Sync Google Drive from a Flash Drive

Syncdocs Portable – How to Sync to Google Drive from a USB Flash Drive

Often it is great to take your data around with you. You might not want to download your Google Drive to each PC you work on.
Or you might want to access your Google Docs or Google Drive files offline.

Syncdocs runs fine from a USB flash drive (memory stick). All your settings, data and files live on the flash drive. This means that you can carry your complete Google Drive around with you and sync it from any PC you want.

Here’s how to get it going

  1. Download latest the portable version here
  2. Run SyncdocsPortableInstaller.exe , and select the extract location to your USB memory stick.
  3. Run it SyncdocsPortable.cmd (this tells Syncdocs to run in portable mode)
  4. If it’s the first time you’ve run – you’ll see the normal setup screen asking you for your password
  5. Enjoy syncing – files and settings data is stored on the memory stick

Unplug – take your files and settings with you

  1. Plug in to another machine, just run SyncdocsPortable.cmd or Syncdocs.exe.
  2. For portable use, it is better to use OAuth (give Syncdocs permission to access your Google Drive account)
    However you can still use a password in Syncdocs. Syncdocs may ask you to enter a password, as this is not stored on the USB stick.
  3. Enjoy syncing off the USB stick.

More details

The portable version of Syncdocs stores all your files in its own folder (“My Google Documents”) on the USB stick. This is so that it can be plugged into multiple PCs with different drive letters. If you wish to set the data folder location, then run the non-portable Syncdocs.

The portable 64bit version of Syncdocs is a separate download.

Security notes

We recommend using OAuth with Syncdocs rather than entering a password. This is safer as Syncdocs never sees your password – rather you tell Google to give Syncdocs access to your files. However, we don’t force this option.

Syncdocs does not store your Google Docs password on the memory stick. It stores it in the secure Windows password vault on the PC. To tell Syncdocs to wipe your password from the PC when you’re done, run this version: PortableWipeVault.cmd

Note that the extra security means extra hassle – you’ll have to re-enter your password each time.

Updated version notes

The new version 1.23 (25 October 2011) requires the -portable in its command line. Previously whether the version was portable or not was stored on the PC, but in order to save no settings on the PC, we removed this.

Running ‘SyncdocsPortable.cmd” will set this up automatically.

15 Responses to Sync Google Drive from a Flash Drive

  • Diego Garcia says:

    First of all, I want to thank you for these wonderful utility.

    After that, I would like to ask you for the update on the portable version. The program is continuously asking for it, but I think the update is only available for the normal version.

  • Diego Garcia says:

    Finally I figure out how to solve the portable update issue.

    First, I install the normal version from the command prompt with msiexec /a syncdocs.msi

    Then I choose the directory where I had installed my portable version and re run SyncdocsPortable.cmd once.

    That’s all. Hope it could help anyone.

  • Eugene says:

    Dear Sirs!
    I use the suncdocs on my PC’s and it works pretty good! But I also would like to use it on my iPhone via ios app. Will you provide such app for ios (iPhone) and when?
    Thank you.

  • Doug Anderson says:

    I just started using sync docs. I want to be able to use the portable version.

    Can you just use the portable version as needed? I mean if I use the portable version during a trip can I then go back to using my desk top version?

    • admin says:

      Yes, you can mix and match the portable and non-portable versions. Just be sure to sync the same folders if you are running on the same computer.

  • Alex says:

    I have a security related question. Assume someone had stolen my flash drive and my Google drive password. If I delete data online it should be deleted on the flash drive as well next time it is logged in, right? Would this stop someone from accessing my files on the flash drive? Is the data on the flash drive encrypted somehow?

    • admin says:

      If someone has stolen your flash drive and runs Syncdocs from it, then it will sync your deletions.

      If you have used Syncdocs to encrypt the files online and have left the default settings to also encrypt local files, then the files are also encrypted on the flash drive by Syncdocs.

  • Mathew Young says:

    My SyncDocs keeps shutting down in mid syncing I check error log and this is all I have

    0/09/2015 8:41:30 AM(ver. 5.991) ReadCred Get password for FS Encryption
    ReadCred failed with the error code 1168. System.Exception : sd criticality=1
    Source: Syncdocs : sd criticality=1
    10/09/2015 8:42:01 AM(ver. 5.991) (re)started standard1 Syndocs at 10/09/2015 8:42:01 AM
    10/09/2015 8:42:02 AM(ver. 5.991) First run. No data_FL3.db file present yet, ignoring.
    10/09/2015 8:42:02 AM(ver. 5.991) Doing full sync, could not load FL3 change stamp
    10/09/2015 8:42:02 AM(ver. 5.991) Doing full sync, FL3 change stamp <= 0
    10/09/2015 8:42:12 AM(ver. 5.991) First run. No data_FL3.db file present yet, ignoring.
    10/09/2015 8:45:48 AM(ver. 5.991) Download error on file F:\My Google Docs\Google Drive Portable Self Extracting.exe, will retry later.
    The process cannot access the file 'F:\My Google Docs\Google Drive Portable Self Extracting.exe.sdtmp' because it is being used by another process. System.IO.IOException : sd criticality=3
    Source: mscorlib : sd criticality=3

    Can anyone help please.

    • admin says:

      The process cannot access the file …Syncdocs.exe because it is being used by another process

      The Syncdocs executable file (.exe) is being skipped because it is busy running, and the operating system will not let you read it. You do not need to sync the program file.

      It is not a critical error, Syncdocs will continue on to the next file.

  • jason says:

    To elaborate a bite more, I am less concern about someone accessing my google drive account but more concern about someone accessing the data on the flash drive.

    Is there a way syncdrive can be tailored to require a password before access to the flashdrive is allowed without encrypting the folders?

  • admin says:


    If you format the flash drive as NTFS (not FAT), then Syncdocs will encrypt the contents of the folders, if these folders are encrypted on Google Drive.

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