Goodbye Google Drive File Stream

Way back, in September 2017, I was happy using Google Drive to put some of my documents. It was reliable, and if not as feature rich as Dropbox, my go-to solution for syncing between computers, I did get a block of storage free with my Google Suite account.

The concept is simple, where the Google Drive Sync app kept a full copy on my system (at least what I told it to sync), the Drive File Stream app would create a file system that could be mounted (on my Mac) and the list of files/directories would be available. If I wanted to open a file, it would download it, and with a minor delay, BAM there the file was.

It is a godsend, in that I can have all my files at my fingertips when I need them, but without them taking a lot of space on my laptop drive. Win-Win as they say.

… until it didn’t work.

A couple weeks ago, on my main (a 2012 vintage) Mac, after the upgrade to MacOS 10.14, I got strange errors. Errors that I need to grant the publisher Google, Inc. permissions in the security center.

But, when I did follow their instructions, the program still wouldn’t run.

Thinking that this was related to the OS Upgrade, as it also borked on my work Mac post upgrade, I went back to my trusty Mac Book Pro. It was still running 10.13, and it still had Google Drive Filestream working. So I copied all the important bits to my iCloud drive, especially all the trust documents and work for the estate.

Then, after a few hours, I got the same errors. I suspect that Google slipstreamed an upgrade to the drivers/application, and that just doesn’t work (about 2 months ago, Google changed something on their Gmail authentication system that made it not work with Apple Mail, stuck in authenticating loops).

I cringe when I read about all the abuse of privacy, and how much data is gathered by Google and the other tech giants. However, with Google’s services that I pay for, I was comfortable enough in their policies, and the absolute reliability of their storage and systems.

No longer. I do keep my paid Dropbox account. Apple’s iCloud storage has a similar syncing strategy, and I use the Adobe Lightroom CC app to keep my larger photographs in their cloud, and disk space on my computers under control.

I am going to move all my files off of Google Drive. While I can still access them via the web, that is a pathetic solution. Shame on Google for breaking my trust (I guess I shouldn’t be surprised…)

unsplash-logoNathan Dumlao
Product Manager in Tech. Guitar player. Bicycle Rider. Dog rescuer. Techie.