Backup to Google Drive at Login or on Schedule

Many of our users use Google Drive strictly for backup purposes. They want an option that backs up to Google Drive at login and then stops syncing until the next login.

This is easy to do with Syncdocs. The simplest method is to start Syncdocs at login via a batch file in your startup folder. The batch file should contain a line:
SyncdocsPath\Syncdocs.exe –OnlyRunSyncOnce

The Syncdocs command line option to run once is –OnlyRunSyncOnce. This option is not case sensitive.

Standard shell error reporting is supported, exit code 0 means no problems, 1 a serious error.

If you want to run at external app when syncing is done, Syncdocs can run any external program to do this after the sync to notify you. Here’s how:

If you want to send an email at the end of a sync, then you can do so via your mail client. Here’s how in Thunderbird:

If you wish to run Syncdocs regularly, say for backup purposes, once a day, you can add an item to the Windows scheduler, or via the Syncdocs Preferences menu.

This lets you sync once a day at the time that you specify.



Schedule Google Drive syncs


Syncdocs – minor Google Drive sync update

We’ve just released a minor update of Syncdocs. This version has the following fixes:

1. Improved compatibility with the new Google Photos service, Google has tweaked the API and Syncdocs supports these tweaks. We are still working on allowing user-specified compression levels.
2. Fix for minor error: Fix for case where unshared Google Drive file was deleted by user A then wiped from trash by non-owner user B on Google Drive and deleted locally while Syndocs was not running. Then Syncdocs was run, error would be shown that the file could not be deleted.

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.

The 64 bit and portable versions are also updated to 5.988.
– The 64 bit version bypasses the memory limitations and lets you sync an almost unlimited number (hundreds of billions) of files to Google Drive.
– The portable version lets you run from and sync to files on a USB memory stick.


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:


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


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.

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.


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


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


Wait a few minutes while the upgrade installs.

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


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)


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 * and * 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:


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

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 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.


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).
  <SharingSubDir>Public Share\</SharingSubDir>

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.