Run Drive File Stream as a Windows Service with AlwaysUp

How to Run Google Drive File Stream as a Windows Service with AlwaysUp

Automatically map your Google Drive when your PC boots and make sure it is available 24/7. No need to log on to copy your important files to/from your Google Drive!

Drive File Stream makes it very easy to access your Google Drive from your PC. Simply go to the "G:" drive in the Windows File Explorer to see all your files in the cloud!

Note: Drive File Stream's name is changing to Google Drive for desktop.

Please follow our guide to installing Google Drive for desktop as a service if you have already transitioned to that new product.

To setup Google Drive File Stream as a Windows Service:

  1. If necessary, download and install Drive File Stream on your Windows PC. (Note that Drive File Stream is not currently supported on Windows Server editions...)

    Make sure to enter your username and password for Google and confirm that you can use the G drive in Explorer.

  2. Download and install AlwaysUp, if necessary.

  3. Start AlwaysUp.

  4. Select Application > Add to open the Add Application window:

    Add Application

  5. On the General tab:

    • In the Application field, enter the full path to the Drive File Stream executable, GoogleDriveFS.exe. You will find it in a folder named like this:

      C:\Program Files\Google\Drive File Stream\<VERSION-NUMBER>\
      where <VERSION-NUMBER> is the version of Drive File Stream you have installed.

      Since we're running version on our Windows 10 machine, our full path is:

      C:\Program Files\Google\Drive File Stream\\GoogleDriveFS.exe

    • In the Name field, enter the name that you will call this application in AlwaysUp. We have stuck with the default of GoogleDriveFS but you can enter something else if you like.

    Drive File Stream Windows Service: General Tab

  6. Click over to the Logon tab, check the box at the top and enter the username and password of the Windows account (not your Google Drive account!) where you installed Drive File Stream. Be sure to do this as Drive File Stream will not work properly as a service if it runs in the Local System account.

    Drive File Stream Windows Service: Logon Tab

  7. Switch to the Startup tab and check the Ensure that the Windows Networking components have started box. This tells AlwaysUp that Drive File Stream needs the TCP/IP stack to operate.

    We also recommend checking both the Stop all copies of the application running on this computer and Also whenever the application is restarted boxes, to ensure that only a single copy of Drive File Stream is active at any time.

    Drive File Stream Windows Service: Startup Tab

  8. We are done configuring Drive File Stream so click the Save >> button to record our settings. In a couple of seconds, a new entry for GoogleDriveFS (or whatever you called it) will show up in the AlwaysUp window.

    Notice that the state will be "Stopped" because the service is not yet running:

    Drive File Stream Windows Service: Created

  9. We're all set to start Drive File Stream as a service. But before we do, let's take care of one final "housekeeping" task.

    When you installed Drive File Stream, it configured itself to start whenever you log in to your PC. However that capability will no longer be necessary. As a windows service, Drive File Stream will be launched when your PC boots — before you log in.

    To disable Drive File Stream's "startup at log in":

    1. Start the Windows Task Manager. (Right-click the Windows taskbar and select it from the menu.)

    2. If necessary, click More details to reveal the advanced view:

      Task Manager: Click More details

    3. Switch to the Startup tab. You should see Drive File Stream listed there, with a status of "Enabled":

      Drive File Stream: Startup Enabled

    4. Highlight the Google Drive File Stream entry and click the Disable button on the lower right to toggle the entry to "Disabled":

      Drive File Stream: Startup Disabled

    5. Close the Task Manager.

    6. And finally, if Drive File Stream is running on your desktop, close it now. Right-click on its tray icon (Drive File Stream tray icon), click the "triple-dots" in the upper right and select Quit from the menu:

      Quit Drive File Stream

  10. Now back to AlwaysUp. To start Drive File Stream as a service, choose Application > Start "GoogleDriveFS". The entry's state should change to "Running" after a few seconds.

    Drive File Stream Windows Service: Started

    Note that on Windows 10/8/7/Vista and Server 2016/2012/2008, Drive File Stream will be running in the background on the isolated Session 0. Its tray icon will not be visible on your desktop. You will still be able to use the G drive in the File Explorer though.

    If you wish to see the Drive File Stream tray icon — maybe to change some settings or check that it is working OK — select Application > Restart "GoogleDriveFS" in this session:

    Restart Drive File Stream in this Session

    In a few seconds, the Drive File Stream icon will appear in the task tray area allowing you to interact with the software as normal.

  11. That's it! Next time your computer boots, Drive File Stream will start immediately, before anyone logs on. We encourage you to edit the service in AlwaysUp and check out the many other settings that may be appropriate for your environment. For example, send an email if the program fails, boost priority, configure a weekly report, and much more.

Google Drive File Stream not working properly as a Windows Service?

  • Visit the AlwaysUp Troubleshooter - our online tool that can help you resolve the most common problems encountered when running an application as a windows service.
  • From AlwaysUp, select Application > Report Activity > Today... to bring up a HTML report detailing the interaction between AlwaysUp and Drive File Stream. The AlwaysUp Event Log Messages page explains the more obscure messages.
  • Review the AlwaysUp FAQ for answers to commonly asked questions and troubleshooting tips.
  • Contact us and we will be happy to help!

Download & Try it Free!

Download AlwaysUp and Run as a Service Today! Version 15.1 New!

7.9 MB Installer
Our 12,000+ customers include...
Compatible with Windows 11 Compatible with Windows Server 2022 Compatible with Windows 10
Over 94,000 installations, and counting!
AlwaysUp is number 1! Run as a Service with AlwaysUp

Rock-solid for the past 19+ years!