Syncdocs and Google Drive Permissions (OAuth) migration

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).

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:


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 short URLs.
    Syncdocs uses short links when sharing files with others. This makes it easier for them to use, as is easier than

Syncdocs has been syncing files to Google 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 or
  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:

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


11 Responses to Syncdocs and Google Drive Permissions (OAuth) migration

  • Gregory Yapundich says:

    Dear Syncdocs,

    I just checked the “Authenticate Syncdocs on Google online (OAuth)” checkbox, but my username and password are still filled in, as shown in the “Currently active account details” section, in following example image:

    The Google username and password, in the “Currently active account details” section, is grey out. How do I delete, at least, the password?



    • admin says:

      You can wipe your credentials in the Windows Credential Manager, or use the command line:
      syncdocs.exe -portable -wipevault
      which will do it for you.

  • hoanglong says:

    Dear Pro.
    i can’t access to google syndoc . It appearance web ” permission” , but the button ” accept” is not avaiable.
    How can i fix this trouble ?
    Looking forward to hearing from you.

  • James says:

    Syncdocs keeps on wanting to activate on the above email address even though revoked. please advise on how to stop syndocs from attempts to acquire permission for a gmail account they are not operating on. Thanks

    • admin says:

      You can either select the account that you want Syncdocs to use to sync to Google Drive, at authorization time.

      Or, if Google does not show you an account list, then logout of the account you are currently using in a web browser. Then get Syncdocs to authorize – and you will be asked to login, and choose the account that you plan to use with Syncdocs.

  • William says:

    Ever since this OAuth migration rolled out, syncdocs has stopped working on both of my PCs (running Windows 7). The program will, after two or three minutes, initialize, and it will start syncing, but then crash.

    On both machines, the program was running fine until the very instant the OAuth migration notice appeared.

    I have checked the OAuth setting on Syncdocs preference menu and updated my Win 7 software.

    I would be grateful for some advice. Thanks!



  • Rainer Friedrich says:

    If I use oauth with portable version, it needs reauthorization after I reimaged my notebook and startet it. Is the oauth stored on the PC? I also use 2FA and have a app-specific password

    • admin says:

      The OAuth token is stored in your browser’s credential vault. Google is phasing out allowing apps to access Google Drive with an app-specific password, and trying to move everyone to a permissions-based (OAuth) authorization.

      • Rainer Friedrich says:

        Would it be possible to extract it from the vault? And inject it, if wanted? Did not found a way, cmdkey.exe seems not to work in such a way.

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