5: File Stream

This important process will let you manage your school files.

First, understand what it does

  • Share files or folders on your computer with your teacher or classmates

  • Easily transfer many large files from your phone to your computer

  • Keep your school files on multiple computers all in sync

  • Save hard drive space when you choose to keep certain files in the cloud and download them only when you need them

Google Drive is a website where you can store your school files. But drive.google.com is just a website, it's not on your computer, right? Well, there are a couple different sync tools that create a folder on your computer and provide all those files for you without having to go to a website. Learning how this works is a must-have skill for college.

Google File Stream is better than Google Backup and Sync. If you see "Backup and Sync," uninstall that garbage and use the cool stuff.


You may have to toggle your user in the top right to your school account
If you're using a Mac, you'll need to authorize File Stream


Once the app is installed, you'll have to open it and sign in with your school email account. Again, you may notice that the Google login procedure will redirect you over to Microsoft's login page.

Practice using Drive

You're going to want to get used to watching YouTube videos on how to do cool tech stuff

Create a folder in My Drive on your computer called "Test":

Then check to make sure that folder appears on the Google Drive site:

Look at the options in Share

This is extra important! Teachers often struggle with students that don’t know how to properly share a file or folder. Select the Share button. You don’t need to do anything with this share button right now, let’s just look closely at the options so you know what to look for when your teacher asks you for a file.

Do you need more help? Google it, there are so many helpful tutorials on how Drive sharing works. You should know how to:

  • Share a file with a friend and know that no one else can use that link

  • Share a link so that anyone at all can view but not edit your file

  • Send pictures or video from your phone to your computer

Don’t make duplicates! Know the file type

Another thing you need to be aware of: You can drop a Word document into your computer’s Google Drive folder and it will then appear on drive.google.com. However, if you double click on a Word document while on the Google Drive website, it can automatically create a converted copy of that document as a Google Doc. Drive can open Word files so it makes a new copy. This can get confusing so pay attention.

One's a Google Sheet and the other is a Microsoft Excel document

Gmail, Google Drive, Sheets, Docs, and Slides all have loads of features that will make your life easier. Don't be afraid to look up tutorial videos!