Sync multiple Google Drive accounts

Until recently, I was at a frustrated at the impossibility to sync multiple Google Drive accounts to my computer — no more.

Storing files in the cloud provides a peace of mind, knowing it would take a lot of work to lose data. If your computer crashes and you don’t have your files in the cloud, you stand to lose everything. If you have all or most of your data stored in the cloud, you’ll not lose much. It will still be a bad day, but you can work with a bad day. There are a lot of cloud storage options, so take a look around if you’re trying to decide which is best for you. For sake of brevity, I’ll talk about Google Drive in this post, as that is where all my data is stored. Box, Dropbox and others will have similar sync options, so don’t worry if you’re not on Dropbox.

Google Drive offers a desktop app that makes organizing and uploading files a breeze. One frustrating thing, however, is that I can’t sync multiple Google Drive accounts to my computer. In my case, I have files for work and home I access on the same computer, so this is a problem — well, was a problem.

Simple Steps

Here is how I sync multiple drives to one desktop application.

  • Download the app: If you haven’t already, you need to download the desktop app.
  • Sync primary account: Pick an account to initially sync. I recommend your personal account, just because that’s likely more permanent that your work account. Once you log in, your stuff will start syncing to your desktop. Depending on how much you have stored in Drive, it could take a while. You also may want to choose only certain folders to sync to your computer to save precious hard drive space.
  • Login to secondary account: While your primary account is doing its thing, log into with your secondary account.
  • Create shared folder: Create one folder in that account, and give it a unique name. The mascot at the school I work for is the Sabercat, so I called my folder ‘Saberdrive’.
  • Share the folder: Once you create the folder, right click and go to “Share”. Type in the email address you use for your primary account and make sure “Can edit” is chosen for your permissions.
  • Accept the invite: You should receive an email in your primary account inbox shortly. Simply accept the invitation to collaborate.

Now the shared folder you just created in your secondary account will show up in your primary account. Just be sure that everything you do on the secondary account is saved within that folder. For me, that is the only folder in my secondary account. There are subfolders beneath it, but only one folder at the top level.

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