How can I use my existing Google Drive sync folder with Insync?


I have been using the official Google Drive client and recently came across Insync. I downloaded and installed Insync and I was unable to use my existing Google Drive folder as the destination in the Insync wizard. I tried to fool Insync by first renaming my existing Google Drive folder, defining a destination for my GD folder in the Insync wizard, then shutting down Insync and renaming my old Google Drive folder to the name of the folder defined through the Insync wizard. This causes the Insync client to do apparently nothing.

How can I reuse my already downloaded Google Drive folder with Insync?


@neilperry currently you can’t as that feature, called file compare, will come out in version 1.4. However, I believe there might be a hack.

I’ve let @dipesh, our Windows engineer know :smile:


Alright good to hear that the feature is coming but is a bummer that it cannot be done now. I am not sure how people with existing Google Drive folders and large data syncs are evaluating this product fully since if you have a large amount of data it can be a real pain to redownload it all just for the sake of a product trial.


You’re absolutely right and we have neglected that feature long enough. I can’t share an ETA but it’s being worked on :slight_smile:


Am i to understand that I can not drop Insync into an existing environment where I have been using SyncDocs to sync a local file share to a Google Drive?

Local is Z:\MainOffice > to Google Drive as Folder MainOffice. My users access this when out of the office, as well as being the Primary backup of the local files.

Suggestions welcome.



@neilperry: There is no hack/workaround to avoid re-sync in that scenario. Currently, the workaround for not having to resync from scratch is only applicable in the scenario where you are presently using Insync say on machine A and want to migrate to machine B.If you carefully copy over the Insync databases (%appdata%\Insync\dbs) and Insync folders (under the exact same path as that on machine A), then syncing on machine B will start from where it was on machine A

@Ed_Valentine Yes, presently, you cannot do that. You will have to assign a new empty folder to Insync and let it download everything from scratch to this new location



I just wanted to add that for Linux installations the databases are stored in: ~/.config/Insync/dbs



Kindof sorta related…

I just downloaded insync, subscribed to pro, and am syncing two Google Drive Accounts presently (call them Home & Work.) Before installing insync, I already had Google Drive syncing my Home Account to my computer.


  1. Is it cleaner to completely stop using the Google Drive Sync client in favor of insync?
  2. If yes - Once I’m completely synced to insync - can I just delete the Google Drive Folder and the Google Drive App? (I’d like to eliminate any kind of duplication risks.)
  3. Any other tips / suggestions in this arena come to mind?




  1. Yes
  2. Yes
  3. Don’t try to copy/paste existing Google Drive files while Insync is initially syncing. We are still working on our file compare tech that will take care of this.

Thanks for your support :wink:



Many thanks! Also related to this and another thread:

During this initial sync process, if I want to add brand new files, would it be more advantageous to add them to the insync folder on my PC that is still syncing, or directly to Google Drive via the web? (I’ve stopped using Google Drive Sync on my PC - per the earlier recommendation.)

Is there a directional preference for syncing? (For example: Are items added to an insync folder on PC a higher sync priority than items being synced from Google Drive? or vice versa, or some other set of prioritization?.)

Mahalo :smile:


What happens if you start syncing a Google Drive directory to a empty Insync directory, just one folder, and immediately pause the sync. Then you copy the real local folder that you already have into the Insync folder and resume sync.

I have done this and progress is not looking good, it keep saying that between 20000-25000 files are left to sync (there is a total of approx 30000).


Still no ETA on this? We have to hit 1.3 then wait for 1.4 for sync compare? Cloud sync services like MultCloud seem to have some options for reconciliation of existing files, if not a true compare. I guess the Google Drive API doesn’t offer a ton of support for returning MD5’s or something? It seems like every new user would run into this problem (I’m an old user, but going moved a large dataset to Google Drive via MultCloud, from another cloud, and since I already have it on my local disk, I don’t want to redownload it).




Same here! I want to switch to Insync, but I have well over 100k files (around 400 GB) synced locally and I don’t want to re-download them all. Is this going to be short-term at all? (I’m on OSX, by the way)


It’s been two months since this thread was posted, is there an ETA for 1.4? This software is not useful to me until I can point it to an existing folder.

Many thanks.


This feature is live in 1.3.3 now right?


@Bryan_Conn: Yes, it is included in Insync 1.3.


This still doesn’t seem to apply…perhaps I’m doing something wrong?

I have a shared mounted drive that I access from two Linux OS’s; it’s already synced on the one. I copied the config files above, just in case, and installed InSync; and it said it detected the folder and wouldn’t copy/delete anything, but it’s still syncing 8000 files…


Hi @meatnordrink,

It might be that Insync is just scanning the files for file-matching. It’s not necessarily syncing the files, but simply scanning it for file matching.

We’ll take note of this little copy snag and let our team know. It does get confusing when it says “Syncing xxxxx files” when it’s only supposed to be matching.


Thank you! That could be it, it didn’t seem to be using too much bandwidth.