How to Resolve Google Drive File Stream not Working on a Mac or Windows

Your Google Drive File Stream may stop working mainly due to a corrupted cache or due to an outdated OS/File Stream app. Network restrictions can also cause issues in syncing Google Drive File Stream. However, according to our research, there is no specific cause of the problem and it can be caused according to each user’s preferences and configurations.

Google Drive File Stream

Files are might not sync between your system and Google Drive. or the sync process is stuck on “Preparing for Sync in some cases, the sync process stops instantaneously). You may also see an authorization failure message. There are also cases where the file cannot be changed as it is linked to a web-based Google document or it is pointing to a non-valid online Google document:

Usually, the issues are mostly technical and related to your account instead of with Google Drive itself. Before we start with specific solutions, make sure that you go through the general workarounds. Also, make sure that these conditions are satisfied before proceeding:

Make sure your system drive has enough free space. Check if your internet connection is working fine. If you are using a beta version of the File Stream/OS, then wait for the stable release. Make sure download quota exceeded message is not shown (if using rclone). If you have recently deleted any of the files in the File Stream app, then wait for the completion of the deletion operation.

Before we dive into more technical solutions, let us try some basic troubleshooting steps.

Restart your system. Also, don’t forget to check the Twitter page of Gsuite to make sure everything is working fine and visit the supported OS page to confirm that your OS is supported by the File Stream app.

This isn’t usually a problem, but it turns out that setting Google Chrome as the default browser helps in some cases. Also, check if the drive letter you are trying to use for the File Stream is not already being used by the system. If so, then change the drive letter in the Settings of the File Stream app.

Solutions (1 to 6) are general which can be used on both the macOS (10 to 12) and Windows operating system (7-9).

1. Rename the DriveFS Folder

The cache is used by applications to speed up things. Google Drive File Stream also uses a cached folder. If that cache folder is corrupt, then it could be the reason for the current Google File Stream error.  In that case, deleting (or renaming) the cache folder may solve the problem.

  1. Exit your Google Drive File Stream app.
  2. Now launch the Terminal in macOS and Command prompt in Windows.
  3. Type the following path and hit return
    • For Mac
      ~/Library/Application Support/Google
    • For Windows
      %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Google\
  4. Now find and rename the DriveFS folder (or delete it)
  5. Restart your system.
  6. Now launch the File Stream app and check if the problem is solved.

2. Update Your OS and The File Stream App

An outdated OS can also cause problems with Google File Stream. Moreover, an update of OS is released to improve performance and to patch known bugs. In that case, updating your OS may solve the problem.

Also, Google releases new updates for the File Stream app to improve performance and patch known bugs. If the File Stream app is the root cause of your problem, then updating it to the latest version may be beneficial.

3. Change Your Network or Use a VPN

ISPs use different techniques to control web traffic and safeguard their users, but during this process, sometimes some legitimate services are blocked by the ISPs and the same could be the case with your Google Drive File Stream app. To rule that out, change your network (you can use your mobile’s hotspot) or use a VPN.

4. Disable Your Antivirus and Firewall

Your antivirus and Firewall applications are your partners in keeping your PC secure. However, these applications have a known history of blocking legitimate operations of applications. To rule that out, it will be a good idea to either disable your Antivirus/Firewall applications or add an exception for Google File Stream. For illustration, we will discuss the process for a Windows PC.

Warning: Disable your Antivirus and Firewall applications at your own risk, as this step will make your system more vulnerable to threats like viruses, malware, etc.

  1. Disable your antivirus and turn off the Firewall of your system.
  2. Now check if the File Stream is working fine.
  3. If so, then add an exception for Google File Stream in the settings of your antivirus/Firewall.

5. Uninstall the Chrome Remote Desktop (Screen Scraper Software)

The Google Drive File Stream just cannot co-exist with any sharing software like Chrome Remote Desktop, which is known to cause issues in the operation of the Google Drive File Stream. In that case, uninstalling the Screen Sharing software/Chrome Remote Desktop may solve the problem.

Make sure to power cycle your computer before opening File Stream again.

6. Use Google Drive File Stream Through Another User

If nothing has worked for you, then maybe the problem is caused by the user account you are using. In that case, create another user with admin privileges and use the Google Drive File Stream through the newly created user.

  1. Create a new user with admin privileges. (For macOS as well, you should also create an administrator user).
  2. Then launch the Google Drive File Stream in the newly created user account and check if the problem is solved.

For Windows:

7. Disable the Other Version of the Google Cloud Service

Google cloud services consist of Google Backup & Sync (For Home Users) and Google Drive File Stream (For Work/School Users). Users tend to use both at the same time. But due to a software glitch, sometimes Backup and Sync interfere in the operation of the Google Drive File Stream and thus can cause the issue under discussion. In that case, exiting or uninstalling the Backup & Sync application may solve the problem.

  1. Exit the Google File Stream app and kill all its running processes.
  2. Exit the Google Backup and Sync and kill all its running processes through the Task Manager.
    Quit Backup and Sync
  3. Now launch Google File Stream app and check if the problem is solved.

8. Uninstall the Google File Stream App and Reinstall the Updated Version

If you are using an old version of the File Stream application, then it could be the reason for the issue under discussion.  In that case, removing the older version of the app may solve the problem. For illustration, we will discuss the process for Windows, you may follow the instructions specific to your OS.

  1. Backup the essential files of your Google Stream File folder to a safer location. All files that are not synced will be lost forever if not backed up.
  2. Open the Google Drive File Stream and click More (three vertical dots).
  3. Then click on Sign out.
  4. Again, in the Google Drive File Stream, click on More and then click on Quit.
    Quit the Google Drive File Stream
  5. Now right-click on the taskbar and select the Task Manager.
    Open Task Manager
  6. Then in the Task Manager window, find and right-click on a process related to the Google File Stream app.
  7. Now select End Process.
  8. Repeat the process for all other processes related to the Google File Stream app.
  9. Now Press Windows key and type Control Panel. Then in the search results, click on Control Panel.
    Open Control Panel
  10. Then in the Control Panel window, click on Uninstall a program.
    Uninstall a Program
  11. Now in the list of the installed programs, find and right-click on the Google File Stream application.
  12. Then click on Uninstall.
  13. Now follow the instructions on the screen to complete the uninstallation process.
  14. Then press Windows key and type Run. Now in the search results, click on Run.
    Open Run Command
  15. Type the following command in the Run command box and press Enter
%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Google\

(For Mac: location of DriveFS folder is ~/Library/Application Support/Google)

  1. Now find and right-click on the DriveFS folder and then click on Delete (you can rename the folder as well)
    Delete the DriveFS Folder
  2. Then restart your system.
  3. Now launch the Google File Stream app and check if the problem is solved.
  4. Now download the official setup of the Google File Stream from Google’s website.
  5. After the download is complete, install the downloaded file by following the instructions on the screen.
  6. After completion of the installation process, sign-in to the Google File Stream.

9. Save Google Drive File Stream Files Offline

Google Drive File Stream uses a separate virtual network volume of your corporate network and the files can be downloaded on demand. This is particularly helpful when you have an intermittent Internet connection as you do not need an internet connection to access the virtual network volume of Google File Stream (not like Google Docs, sheets, and slides). But if there is a communication glitch between the virtual network volume of Google File Stream and your system, then the Google File Stream app might not work. To clear that issue, it will be a good idea to download the files offline.

  1. In the File Explorer, open Google Drive File Stream drive.
    Open Google Drive File Stream in File Explorer
  2. Now select and right-click on any of the files or folders and then select Drive File Stream.
  3. Then in the sub-menu click on Available Offline.

    Make Google Drive File Stream Files Available Offline
  4. Now check if the problem is solved

For MacOS:

10. Turn off Screen Share

Mac has the feature which allows a user to share his screen with another Mac user. But due to a bug, Google Drive File Stream may not work when the screen share option is enabled on your Mac. In that case, disabling the screen share may solve the problem.

  1. Quit the File Stream.
  2. Open your Mac’s system preferences.
  3. Now open Sharing.
  4. Now uncheck the Screen Sharing checkbox.
    Turn off Screen Share in Mac
  5. Now launch the File Stream and check if the problem is solved.

11. Unblock the File Drive Stream and Allow Full Disk Access and Accessibility

In the recent versions of Mac, the Google Drive File Stream extension gets blocked from execution which can stop the operation of your File Stream app. In that case, allowing the execution of the Google Drive File Stream may solve the problem. In some cases, users are notified and in some, they are not notified of the blockage of the execution of the system extension.

  1. Launch the Google Drive File Stream. If you get the message that it is blocked from execution, do not close the message or the File Stream app. Also, do not follow the link/button provided in the message.
    System Extension Blocked in Mac
  2. Now open System Preferences of your Mac.
  3. Then open Security & Privacy.
  4. Now near the right-bottom of the screen (the General tab), find the option “System software from developer ‘Google, Inc was blocked from loading” and next to this option, click on the Allow.
    Allow Google Drive File Stream in Privacy and Security
  5. Then select Google and click Ok.
    Select Google and Click Ok
  6. Now quit the File Stream.
  7. And relaunch the File Stream and check if the problem is solved.
  8. If not, quit the File Stream and kill all its processes through the Activity Monitor.
  9. Then open Security & Privacy in Mac’s system preferences as mentioned above.
  10. Now move to the Privacy tab.
  11. Then click on the lock icon and enter the password, if required, to edit the Privacy setting.
  12. Now, add Google Drive File Stream, in the options of Accessibility and Full Disk Access.
    Add Google Drive File Stream in Accessibility and Full Disk Access
  13. Also, in Full Disk Access, add the apps like Preview, MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, Preview, Google Docs, and Google Sheets, etc. which will be using files inside the Google Drive File Stream.
  14. Again, click on the lock icon to prevent further changes and close Security & Privacy.
  15. Now launch Google Drive File Stream and check if the problem is solved.

12. Use Recovery Mode and Terminal Commands

If nothing has worked for you, then it will be a good idea to switch off the macOS feature that is blocking the execution of the Google Drive File Stream (also known as clean booting). You will require admin privileges to complete this process.

Warning: Proceed at your own risk as disabling this feature of macOS will make your system more vulnerable.

Also, we will try to authorize your Google Drive File Stream in the macOS.

  1. Power off your system.
  2. Power on the system and immediately press and hold Command+R buttons (which will boot the system into the Recovery mode).
  3. Now click on the Utilities menu and then click Terminal

    Open Terminal in Utilities in Mac
  4. Type the following commands and hit return:
    sudo spctl --master-disable
    
    spctl kext-consent disable
    
    -bash-3.2# spctl kext-consent add EQHXZ8M8AV
  1. Exit the Terminal and restart your system.
  2. Now in normal mode, open the Terminal.
  3. Type the following command and hit return:
    $ sudo spctl kext-consent list

    Now the system should be showing the Identifier: EQHZ8M8AV

  1. Again, in the terminal type, and hit return:
    defaults write com.google.drivefs.settings ForceBrowserAuth -bool true
  1. Once again, in the terminal type following commands and hit return:
    sudo rm -rf /Applications/Google\ Drive\ File\ Stream.app/
    
    rm -rf ~/Library/Application\ Support/Google/DriveFS
    
    sudo chmod a+wx ~/Library/"Application Support"/Google
  1. Open system preferences of your Mac.
  2. Now open Security & Privacy.
  3. Under “Allow apps downloaded from”, enable the option Anywhere (if not already enabled). If the option is not there, then repeat steps 1 to 9 again.
    Enable Option of Anywhere in Privacy and Security
  4. Also, click on Allow on the General tab of Privacy and Security (if not done in the solution discussed above).
  5. Then open System Preferences of your Mac.
  6. Now open Security and Privacy.
  7. Then open Privacy and in the accessibility tab, remove Google Drive File Stream app from the list.
    Remove Google Drive File Stream from Accessibility
  8. Then add the Google Drive File Stream back to the accessibility list in privacy.
  9. Now exit the Google Drive File Stream completely.
  10. Restart your system.
  11. Now relaunch the Google Drive File Stream and check if the problem is solved.
Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

Expert Tip

How to Resolve Google Drive File Stream not Working on a Mac or Windows

If the issue is with your Computer or a Laptop you should try using Restoro which can scan the repositories and replace corrupt and missing files. This works in most cases, where the issue is originated due to a system corruption. You can download Restoro by clicking the Download button below.

Download Now

I'm not interested