How to use force_sync, How to sync missing folders (Headless)


As we all know Insync Docs are poor.
So I ask specifically how to use force_sync in headless on ubuntu.

My Local Folder is located here: /mnt/library/GDrive/
A sub Folder is located here: /mnt/library/GDrive/ folder(1)/

So I assumed the command would be:
insync-headless force_sync

But this does not work and hence nor does this…

(escapaing spaces and brackets)
So I assume the command is
insync-headless force_sync\ folder(1)/
Again I assume wrong!

Docs are not Sufficient!
The reason I am using this command is I assume it will re-attempt a folder sync on a folder that has not downloaded from GDrive.

Please provide better Docs all round…
but in the meantime please confirm these questions:

  1. how to use “force_sync”?
  2. when should “foce_sync” be used?
  3. why do random folders not download/sync?
  4. how should these missing folders be synced?


Hi Jamie,

Okay…I think I found the issue with this.

It lies in the fact that Force sync does not really force a sync. Rather, it forces a re-scan of your local folder to see if there are files that need syncing. Like I mentioned in one post, it’s a very misleading name and could do a name change anytime soon :slightly_frowning_face:

If there are folders/files that have been changed locally, you could use Force sync to make Insync rescan the folder to make sure that the app picks up the changes.

With the random folders not downloading/syncing, it could be a number of reasons – perhaps the folders were not selected for initial syncing or maybe there are issues with permissions?

With that, could you try checking to see if you could selectively sync the folders via: get_root_drive_files or manage_selective_sync or set_selective_sync?


This does not answer my questions.

Start answering the questions.

Force SYnc does what I expect it to. nothing wrong with this. rescan is what is expected.

But how is it used.



Hi @Jamie_Browning,

Can you please try using the full file path instead? /home/user/

Please let me know how that goes.


Thank you,
why is this not in the documentation.

OK, so doing that I do not get an error in the log db…
but I see no improvement in the syncing folder still missing.


On top of that I am finding files that are not synced.
So I am manually going through eveything to confirm all is synced.
Why do I have to do this?
Is it expected behaviour that if something is missing (locally) and I do a force_sync that the missing file will then sync?


Hi @Jamie_Browning,

Files are on Drive but are not locally present? If so, then manage_selective_sync should do the trick vs. force_sync


This does not work!

It looks like you have a bug, there are folders not syncing and somes files not syncing.
i will try to find more but this does not look good for your product to have random stuff not syncing down.

So right now I have to go through everything to ensure everything is synced.
You need a re-sync mechanism that checks everything???


Hi @Jamie_Browning,

I agree 100% that this isn’t nice. I’ll look more into this with the team.

Just to clarify, is this error happening on Team Drives or My Drives?

P.S. You’re right when you say our Headless documentation is sorely lacking and very poor. I want to do it right by you. Would you mind shooting us an email on I’d love to collaborate and see how we can improve what’s published right now.