How to Reliably Sync to Google Photos

g_photosGoogle’s new Photos service allows you to store and share photos. It has just been spun out of the Google+ social network, and relies on Google Drive for storage.

How to enable Google Photos

This is a two step process. Firstly, in Google Drive, click on Google Photos in the left hand panel:

enable_google_photos1

Secondly, Click on “OK” when asked to create the the Google Photos folder.

create_google_photos_folder2

That’s it! It might take a while for Google to sync your existing Google Plus photos to Google Drive/Photos.

Any photos you upload to your local Google Photos folder will automatically be copied up onto Google’s photo’s service. All your Google Photos online can be synced back to your hard drive as a safe backup.

You can create folders in your Google Photo’s folder and these will be turned into Albums by Google Photos online.

Syncdocs can sync external drives, so you can mount your DSLR SD or CF memory card and have the images uploaded to Google Photos.

Syncdocs can reliably upload your photo collection. It is more reliable than using a web browser to upload as it supports resume, and works faster with bigger photos and video files.

Note that photos bigger than 16 MPixels and large video files count towards your drive quota, which is 15GB for free users. To check the contribution of Google Drive/GMail/Google Photos to your space usage, click on the quota usage menu in Syncdocs.

 

 

Sync Google Photos to your PC with Syncdocs

We’ve just released a minor update of Syncdocs. This version has the following fixes:
1. Compatiblity with the new Google Photos service
2. Fixes for missing .NET library resulting in “Google would not refresh auth token, retrying…” error.
3. Better handling of re-authentication, domain group permissions and scenarios where expired or revoked access tokens were re-enabled.
4. Better logging to catch Google Server “Backend” errors.
We are still on track to release the next major version of Syncdocs (version 6) with many improvements next month.

How to Update

The upgrade is free and will happen automatically. The old Syncdocs version should ask if you want to update automatically in the next few days.

To update now, right click on the Syncdocs taskbar icon, go to Preferences -> Advanced -> “Check for Updates”. (Note that the update might not be immediately available if the server load if high.)

You can also download the new version and install it over the old one.
http://www.syncdocs.com/download-syncdocs

The 64 bit and portable (USB memory stick) versions are also updated to 5.987.

Syncdocs update and .NET library

The new Syncdocs requires some Microsoft Operating System patches from 2011. If you have not kept your OS up-to-date, or are running under Wine in Linux, you might need these patches.

.NET 4.0 required

The new Syncdocs version 5.98 uses Google features that require Microsoft .NET 4.0

For users of Windows XP this should be installed if Windows XP was allowed to automatically update. If not, it can be installed from Microsoft.

2011 update required

If you are running an old or non-updated version of Windows, Microsoft patch KB2468871 is also required.

Syncdocs should auto-install it if missing. You will see the following message if it is missing.

net_upgrade_permissions

Syncdocs will pop-up the web page to download it.

ms_download_center

Double click on the file on the bottom left to run it.

net_upgrade_wiz

Wait a few minutes while the upgrade installs.

When it is done – re-run Syncdocs, by double clicking on the icon.

re-run-syncdocs

Google Password to Permissions Change.

Google is tightening the account security used for drive. After April 2015, passwords will no longer be an option for Google Drive Syncdocs users, as discussed here. Google based permissions will be required.

 

The most recent Syncdocs update walks you through the process. If you are still using a password, after the update you will see the following popup:

Google Drive passwords to permissions change

Clicking OK will take you to the Google permissions web page. (you may need to login or select an account first)

ask_for_permissions

You will need to click “Accept” to give Syncdocs access to your Google Drive files. Here’s a detailed discussion of the access Syncdocs needs and what it needs it for.

That’s it. Syncdocs will now go back to work as usual.

Note for Windows Server users

If you running Syncdocs on a Windows Server, the “Requests for Permissions” web page may be blank.

On a Windows Server IE may be locked down by default. You will need to add *.google.com and *.gstatic.com to the trusted sites and lowering the trusted sites security level to low to show the permissions page.

 

 

Google Drive will no longer allow password based access in April 2015

Apps like Syncdocs have two ways getting permission to access your Google Drive account – via your password, or you can give them permission (called OAuth). Syncdocs allows you to use either method.

Since 2013 Syncdocs has been using OAuth permissions as the default. There is more info on it here.

Google is slowly withdrawing the “via a password” method, as part of their drive to improve security.

In 2015 Syncdocs will begin encouraging users still using passwords on Syncdocs to switch to account permissions. After 20 April 2015, passwords may no longer work.

OAuth is better for security, as you can limit what permissions an app has access to. For example, using OAuth with Syncdocs gives it access only to your Google Drive, not to your GMail.

If you have not already done so, securing your Google account with backup emails, security questions and SMS verification is highly recommended.

Switch to giving Syncdocs permission (OAuth)

Do this by clicking on the Syncdocs taskbar menu and then selecting Preferences. Then click on the Account Tab, and check the following option:

switch_to_oauth

Syncdocs will pop up a web page asking for permission to access your Google Drive account. You will need to click on approve to give Syncdocs access to your account.

That’s it. Syncdocs will work without requiring your password.

Read on to learn about why Syncdocs needs what permission, and also how to revoke access if you un-install Syncdocs. Keep your Google account safe by checking our general security tips.

Syncdocs permissions

Syncdocs needs the following permissions in order to run. Here is the detail of what it needs and why:

  1. Know who you are on Google, and view your email address.
    Your email address is needed to login to the right Google Drive account, and is also needed when you share files with others, or change their ownership.
  2. View and manage files in Google Drive.
    This is the core of what Syncdocs does, reading and writing to Google Drive.
  3. Access your Contact List, Tasks and Calendars.
    Syncdocs can back these up these once a day to your local hard drive.
  4. View and manage your spreadsheets in Google Drive.
    This is for legacy support. Older Google Spreadsheets (and forms) used to be a separate product from Google Docs, which was the foundation for Google Drive.
  5. Manage your photos and videos.
    Google Photos (old Picassa) will probably be merged into Google Drive and away from Google Plus by Google some time in 2015. This permission is to allow the backup of these photos.
  6. Manage your goo.gl short URLs.
    Syncdocs uses goo.gl short links when sharing files with others. This makes it easier for them to use, as https://goo.gl/ABC123 is easier than https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hIXivBHKyZPPPMw6mLaVNgCZODX5zelxWvTTCDSxpgBA/pub

Users have been trusting us with their Google data since 2010, learn more about our security and privacy policy here.

How to revoke Syncdocs permissions

If you’ve uninstalled Syncdocs and want to remove the account permissions you gave the app, here’s how:

  1. Go to accounts.google.com or google.com/settings
  2. Click on the “Security” tab.
  3. Under the section “Account Permissions”, click on “View all”:
    enter image description here
  4. Click Revoke Access next to the app (Syncdocs) you wish to remove permission from.

How to keep on using passwords with Syncdocs

Note, this is not recommended and Google will probably remove this in future. However, if you wish to keep on using your account password in Syncdocs and not giving it OAuth permission as above:

You can also allow Syncdocs to keep on using the password, but enabling “less secure apps” on your Google account. Just check the option here:
https://www.google.com/settings/security/lesssecureapps

Since 2013 Syncdocs has been using OAuth permissions as the default. There is more info on it here and some general security tips.

 

How to sync multiple Google Drive accounts

Syncdocs makes it easy to sync multiple Google Drive accounts at the same time. Here’s how to sync multiple Google Drive accounts simultaneously:

The easiest way to set up multiple Google Drive accounts

1. Click on the Syncdocs taskbar icon

2. Click on Preferences.
(If you see the basic preferences, click on “Advanced” button)

3. Click on the Account tab, and then run the Wizard.

 

That’s it. You’ll be taken through a step by step process setup a second Google Drive account with Syncdocs.

More advanced multiple account setup

If you want more options on setting up multiple Google Docs and Drive accounts, see this post.

To start multiple accounts syncing when your PC starts see here.

New Syncdocs 5.80 maintenance release

A new maintenance version of Syncdocs, version 5.80 has just been released. The main reason for this release is to be compatible with upcoming Google URL changes. The next major release of Syncdocs (version 6) will be out beta in late October. It contains many new features, will be faster and use less memory on 32bit systems.

Stop Syncdocs folder cluttering your Google Drive root

A new feature in this 5.80 release is the ability not to create any of its default folders in the root of your Google Drive.

Syncdocs makes folders for called Originals Backup, Shared, and Direct Uploads. The use and creation of these folders can now be turned off by un-checking the following option in the Folders Tab of the Preferences.

 google drive folders

Differences between old and new behaviour

 If you are upgrading from an older version of Syncdocs, there is no change – the folders will still be used, unless you un-check this option. However, new installations will not make these folders by default.

1. Right click Sharing to Google Drive

The old behaviour of sharing was to upload folders and files to the “Public Share” folder if these items were shared publicly.

The new behaviour is to upload shared files and folders to the root by default.

2. Right click Uploading files to Google Drive

Old files went into the “Direct Uploads” folder. New files go to the root.

3. Right click Encrypting and Uploading folders to Google Drive

There is no change. Folders, are created in the root, as a link to the original, if specified.

4. Backing up edited Google Docs and Contact Lists

The Originals Backup folder is no longer stored in local Google Drive root – rather it is saved with the user’s other Syncdocs settings. This folder contains the original files that might be corrupted by editing on Google, as well as the Contacts List backup.

 

How to change the names of the Syncdocs sub-folders

By default, Syncdocs creates some folders in your Google Drive folder. These folders are:

  • OriginalsBackup – this stores backups of any files that are converted to Google Docs format. Google can destroy some formatting in Word and Excel, so original files are kept here as a a backup. The backup of your Google contacts list is also kept here.
  • DirectUploads – files uploaded from the Windows Explorer context menu via right clicking on a file and selecting “Upload to Google Drive” are put here.
  • Public Share – files shared via right clicking on them are put here.

These folder names can be changed, but you’ll need to edit the Syncdocs settings file to do it. Here’s how:

The settings are stored in the file appsettings.xml which is typically in the folder c:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Syncdocs\

Change the folder name settings.
1. Exit Syncdocs.
2. Edit one of the following fields to the folder names that you want. (You can edit the appsettings.xml file in Notepad or any other text editor).
  <DirectUploadSubDir>DirectUploads\</DirectUploadSubDir>
  <SharingSubDir>Public Share\</SharingSubDir>
  <BackupPath1>D:\tmp\OriginalsBackup\</BackupPath1>
  <BackupPathMerge>D:\tmp\OriginalsBackup\MergeTemp\</BackupPathMerge>

3. Re-run it Syncdocs.

Future versions of Syncdocs will make the creation of these folders optional, so they don’t clutter your Google Drive root folder.

Syncdocs Google Drive Sync 5.67 Released

While we are working on a major new version of Syncdocs, we’ve slipped some of the fixes and features into a maintenance update of Syncdocs.

Syncdocs Version 5.67 Fixes and New features

Fixed

– Improved download reliability on large and locked files on slow networks.
– Speed improved on unreliable networks
– Google Forms design download. Form responses are now downloaded as a spreadsheet, but the form design (html) is not, as Google no longer supports this.
– Create New Google presentation from the menu and command line, creates new format Google Presentations.
– File extensions and file-names set to be ignored in appsettings.xml were sometimes not ignored when the file was updated on Google.

New Features

– Minor warnings are no longer shown on the status by default. This can be turned back on in the “Show Warnings” item in the Advanced Preferences menu.
– Google Drive download bandwidth can be limited in the Sync Preferences menu.

rate_limit_google_drive

How to Update

The upgrade is free and will happen automatically. The old Syncdocs version should ask if you want to update automatically in the next few days.

To update now, right click on the Syncdocs taskbar icon, go to Preferences -> Advanced -> “Check for Updates”

You can also download the new version and just re-install it over the old one.
http://www.syncdocs.com/download-syncdocs

We’ll be releasing updated 64bit and portable USB stick version in the next few days.

How to sync multiple Google Drive accounts concurrently

A new feature of Syncdocs is the ability to sync multiple Google Drive accounts at the same time. Previously you were limited to one account per sync.

Why would I want multiple accounts?

You might want to keep your work Google Apps and personal Google Drive accounts separate.

If you are running a backup server, you might want to sync everyone on your Google Apps domain to the server, but keep their Google Drive data synced to separate folders.

Perhaps you are a web-designer or consultant and work with various different customers at the same time, and need to keep their data in sync.

How to setup multiple account Syncing

Previously Syncdocs only let you sync one account at a time. You could switch accounts, but not use both concurrently.

To setup multiple Syncdocs, do the following.

1. You’ll need Syncdocs version 1.23 or later. If you don’t have it, download and install the latest version
2. In the Preferences -> Account Tab there are two new buttons, marked “Make Shortcut” and “Use Now”


3. Select the other account you want to use.


4. “Use Now” button runs that other account concurrently when you press the button.
5. “Make shortcut” button makes a shortcut. This shortcut runs the other account. The shortcut is put on your desktop, but you can move it where you want. The shortcut is shown below. It is given the title of your gmail account (“syncdocs.test” in this case) so you can distinguish it.

You’ll see a different colored shortcut icon on the taskbar for this other account.


You can have as many accounts running concurrently as you wish.

 Things to watch out for with multiple accounts

Watch out  for confusion with multiple accounts running at the same time.

Right click uploads are always the first account

The context menu items that are shown when you right click on a file in Windows explorer (like “View in Google Docs” ) are linked to the first (main) instance of Syncdocs that is run.

Identifying accounts

If you hover your cursor over the secondary taskbar icons it will show you the account name, and the name is also shown at the top of the menu:

The name of the account is also shown at the top of the status menu: