Access your Drive files with Google File Stream

With Google Drive File Stream, you can access all all of your Google My Drive and Team Drive files directly from your computer without having to open a browser. You can also select files to make available for offline use for when you don’t have an internet connection.

When you install Drive File Stream on your computer, it creates a drive in Windows Explorer named Google Drive File Stream. All of your My Drive and Team Drive files will appear there. You can transfer files between your computer and Drive or browse and organize your Drive files right in Windows Explorer.



The File Stream app also allows you to open files directly within applications like Microsoft Word. When you click File > Open, just browse to the Google File Stream Drive to locate your file.

If you used the old Google Drive Desktop App, you may have received a notification that it would no longer work after May 12, 2018. Google File Stream is a recommended replacement for the Google Drive Desktop App. Another option …

How to edit Microsoft Office documents stored in Google Drive



Updated June, 2018

Someone recently asked me how they can edit Microsoft documents that are stored in Google Drive, without having to download them first. Google Drive is great for storing and sharing many different types of files - Google documents, Microsoft documents, images, video, etc. Storing and sharing are one thing, but when it comes to editing Microsoft documents that are stored in Drive, it can get tricky.

One option is to convert your Microsoft documents to Google. Problem solved, right? Not really. Sometimes you need to keep documents in their native Microsoft format. Well, if you are using the download > edit > upload method, there is an easier way. In fact, there’s more than one way to edit them directly from Drive!

Edit with Microsoft Office

Install the Google File Stream App and Google Drive will appear as a storage location in Word, Excel and PowerPoint. When you open a file in your Microsoft application, navigate to your Google Drive and open your document (click Open, Browse and select Google Drive).



With the Drive App installed, Save documents directly to your Google Drive by navigating to your Google Drive when you save your document.

Also, when you open Windows Explorer on your computer, you can access your Google Drive files without having to open your browser. This makes it really easy to transfer files between your computer and Google Drive.

For basic edits, just use Chrome

With a free Chrome extension, Office Editing for Docs, Sheets, and Slides, you can open Word, Excel and PowerPoint right within your Google Drive.

Install the Chrome extension
  1. Open Google Chrome
  2. Go to Office Editing for Docs, Sheets, and Slides
  3. Click Add to Chrome. The Extension installs on your Chrome toolbar.

Using the Chrome extension
  1. Open Google Drive
  2. Navigate to a Word, Excel or PowerPoint document
  3. Double-click on the document
You will notice the editor does not have all the features of editing in Word, Excel or PowerPoint but it allows you to make basic changes to the document without having to download it first. The Chrome extension will appear in the address bar. As you edit, google will continue to automatically save your changes to your original (docx, xlsx, pptx) document.




Mobile Apps for Editing Microsoft Documents

I use my phone to access and edit my Google documents all the time. I can edit Microsoft documents on my phone too, using the following mobile apps (Android or IOS):
  • Google Drive to manage your folders and documents
  • Google Docs to edit Word documents
  • Google Sheets to edit Excel documents
  • Google Slides to edit PowerPoint documents
With the Google File Stream App and the Google Chrome extension, it makes it much easier to store, share and edit all of your documents in Google Drive. Please leave your questions or comments below!


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