How do we use Google Drive properly? Folders aren't syncing.
May 2, 2014 7:47 AM   Subscribe

I have a Google Drive question - I thought that once I set up a folder in Google Drive I could move files into it on my desktop and they would show up when I open the folder online in Google Drive. Why aren't they in the drive, even though I save them to it? I can't even find them in the downloaded Google Drive folder. Also, Google Drive is showing as an item on my "Desktop" and also as a folder in my "Documents" (Windows 8). Neither one seems to be syncing with the online version and they are different from one another. In order to save a file so that it shows up in an online Google Drive folder I have to upload it online from inside Google Drive. Any ideas? Am I trying to use it incorrectly? My assumption was that I could open a file in a folder in the Google Drive folder under "Documents" on my desktop, make changes, and the changes would show up when I open the document online.
posted by ridingtheranges to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I don't have an answer but I found the Google Drive computer sync to be really buggy and I could never get it to work properly. I like Google Drive for the Google Docs functionality (especially sharing docs with coworkers) but I use Dropbox for cloud storage.
posted by radioamy at 7:56 AM on May 2, 2014

I would try un-installing the Google Drive application, deleting the directories that Google Drive had created, rebooting the computer, and then re-installing the app.
posted by alex1965 at 8:28 AM on May 2, 2014

What was said above. The Google Drive desktop client seems to be really buggy - it has a habit of losing the folder it's using or no longer recognising it, so reinstallation or re-initialisation of the share folder is a common task. Further, the structure of folders you see on your disk won't be the structure you see in online as GDrive prefers to think in labels, not folders. Next, synchronization takes a strangely variable time. I've dropped stuff in the folder and (2-3 hours later) the online interface still hasn't seen them. Finally, there's some files that just won't synchronise. I think GDrive excludes obvious temporary file types, but I've encountered other, legitimate files that just won't ever sync. It's apparently a common problem.

TL;DR: I've given up on using GDrive for file sync.
posted by outlier at 8:46 AM on May 2, 2014

Yeah, Google Drive is probably the most non-functional Google product I've tried. It kinda worked on XP, but it would do things like inexplicably not upload one folder out of twenty, and so I didn't really trust it. I haven't reinstalled it since changing operating systems. If you need GDrive you could try messing with the compatibility settings.
posted by Standard Orange at 10:40 AM on May 2, 2014

Conversely, I've been using it for a while with no issues, sync seems fine, etc. So it definitely can work.

Since you seem to have multiple(?) entries or something, I would copy any local files somewhere else, uninstall Drive and delete any "Drive" folders, then reinstall, because it does sound like somehow it got into a weird state.
posted by wildcrdj at 11:37 AM on May 2, 2014

Oh, but to answer the other part of your question --- yes, if you put something under the "Google Drive" hierarchy, it should sync to the cloud.

Also if you open the Drive software it should show you where it thinks its Drive folder is, and you can change that (I have mine pointing at a secondary hard disk dedicated to this, rather than in "My Documents", for example)

Haven't used it on Windows 8, only Widows Vista and Windows 7.
posted by wildcrdj at 11:39 AM on May 2, 2014

Also, this may sound obvious, but for my computer it wasn't. Make sure the program is actually running all the time when you add or change files. Mine wasn't running on start up since it is a shared work computer and I had disabled that so sometimes I would forget that I had to enable the program before stuff would sync to online. Otherwise it has worked fine for me. But I still like dropbox better.
posted by photoexplorer at 11:41 AM on May 2, 2014

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