'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?
ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.
When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.
ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.
I'm a Google Drive power user. I use the service daily for the majority of my writing needs. During my decade with Drive, I have had one instance where I lost nearly all of my work (thanks to a third-party sync tool that went awry). Since then, I've been diligent about backing up Google Drive. For that, I depend on rclone to backup specific directories in Google Drive to an external drive attached to my System76 Thelio, running Pop!_OS.
That primary backup also picks up specific folders from other machines I have synced to Drive, which is taken care of via the Google Drive Desktop app. What I do not do is sync the entire contents of Google Drive to my desktop. Why? First off, there is no Google Drive Desktop Client for Linux. Second, my MacBook Pro M1 is limited in storage space, so syncing the entire contents of my Google Drive account wouldn't exactly be prudent. On top of this, I prefer to access those files from the web browser when working on my laptop.
Also: Why is Google Photos stealing all my online storage?
However, there are certain folders on my MacBook Pro (such as Documents) that I do want to keep in sync with Google Drive. You too can configure the Google Drive Desktop app to sync specific folders to Drive and I'm going to show you how.
The only things you'll need are a Google Drive account and the Google Drive Desktop app installed on your machine (which can be either Windows or macOS -- I'll be demonstrating with macOS).
Let's get started.
The Google Drive Desktop Client should already be running on your system. You should see an icon in your top bar (Figure 1).
Click that icon and then click the gear icon in the popup window (Figure 2).
You should then see another popup menu (Figure 3).
From that menu, click Preferences.
In the new window (Figure 4), click Add folder.
This will open the Finder picker (Figure 5).
Locate and select the new folder you want to sync with Drive and click Open. You'll be taken back to the Google Drive Desktop Client Preferences window, where you'll see the new folder listed.
Once added, the client will automatically upload the files and sub-directories within the newly-added folder. Depending on how many files (and the size of those files), the initial sync could take some time.
Once those added folders have synced with Google Drive, you might be surprised that they won't be found in the root directory of Drive. Instead, you'll find a listing in the left sidebar called Computers. Expand that entry and you should see the computers you've configured to sync folders to Drive (Figure 6).
Congratulations, you've configured the Google Drive Desktop Client to sync added folders from your desktop or laptop machine to your Drive account.