Google offers users a whopping 15 GB of free storage space, which is why you may want to sync multiple Google Drive accounts to increase your free space. Google only allows one account to sync with your desktop device – but there are ways around this. You can easily sync work and personal accounts, merge old and new accounts, or just sync free accounts for extra free storage.
Be aware that Google will begin deleting inactive accounts in December 2023. Accounts inactive for more than two years may be deleted, including all content stored in them. Syncing is a quick way to prevent you from losing your data.
Tip: if you have a dormant account, you can prepare a Google Takeout backup to create a local copy of your data.
Use the Share Feature to Sync Two Google Drive Accounts
Sync Google Drive accounts using its native share solution. The “Share” feature grants permission to another account to access a folder on your main account.
Log in to your secondary Google Drive account in your browser. The main account is the Google account tied to your desktop app.
Create a folder inside your account, and give it a unique name. This unique name will help you identify it in any other account you intend to sync from. Using your email ID is an excellent way to name this folder.
Select all the files you want to sync from this Drive account, and move them into this new folder. If you want to keep things better organized, feel free to create sub-folders in the new folder. Either cut and paste or drag and drop files into the folder to move them.
Open the new folder to confirm that all your items have been successfully moved without error. Click on Drive to go back to your dashboard. Right-click on your folder, and select Share.
Enter the email address of your main Google Drive account. Make sure you grant it permission to read, write and organize this folder, then click Send. You can add more than one account if you would like.
Google sends an email invite to the email address of the shared folder. Either click the file in the invitation to Google Drive, or sign in to your main account on another browser or by using an incognito/private tab.
Open the Shared with me folder. You should see all the files you shared from your other Google Drive account.
Sync multiple Google Drive accounts by repeating this process with all the accounts you want to sync.
Sync Multiple Google Drive Accounts Using Google Drive Desktop App
If you want to view synced files in the Google Drive desktop app, you have to do a few more steps. Start by opening your desktop’s Google Drive account in your browser. Right-click the shared folder, and select Organize -> Add shortcut.
Select My Drive, and press Add. This creates a shortcut to quickly access the shared file from the Google Drive desktop app. You’ll also see the shortcut in your list of files in the My Drive dashboard in your browser.
If you want offline access, create a synced folder on your desktop. To do this, create a folder on your desktop. I’d suggest using the same name as the shared folder from Google Drive. Click the Google Drive icon in your notification tray, select Settings -> Preferences, then select Add folder to choose the folder you just created.
Go back to Google Drive in your browser. Right-click the shared folder, and select Organize -> Add shortcut. Select the synced folder from your desktop. Click Add. The files will be synced to your desktop for offline access as well.
If you don’t already see Google Drive in File Explorer in Windows, learn how to add it.
Transfer Files Between Google Drives via Download
If you just want to share a few files or folders and don’t need them to stay synced, use the download option instead. This is ideal if you’re moving to a new account or want to have a particular file/folder, but don’t want to sync any changes between accounts.
Open the first Google Drive account with the file/folder you want to download to another account. Right-click the file/folder, and select Download. This downloads directly to your computer. Note that you can do this with shared files/folders as well.
If the download is a zip file, unzip it before proceeding.
Either log out of this Google Drive account and log in to your other account, or open a new browser or incognito window to log in to your other account. Click the New button just under the Drive icon. Select File upload or Folder upload, then select the file/folder you just downloaded.
The file will appear in My Drive. Any changes you make to it won’t affect the original file/folder from the other account.
Third-Party Apps to Sync Multiple Google Drive Accounts
The above methods work fairly well, but they’re not always perfect. Third-party syncing apps let you view multiple cloud storage services in one place, including multiple Google Drive accounts. Then, share files back and forth as much as you want.
While some are free to use, they only allow a set amount of data transfers per month. Otherwise, you’ll have to upgrade to a premium plan.
A few great apps to try include:
If you use multiple cloud storage providers, consider these cloud storage managers to see all your files in one place, including Google Drive files.
Syncing multiple Google Drive accounts is a great way to collaborate with different projects on one desktop. If you want to clean out your accounts before sharing anything, learn how to quickly delete files from Google Drive on mobile and PC. Also, increase your productivity by learning these Google Drive keyboard shortcuts.
Image credit: Pexels. All screenshots by Crystal Crowder.
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