Google Drive for Desktop search (local indexing) does not work for some

Google Drive for Desktop, the unified file sync and cloud storage solution, appears to have lost its local indexing capabilities on Windows and Mac.

Several reports state that after updating the client, their computers stopped indexing files synced between cloud and PC. It was possible with the previous version.

As expected, this generated complaints (1, 2) among those who had no similar issues with the previous backup and sync tool.

With the previous client, users simply used local search (Windows or macOS) to go directly to their files stored in Google Drive. This was possible because the synchronized files were physically on the hard drive.


Now, with the new Google Drive for Desktop, synced files are part of a network drive, but the option to index its contents is not available. As a result, users lost the ability to search for local files.

There is a workaround, but not everyone will like it

For those who hoped this was a bug to fix, there is bad news. Apparently, this is the behavior Google expects for its new Drive for Desktop client.

In one of the reports, a Google product expert said there was no way to index the streaming content. Rather, he offered a workaround.

The workaround is to copy or move the folders in the stream to another location. Then use the sync preferences in the folders on the computer. This complicates a process that was simpler before.


The product expert invites those concerned to send their comments to Google in order to make them aware of the dissatisfaction with this change.

We don’t know if that will change in the future. After all, the software was designed like this, but if more reports can be captured from affected users, maybe Google could do something about it.

What is Google Drive for desktop?

As mentioned earlier, the latest version of Google Drive for Desktop is a unified tool. This means that it integrates the functionality of two previous clients: Backup and Synchronization and Drive File Stream (also called Drive for Desktop).

With this new tool, Google intended to make it easier to use, removing the confusion of having two similar clients to sync files with Drive.

However, as we have seen, a feature that many users considered essential has been lost. It remains to be seen whether the company decides to restore the functionality of the previous customer.

Article by Jean Léon

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