Dropbox + Google Drive sync

I’ve just got a Google Drive invite, but I’m kind of attached to using Dropbox. But … I have subscription to Google Storage (a whooping 200GB as I store a lot of photo’s in Picasa). So not wanting to waste the new extra space on Google Drive and have a neat extra backup option I thought maybe I could get both services to sync against the same folder on my laptop… No it’s not as easy as going into the preferences of each app and choosing a folder to sync (although I’m sure you were able to do this in Dropbox previously!). Each app forces you to create a special named folder: ‘Dropbox’ for Dropbox and ‘Google Drive’ for Google Drive unsurprisingly. Now my first thought was to create a new folder called Cloud and then symlink each named folders to the new Cloud folder. Again no Google Drive must add some special attributes to the folder it creates which it checks for when it starts up. So eventually I did this:

  • Shutdown Google Drive and Dropbox
  • Open the Terminal
I’ve assumed that my Dropbox and Google Drive folders are saved in my user home directory (I think that’s the default for them anyway!)
cd ~ mv Google Drive Cloud
ln -s Cloud   Google Drive
cp -r Dropbox/* Cloud
mv Dropbox Dropbox.backup
ln -s Cloud Dropbox

And then finally restarted Dropbox and Google Drive and then waited for everything to happily sync! You’ll have a backup Drobox.backup folder which you can delete once you’re happy everything is syncing. Also you’ll should make sure that the contents of your Dropbox aren’t bigger than the capacity of your Google Drive (5GB by default) and vice versa.


NOTE: As mentioned in a comment below (and I probably should have mentioned above), you should only do this on one machine otherwise you might get into an infinite sync cycle! I generally just run this on my little old mac mini as home, which runs 24×7 so all my other installations of dropbox and google stay in sync where-ever i am!

3 thoughts on “Dropbox + Google Drive sync”

  1. Did this, and it works perfectly 🙂 thanks for the tip.

    One thing though, don’t do this on more than one computer.
    Google Drive started spamming me with “unsyncable files” and removed alot of my files that it shouldn’t have 🙂
    Guess it gets confused when both Dropbox and GD gets a change, and then both of them sends the changes to all of your computers at the same time which causes conflicts.
    Just a tip!

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