Sync Multiple Google Drive Accounts to Desktop

If you have multiple Google Drive accounts, you may have despaired of syncing all of them to your home computer using the nifty Drive app.  There are several third-party solutions available, and you can even trick the app with multiple computer user accounts, but instead of adding multiple users to your computer and using separate installs of Google Drive, here’s an option for “sharing” and syncing based on a “hidden” feature of Drive.

 

If you hold CTRL when dragging a file/folder, instead of moving it, the item will be “copied” — but not copied like in a physical file system, but instead like Gmail (or original Documents) labels, where it’s more like a reference to the original.  You can confirm this by looking at the URL — it’ll be the same between folders.
* Note – I’m not quite certain, but I think the order of where you drag things matters, relating to deletions…

Regarding syncing across accounts:

  1. share something between your accounts (from 2ndary to primary)
  2. log in to your primary account (the one being synced)
  3. go to “Shared with Me”
  4. CTRL+drag the desired item into the appropriate folder
  5. as this shared item is now “part” of your Drive docs, it will get synced to your desktop along with everything else.

Note – if you do not CTRL+drag, it will actually remove it from the shared folder entirely (meaning the other shared accounts won’t be able to see it) — it will actually warn you about this and give you the option to undo it, so pay attention.

2 thoughts on “Sync Multiple Google Drive Accounts to Desktop

  1. The owner will still be the same person, the one from the main account. If you decide to delete this document, it will be deleted in any account, even Google Apps one (assuming the Google Apps account administrator did not prevent sharing with outsiders first-hand).

    Really, the only way I found is to use InSync. but InSync has a major issue too: you cannot turn off the autoconvert feature. Your Google Docs/Sheets/Slides… WILL be converted to Office equivalents (client-side, not server-side, fortunately). Reading won’t be a faithful rendition anymore – let alone wirting.

    If Google Drive allowed multiple accounts OR InSync allowed turning of the autoconversion feature, now it would be good.

    • Good points – I had mentioned that moving them affects all accounts, so it would make sense that deleting it follows the same pattern.

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