Dropbox and Google Drive are two great sync products but they always sync everything effectively crowding your hard drive really quickly. And I'm not referring to the default setting of syncing all folders and files. What I would like is for a syncing application such as Google Drive or Dropbox to offer me the option of letting me sync the file whenever I really need to use it. Not because there is a sync checkmark next to the file/folder.

For example:

If the Google Drive folder simply listed the folders and files that I have in My Drive, then I would not want it to sync file X locally to my storage unless I actually wanted to use X. Maybe by double clicking on a word file this would then sync it locally to my computer and open MS Word. This I believe is how the sync apps work on mobile devices because of their limited storage capabilities.

Furthermore, I would like to be able to delete all files in the Google Drive folder without syncing that action to the remote storage. That way I could control my local storage much better.

Is there such a solution out there?


  • This is probably going to get closed as it isn't server or admin related. But the Google Drive Sync app does only sync what you ask. It creates a virtual folder and will make local copies of the data you ask for. You can exclude folders if needed. I only sync part of my stuff down, but don't need all my music on my work computer. Don't know about dropbox, I only use Google. A current link to the google drive app is here google.com/drive/download
    – MikeAWood
    Feb 27, 2015 at 22:29
  • Do you really need the files to be cached for offline use? If not, there are 3rd party, for-pay solutions that allow you to access various cloud drives without needing to sync the content locally. The product I know about Expandrive doesn't do any local caching though. You must be online to access the content.
    – Zoredache
    Feb 28, 2015 at 0:14

1 Answer 1


The closest you will get to what you want is using Microsoft OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive, formerly LiveShare, formerly FolderShare) with WebDAV:

You map your OneDrive account as a network drive. There are some other examples I found online, but this is the best written one with good screenshots.

  • Well, what about syncing a NAS to Google Drive and then map network drives to targeted folders for my workstations? That way I gain speedy local access to my files but have global access using regular drive sync elsewhere. Only drawback with this approach is that I can't see the true Google Drive storage capacity, I only see that of the share. Or can the NAS use webdav to map Google Drive?
    – tbfnd
    Mar 3, 2015 at 19:58
  • Post another question if you want to an answer for NAS <-> Google Drive, or WebDav <-> Google Drive. I don't know about either, so I wouldn't answer those questions.
    – Sun
    Mar 3, 2015 at 21:49

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