A File in multiple Google Drive folders--which folder does insync sync the file to?


I often put a file into multiple Google Drive folders using the web Drive interface. When I do, Insync will sync the file to one folder on my PC–and not all folders (a feature for me).

How is it decided which folder to sync this file to in my PC?

The behavior I have noticed is I first create the file in one folder. Edit it. Then go to web Drive and add the file to a second folder. Sometime insync will move the file to second folder. Sometimes not.

Is there a deterministic way to force the file to a specific folder on my PC, but keep it in multiple folders on Google Drive?


@cswilly Is it added to a specific folder? If yes, Insync should sync it to the folder where you it in your Google Drive. If it is only on the root folder, it will also sync to a root folder.

Can you send us an email and tell us more about this and please include your logs.db and out.txt file to support@insynchq.com


I am encountering this as well, although I would much rather that it properly sync to multiple directories with a hard link locally (aka, reproduce how it works on Google Drive).

I have tested by creating a directory structure:


And then creating a document or adding a file to One, then selecting it in Google Drive, hitting Shift-Z, and adding it to DupTest/Two. It appears in both directories on Google Drive, but in only one directory on the local sync.

Then, I added a file to DupTest/One locally and hardlinked it to DupTest/Two. Even though it is now the same file locally, in two different directories, it is now two different files on Google Drive rather than merely in the two different folders.


Agreed that this is the expected behavior Insync should have.


Thank you for the reply! So you are saying that you are not planning on supporting this standard feature of Google Drive and also are not planning to support this feature of the local filesystem?

You may wish to make that clear somewhere, as that can cause profound problems, especially if you’re syncing to a new machine (or or more than one local machine). I’ve been searching for canonical information about this behavior for awhile. It does break the concept that Insync provides a sync between Google Drive and the local filesystem, even though it is supported on both ends.


Any ETA for this? Insync is not that useful for my use case without this standard Google Drive feature. Insync is advertised on the web front page as doing more than Google Drive. However, it hasn’t yet reached functional parity… Thanks.


Tagging @marte. Your comment on this feature request.

Thank you.


We’re considering this for the next major release. Thank you all for the comments.



Please add the support for files in multiple folders. You could implement this via hard or soft links on most file systems. On older filesystems with no support for file links you could add an option for multiple download. It is pretty important to have support for this in insync!


@mechaD +1 you on this :smile:


The native Google Drive sync for Windows and Mac supports the Shift + Z Google Drive shortcut on the web. Would love to see support for this in Insync.


Please add hardlink support for local files in several folders on gdrive. I use that feature heavily on gdrive. At least on Linux (which is what I use), this is easy to implement for files. If you experience issues on other platforms, please implement this on Linux only.

Gdrive allows to have the same folder in two different folders. This is not easily possible to do in Linux. It is fine for me if you only support hard links of files, but not hard links of directories


I often use shift-Z in Google Drive to place a file in multiple folders. Lack of InSync support is a real problem. What does the native Google Drive sync client do to these?


I just installed insynchq on a new Asus with Windows 10. An error message keeps coming up: “Your account [email] is paused because Google Drive is running and using the same folder (C:\ ….\Google Drive).”

If Google Drive is already syncing files from the folder, can insynchq still be used in the same folder to sync certain files to another online storage location?


I was just about to submit a bug report on this issue, when the clever pop-up pointed me to this topic. Yes I would like to revive it, as I think the issue is quite unresolved. As the collaborations that use GDrive as the main repository become bigger and more complex, the need to properly support syncing files-in-multiple-locations becomes more and more indispensable.

Example: In a synced root folder on GDrive, I have created a share for a collaboration project, and a colleague has moved it to his own ‘projects’ folder for his convenience. This folder is within the scope of synchronisation. Insync has now somehow chosen to only sync the folder only in my colleague’s projects folder, and not place it in the root folder where I created it.

As I see it, there are several ways in which Insync could do this

  • Support symbolic links on the local file system.
  • Ask me where to place a file locally, if this file occurs in more than one location on GDrive
  • Support a ‘sync-to-alternate-location’ operation

I have not looked at the way the Google Drive app supports this feature; if they do it properly it would also be possible to take a cue from them.

Kind regards,


Hi Marc,

Just tried this on my end with the following use case:

  1. I placed File 1 in two locations, Folder A and Folder B

  2. In my Insync folder, File 1 just synced to Folder A and not Folder B

  3. Using selective sync I unsynced File 1 from Folder A

  4. It then synced to Folder B. So it’s not in B initially, but when I unsynced the file from A, it appeared on B

Hope this helped! Thanks for your input as well! :slight_smile:


@jaduenas thanks for the workaround. A bit of a kludge, but solves my main problem, i.e. I need a file synced to a specific folder.



Allright, I can confirm that this can act as 'the ‘sync to alternate location’ operation that I was looking for. I knew selective sync, but I never would have guessed that it would help me here. Still, customer happy!

Regards -


Unfortunately, jaduenas answer from Jan 23 does not solve this issue for my company’s usage of Google Drive. We often place files and folders in Google Drive in multiple directories, which makes it very difficult to use Insync in a practical way (for other than backup), as we might need to look through 5-10 folders before finding the one where the file/folder we’re looking for is located.

It would strictly be an un-maintainable job for every employee to configure the selective sync for all such files and folders, which also might be changed by other employees without notification (existing files may be added to additional new folders at any time).

Other than this final issue, Insync is working beautifully, - but before this is handled by e.g. native OS symlinks, I can’t recommend it for our usage. If such a feature is added though, I will make sure to recommend that this is used company-wide, and also to other partners, family and friends.

Do you have any plans on implementing a solution for this?


I completely agree with larsmagne. For some the workaround may work, but for an organization there is no way we can implement something like that. Insync, this is a basic feature of Google Drive. When will we be able to have this feature? I also cannot use Insync as I’ve wanted to because of this major issue. Please take time to fix this. Thank you!

A File in multiple Google Drive folders