By Kelsey / Last Updated January 18, 2021

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How do I sync Google Drive to my external hard drive?

“I have all of my files living on my Google Drive (like over 1TB, lots of raw image files, video files), but I'm trying to sync it onto an external hard drive so that I can edit directly without having to download each time. Is there a good way to selective sync Google Drive to external hard drive on Mac?”

Google Drive is a very useful cloud file storage and synchronization drive that can help you manage personal files at any time. You can access the files uploaded and synced to it from any smartphone, tablet, or computer.

When you download Google Backup and Sync to your PC, a Google Drive folder will appear, and the files you saved in the Google Drive folder will be synced to the cloud in real-time. Besides, some users need to back up Google Drive files to an external drive hard disk.

Why need to sync Google Drive to external hard drive?

Although cloud backup is better than an external hard drive in many aspects, some users may need to sync Google Drive to an external hard drive or USB flash drive for the following reasons.

  • If you often need to access Google Drive files on other devices, syncing Google Drive files to an external hard drive or removable storage device can prevent the network from offline and unable to access online files.

  • Syncing Google Drive to an external hard drive can add a layer of protection to data, and prevent file damage or virus infection.

  • You can easily open and process synced files in their native applications without downloading and uploading non-Google files.

How to sync Google Drive files to external hard drive?

Google Drive has mobile and desktop applications, so you can use the desktop app - Backup and Sync or Google Drive desktop folder on your PC to sync files to an external hard drive. Before starting the steps below, you need to download and install Google Backup and Sync to your computer.

Way 1. Sync files to external hard drive using Backup & Sync

Step 1. Connect the external hard drive to the PC, then start Google Backup and Sync from the computer, enter your account information and click Next to log in.

Mac Sign In

Step 2. Then follow the prompts to complete the following settings. If you need to sync Google Photos to external hard drive, you need to check Upload photos and videos to Google Photos in this step.

Sync Photos Library

Step 3. Check Sync My Drive to this computer, click Change and then locate the external hard drive folder. You can also selectively sync Google Drive files or sync all data according to your needs. Click START to start the step.

Backup and Sync Start

Way 2. Sync files to external hard drive with Google Drive folder

Step 1. Connect your mobile hard drive to the computer, and then double-click the desktop app. You will see a desktop folder named Google Drive. Files stored in it are saved in the cloud and on the hard drive.

Google Drive Folder

Step 2. You can locate this folder on your external hard drive, and any changes to the files on the online Google Drive will be synced to your external hard drive.

Way 3. Sync Google Drive to external hard drive automatically

In fact, some free third-party tools can be used as an alternative to Google Backup and Sync, such as AOMEI Backupper Standard. It can automatically sync the Google Drive folder on your computer to external hard drive, USB, NAS drive, and other locations.

Step 1. Connect the external hard drive to the computer, then download and start AOMEI Backupper Standard, go to Sync > Basic Sync.

AOMEI Backupper basic sync

Step 2. In the next step, click Add Folder and select Google Drive folder as the source path. Then, click the blank column below to select the external hard drive as the destination location.

AOMEI Backupper Add Folder

Tip:You only need to switch the source path (select the external hard drive) and the destination path (select the Google Drive folder) to sync external hard drive to Google Drive.

Step 3. To take automatic file sync, you need to click Schedule, then select daily/weekly/monthly from here to backup Google Drive to external hard drive.

Schedule Settings General

Step 4. Confirm the operation and click Start Sync.

Bonus tip: how to sync Google Drive to another cloud?

Compared with external hard drives, cloud storage services still have outstanding advantages, such as high scalability and no need to worry about losing. If you want to add a layer to the data in Google Drive, a better way is to sync Google Drive to another cloud drive. CBackupper can help you.

CBackupper Main Page

CBackupper is a professional cloud backup manager that provides professional cloud to cloud sync and backup services. You can directly sync data across cloud disks without manually downloading and uploading data. You can also set up automatic cloud sync at a specific time or regularly.

Step 1. Get started with CBackupper to sign up for an account freely.

Sign Up

Step 2. Click the Added Clouds tab in the left menu bar and tap the plus icon to add your Google Drive account. Add another cloud drive in the same way.

Add Google Drive

Step 3. Then go to the Sync Tasks and click the New Task button.

Create Sync

Step 4. Click Add Source to add Google Drive as the sync source, click Add Destination to add another cloud drive as the sync destination.

Add sync source and destination

Step 5. Confirm your sync task options and click Start Sync.

Sync Google Drive to Dropbox

Enable automatic sync: You can enable Schedule sync in the settings and set daily/weekly/monthly sync to start automatically so that you can sync between cloud disks without logging in to the platform to save a lot of time.

Select Schedule

Last word

The 3 methods for syncing Google Drive to external hard drive are explained above. Please choose the best one according to your situation. Besides, to provide better protection for data, you can choose to sync Google Drive to another cloud drive with the help of CBackupper, which also provides professional cloud to cloud backup services. Go for it and discover more.