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?
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.
Posted the actual answer here instead of linking it.
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.