This cloud-based solution allows University of Ottawa researchers to store large volumes of files and access these anytime, anywhere, on mobile or desktop devices. Often files are too large to send over email with colleagues on and off-campus. This solution allows research teams to work from a shared storage location, across multiple devices without requiring VPN connectivity.

Google Drive’s built-in sync capability ensures that your files and folders are the same on all your devices.

Note: Only faculty researchers who are APUO members can request the creation of an account. The researcher, as the account owner, can then create a Team Drive and grant access to team members.


Google Drive File Stream is a desktop and mobile application that allows quick access to your Google Drive files from your desktop. When you make edits to a file, the changes are updated in My Drive or Team Drive. Because these files are uploaded and stored in the cloud, this saves hard disk space. You can open and edit most document types directly out of Drive File Stream without having to download the file onto your computer.

You can also make My Drive and Team Drive files available for offline access. These cached files sync back to the cloud when you are online, so the latest version is available on all your devices.

Team Drive is ideal for groups of colleagues who collaborate on documents. A team member can create a Team Drive and share ownership as well as any documents stored there, making it easy for all team members to organize and maintain the files for the duration of the project or for long-term retention.

When a team member is no longer part of the working team or leaves the organization, all files remain in the Team Drive, and the team can continue to access the work, reducing any negative impact on project progress. 

If you share a document in a Team Drive with a person who is not a member of that Team Drive, that person will only have the ability to edit the file.

It is a best practice to upload and edit shared files via the web client ( and not the desktop File Stream client. However, you can edit files you own in the desktop client and the changes will synchronize to the cloud team drive.


  • Students already have an account; researchers only need to add them to their Team Drive to start sharing and collaborating.
  • Minimizes the amount of data stored on the hard drives of users
  • Unlimited free storage space
    • You can upload up to 750 GB of data per day.
    • You can upload files up to 5 TB in size.
    • If a single file exceeds the 750 GB daily limit, that file will upload. However, subsequent files will not upload until the daily upload limit resets the next day.
  • Works on PC and Mac desktops, iOS and Android mobile devices without requiring a VPN connection.
  • Ability to share files with colleagues on campus and at other institutions by sharing links to the file instead of email attachments that are often too large to share.
  • Ability for users to manage file versions and undeletes

See the Learn More section for additional information.

Getting Started

To get started, request an account and access with the Service Desk. Allow 72 hours for the creation and setup. In your request, specify the following:

  • Select Accounts/Password from the Subject drop down
  • In the Comments field, add the following:
    • Google Drive File Stream account for researchers
    • Enable Team Drive feature

Once you have an account, access your Google Drive via the web at When prompted, use your uOttawa login username and password.


You can install Google Drive File Stream client on your Windows or Mac desktop and mobile devices once you have an account and have access to Google Drive on the web Google Drive File stream is a desktop application that lets you stream My Drive and Team Drive files directly from the cloud and allows you to work as a team in a shared space.

See the system requirements to install Google Drive on your computer or mobile device.


Note: File Stream does not support Linux, however, you can use Google Drive at

Data Security

Research data security is of outmost importance when using or collecting data that is sensitive, confidential or related to human subjects. The University’s Security Architect has performed the security assessment of Google’s solution and is satisfied with the controls in place to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of research data.

Learn More

Google Drive File Stream

Drive File Stream is a desktop application that allows quick access to your Google Drive files from your computer. Because these files are uploaded and stored to the cloud, this saves hard drive space and allows for larger storage capacity. As well, you will be able to share and collaborate with team members.

You can view and organize your files in your computer’s file system, such as Explorer on Windows or Finder on Mac OS.

Get Started with Team Drives

Working with your files offline

If you do not have a network connection and would like to retain access to a document, you can make it while offline.

  • In the File Stream desktop, right-click the file, hover over Drive File Stream and select Available offline.
  • The file icon will change to a blue circle while downloading and then change to a green circle with a check mark when done.
  • The file is now offline. If you modify the file while offline, the file will sync the next time you connect to the Internet.

Note: You should not make your entire Drive available offline. Storage on Google Drive is unlimited, while disk space on your computer is not.


Google Drive File Stream files storage

Access your files from your desktop, just like other local or network drive and mapped files. Since your files are stored in the cloud, any changes you or your collaborators make are automatically updated everywhere (except files that you choose to make available offline).

When you install Google Drive File Stream, it will create a mapped G drive. If you already have a mapped G drive, it will map to the next letter.


Receiving notifications of Google Drive documents shared with you

Email notifications are not automatic; the owner of the shared document must send the notification. If you do not receive a notification, you can see what people have shared with you by logging into Google Drive and clicking on Shared with Me.


Editing and saving files in a Team Drive using File Stream

You can do this provided you have full access to the Team Drive.


Using Microsoft Word and PowerPoint without going to the cloud drive

You can open, edit and save files directly in File Stream. Go to the Google Drive File Stream My Drive or Team Drive app on your desktop and open the file with the application of your choice.


Creating a desktop shortcut to the G: drive

Browse to the G: drive via Windows Explorer or Mac File Finder (Start > Computer). Right-click the G: drive and choose “Create shortcut”.


Duration of deleted files in Trash

Each Team Drive has its own Trash. Files and folders in the trash are deleted permanently after 30 days. You can remove/delete files sooner from the trash.


Restoring deleted files

You can restore deleted files provided you have Edit or Full access.


File types that compatible with Google Team Drive

All file types can be added to a Team Drive (Microsoft apps, Google apps, audio, video, etc.) except Google Maps and existing documents with attached Apps Scripts.

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