addresses that shortcoming. Google will also make use of an automatic file syncing, a feature that'll let you access your most important files while offline without needing to download them deliberately first.

You can download the new Google Drive for desktop for Windows PCs or macOS devices here.

Michael Allison