The latest version of Google Drive for Windows and Mac OS X allows you to selectively sync folders and subfolders. We show you how to use it, so you can save storage space on your PC.
Selective folder sync menu in Google Drive for Mac
Google Drive has had the ability to selectively sync folders for a decent time now, but it was annoyingly limited since you could only select folders, but not selective subfolders. The latest update to Google Drive for both Windows and Mac OS X now allows you to do just that.
The use case for this option is simple: your Google Drive can have several terabytes of files on it, while chances are your laptop or desktop doesn’t have as much free space lying around. With the new option, you can save precious space by selectively syncing only the folders and subfolders you need locally, while keeping the rest in the cloud.
It’s really simple to use. To enable selective subfolder syncing, click on the three-dot menu in the Google Drive app’s interface, go to Preferences > Sync Options. From here, select the Sync only these folders option, and choose which folders and subfolders you want or do not want to sync locally to your Windows PC or Mac.
How Does Selective Syncing Work?
When you remove some folders and some subfolders from syncing locally, they will be kept as-is on your Google Drive, but changes will obviously not be pushed to your PC. Similarly, any changes you make to these specified folders on your PC will not show up on Google Drive. You must add them again to get syncing working again.
My own Google Drive storage is a meagre 15GB, and I keep it for my active work documents so I don’t mind syncing all folders. This feature is thus nice to have, but I won’t be using it.
As part of this latest version of Google Drive, you will also be informed when you delete a file or folder that you’ve shared with someone else. I know this will be used regularly, since I like to clean up my storage every now and then. There have been plenty of cases where I’ve deleted important shared documents, only to find out several days later that it caused my team-mates much inconvenience.
If you haven’t yet received the update, hold tight. It is being rolled out over the weekend. You ought to have it on your Windows / Mac soon!