Using Google Drive on Windows (although I think the same question applies to OS/X) I want to exclude certain local folders but keep them on the computer. When I go to Drive preferences and deselect specific folders, it wants to remove them from the local PC and keep them only in the cloud. This doesn't work for me. I feel like I could do this in earlier versions of the Google Drive client but I cannot recall for sure. Is this possible?
Unfortunately, you can't do that with Google Drive. Removing a folder from the list of folders to sync removes it from your local drive.
Google Drive presumably assumes that the "master" version of your files exist in the "cloud". A folder set to not sync exists at drive.google.com, but can't exist on your hard drive. (At least, not in the Google Drive folder.)
You'll need to look for a different solution. Dropbox seems to work more the way you want.
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.