The article details the process of using streaming or mirroring functions for files on Google Drive in Windows 11. Streaming allows access to files via a virtual drive without downloading them, ideal for limited storage or bandwidth. Mirroring stores all files in the cloud and on your device, enabling offline access and file changes without an internet connection. The guide also provides steps on switching between these preferences on Google Drive.
This article explains switching between streaming or mirroring your files on Google Drive in Windows 11.
Google Drive is a cloud storage and file synchronization service developed by Google. It allows users to store and share files in the cloud, synchronize files across devices, and collaborate with others in real time.
One can configure many settings with the Google Drive app on Windows. Users can install and start Google Drive at login, stream Google Drive to a folder or driver letter, pause syncing, add files and photos to sync with Google Drive, and more.
There are two ways a user can sync their files on Google Drive. They can choose to stream or mirror their files on Google Drive.
- Stream files
- Store all My Drive files in the cloud only
- Access files from a virtual drive or folder on your computer
- Choose specific files and folders to make available offline.
- Mirror files
- Store all My Drive files in the cloud and on your computer
- Access files from a folder on your computer
- All files are automatically available offline
If you choose to stream your files, they will be stored in the cloud, and you can access them from a virtual drive or folder on your computer. This can be useful if you have limited storage space on your device or want to save bandwidth by not downloading all your files to your computer.
On the other hand, if you choose to mirror your files, all your files will be stored in the cloud and on your computer. This can be useful if you want to have all your files available offline or to change files on your computer without an internet connection.
Ultimately, the decision to stream or mirror your files on Google Drive depends on your specific needs and how you use the service.
Steam or mirror files on Google Drive
As mentioned above, two ways to sync your files on Google Drive exist. You can choose to ‘Stream‘ – meaning all your files are stored on Google Drive in the cloud, or ‘Mirror‘ – meaning all your files are stored on your local computer and in the cloud.
Here’s how to choose or switch between streaming or mirroring your files on Google Drive.
First, open the Google Drive flyout window from the notification area. You can do that by clicking the Taskbar overflow and selecting the Google Drive icon to open its flyout window.
When the flyout opens, select the Settings (gear) at the top of the screen and click Preferences.
When the Preferences page opens, click Folders from Drive on the left.
By default, the Stream files option is selected, storing all your files in the cloud. You can select the Mirror file option if you wish.
When you select the Mirror files option, a location to store your files on your device will be created in your home folder.
A folder called ‘My Drive‘ will be created in your home directory by default. (C:\Users\<username>\My Drive).
You can change to a different folder or at any time in the future. Click the Confirm location, and you’re done.
Files you change or save in the ‘My Drive’ folder will be synced in the cloud.
That should do it!
This post showed you how to switch between streaming or mirroring your files to Google Drive on Windows 11. If you find any errors above or have something to add, please use the comments form below.