We replaced Google Drive with Google File Stream in November 2017 shortly after it was released, and noticed that it is indefinitely syncing files. See screenshot below.
Even though we were not losing any local hard drive space due to the syncing we did notice that Google File Stream was slowing down our computer, as you can see in the activity monitor screenshot below, Google File Stream was eating away 9.3% of our CPU. This number would vary from time to time and could be as low as 2% of CPU.
After a month of continuous syncing, we decided to call the Google Drive support team to get some answers about why the syncing is taking so long, and we finally got the answers we were looking for, so we want to share them with you!
Why is Google File Stream Syncing Forever?
We have 800GB of files on our Google Drive, so we only wanted to sync 2GB of these files with Google File Stream on one of our Mac’s, and for the rest of the files (798GB) we selected the “Online Only” option. This is done by right-clicking on each folder/file – going down to Drive File Stream – and selecting Online Only. See image below.
We asked Google Drive support why it was taking over a month of 24/7 syncing to sync 2GB of files?
They told us that this is normal because Google File Stream will always and forever be syncing files that are on Google Drive over and over even if they have not been updated since the last time they were synced. We asked why is this? They told us that this is because Google File Stream is continually looking to see if any of the files on Google Drive have been updated, and is syncing them regardless if they were updated since the last sync or not.
The Google Drive support person told us that the Google File Stream was created from the idea their customer had where they wanted to have access to their Google Drive files without taking up space on their computer.
We asked how long does it take to sync 800GB of files from Google Drive to Google File Stream, and they told us about 2 hours. Google File Stream does not actually download any files to your computer in order to sync them, it is simply mirroring files so they show up in Google File Stream for easy accessibility through the desktop app.
If you have any Google File Stream or Google Backup and Sync questions/issues, the Google Drive support team can be reached at