I notice a "Streaming Decryption" option under Encryption Settings. For me, it was not selected by default. The description under this setting is a little unclear:

Decrypt documents into a stream incrementally.

So my question is what does this mean and what does it do? Does it mean that a given document is only partially decrypted (if there is such a thing) while it is open? Should the average user pay any attention to this setting? I found this HowTo on CNET but it does not explain the setting.

I don't recall whether this was a setting under the former (i.e. pre-Drive) Google Docs app.

  • 2
    It sounds like only the portion visible on-screen is decrypted, possibly to limit damage if the unencrypted data is intercepted or recovered? Apr 26, 2012 at 4:14
  • That sounds reasonable. It seems a side effect of that could be a reduction in the amount of data being transferred.
    – gary
    Apr 26, 2012 at 12:11

2 Answers 2


Goggle Drive gives you some security options regarding your documents:

  • You can choose to encrypt all offline documents (that is, documents stored on your device);
  • And can also choose to decrypt documents incrementally as they are streamed to your phone, by selecting the Streaming Decryption, thus having just a small portion of the document decrypted when accessing it. Kinda like watching a compressed video.

Sadly enough couldn't find any official documentation to support my answer on Google, but here's some relevant links:

Access and Edit Files with Google Drive

Google Drive - View files offline in the Google Drive Android app


What this means is that Google decrypts as it streams so that if a file is cut off from streaming midway through, there is still a secure decrypted part remaining thus limiting the damage to the file if it is intercepted. This Guy works For Google so i think he know whats he saying (GApps)/ Websites used: http://www.quora.com/Google-Drive/What-does-Settings-Streaming-decryption-do-for-the-Google-Drive-Android-app

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