5

Is there a way to make non-sync'd files visible in the Google Drive folder so that one can access them using any Windows tool?

3

I know this is an old question and "Google Drive" is now "Backup and Sync from Google", however it still applies. It took me a while to figure out this solution so I could sync my projects without including dependencies or caches.

As I understand it, the issue is that you want to sync a folder, however there are some sub folders or files within the folder you do not want to sync, but would like to keep on your local machine (not Google Drive). Right now, Google Drive only does the opposite (it will allow you to keep a copy on Google Drive, but not on your local machine).

One way around this is to make symbolic links in the folder you want to sync and Google Drive will ignore them (tested on Windows 10 with the mklink command).

For example, let's say this is your file structure...

C:\
-- Google Drive\
---- MainFolder\
------ SubFolderA\
------ SubFolderB\
------ SubFolderC\
------ FileA.ext
------ FileB.ext
------ FileC.ext

Now, let's say that you want MainFolder\SubFolderB\ and MainFolder\FileB.ext on your local machine, but not Google Drive. Make a "MainFolder" somewhere outside of your Google Drive folder (eg: C:\MainFolder\), then move SubFolderB and FileB.ext to the newly created folder.

Your file structure should now look like....

C:\
-- Google Drive\
---- MainFolder\
------ SubFolderA\
------ SubFolderC\
------ FileA.ext
------ FileC.ext
-- MainFolder\
---- SubFolderB\
---- FileB.ext

Next, we'll want to create the symbolic links. For this example, you'd run the Command Prompt in Administrator mode and run the following commands:

mklink /D "C:\Google Drive\MainFolder\SubFolderB" "C:\MainFolder\SubFolderB"
mklink "C:\Google Drive\MainFolder\FileB.ext" "C:\MainFolder\FileB.ext"

Now your file structure will be:

C:\
-- Google Drive\
---- MainFolder\
------ SubFolderA\
------ SubFolderB\ (symbolic link to C:\MainFolder\SubFolderB\)
------ SubFolderC\
------ FileA.ext
------ FileB.ext (symbolic link to C:\MainFolder\FileB.ext)
------ FileC.ext
-- MainFolder\
---- SubFolderB\
---- FileB.ext

And that's it! The folders/files you symbolic linked will still be on your local machine, however it will not be stored/sync'd to your remote Google Drive.

EDIT

Posted the actual answer here instead of linking it.

| improve this answer | |
  • I'm torn on this. We normally discourage users from linking to other answers and prefer to close the questions as duplicates of one another, but all of these questions are slightly different. – jonsca Dec 10 '17 at 20:36
  • Looking over the one that has the actual answer, I think that it doesn't actually answer the question there, but it does on these other two. I'd copy the body of that answer into both of these questions and then delete the one at webapps.stackexchange.com/questions/59260/…. – jonsca Dec 10 '17 at 20:43
  • Thanks for your input. I went ahead and made those adjustments. – AcidicChip Dec 12 '17 at 15:40
  • does this woek for macOS? – gota Jan 26 '19 at 18:56
2

It does not appear to be possible. Google Drive's focus is in the cloud, so if you tell it not to sync a directory, it will remove that directory from your local storage, but will keep the file(s) in the cloud.

There is no setting to change that behavior. You'll need to store the files elsewhere.

If you're trying to have quick access to related files, you might create a file shortcut that you keep in the Google Drive folder. It'll sync to the cloud but it's very small and won't work there (or on any other computer you sync to). Just have the shortcut point to a separate directory elsewhere on your hard drive. Then you can get to the file(s) quickly without having to store them in Drive.

| improve this answer | |
  • 2
    I have a large number of files stored Google Drive (far too much to fit on my C: drive). I wish to be able to access these files just as if Google Drive was just another "hard drive" (as the name Google Drive implies). But I can't. In OneDrive, you can see all your files in the online storage, and the ones who has been tagged for sync has that little green sync icon on top of the folder icon. That way, one has full control of what's going on, and all online files are accessible through explorer. It couldn't be more simpler than that. What part did the Google dev team fail to understand? – Viking Jun 21 '15 at 20:21
  • @Viking "What part did the web app <x> dev team fail to understand?" sounds like an Area 51 proposal, don't you think? – Rubén Jul 13 '15 at 4:40

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