Home Technology How to prevent Google Drive desktop client from taking up your hard...

How to prevent Google Drive desktop client from taking up your hard drive space

Once I installed the Google Drive desktop client on my MacBook Pro, only to find out shortly afterwards that it had filled up my local storage space on the laptop. That was my original Intel-based MacBook that only had a 500GB SSD drive. It took me no time to figure out exactly what was eating up my storage space on the device, and even less time to fix the problem. If I couldn’t put those two-and-two together quickly, I would have had problems with that laptop. Fortunately, that was not the case.

Since then I’ve been very careful with how the Google Drive Desktop client is configured on my laptops. Now it’s time for me to pass that information on to you so that you can avoid the same storage problem I once had.

I’m assuming you’ve already installed the Google Drive Desktop Client on macOS or Windows (please, Google, make an official client for Linux!) and linked it to your Google Drive account. Installing the desktop client is very easy for both platforms, so you should have no problems getting it up and running and connecting to Google Drive.

Now that that’s settled, let’s take a look at how to avoid a storage nightmare.

Streaming vs Mirroring

You need to understand this most important concept to protect your storage space with the Google Drive Client. Google offers two different types of client sync, which are:

  • To stream files: all files are only stored in the Google Drive cloud unless you open a file or make it available offline. All files opened or made available offline are stored on a virtual drive in your local storage.

  • Mirror files: files are stored on both Google Drive and local storage and are all available offline.

At this point, I’m sure you know what happened to that prior installation. I connected Google Drive (via the Desktop Client) to my MacBook by mirroring the files, which synced every file in my Drive account with local storage. And since I paid for it2 TB Google Drive storage, you can bet that took up every bit of space on my drive. Do that, and the operating system will slowly crawl.

Here’s what I had to do to fix that.

Configure the Google Drive client for streaming

Before I take you down this road, you should know that the Google Drive client uses the stream option by default. However, during my original install, I chose (for whatever reason) to go for the mirror option. Since I’m absolutely paranoid about my files and folders on Google Drive, I took the safest route and removed the Google Drive client from my MacBook Pro first. After the app was uninstalled, I double checked that all my folders and files were safe on Google Drive. They were. Oof.

When you choose to stream files, they are stored on a virtual drive that can be mounted and unmounted. However, if you choose the mirror option, those files will be stored in /Users/USERNAME/My Drive (where USERNAME is your macOS username). After you delete the Google Drive client (and verify that all your folders and files are still in your Google Drive cloud account), delete that My Drive folder. Once you’ve done that, you’ve cleared up the space that Google Drive was taking up and you should be back to a more manageable drive.

Reinstall the Google Drive client on your computer and make sure you configure it to stream files and not mirror them. Here’s how you do that.

1. Open Preferences

Click the Google Drive desktop client icon in the macOS top bar and click the gear icon in the resulting popup (Figure 1

The Google Drive Desktop Client pop-up window.

Figure 1: Access the Google Drive Desktop Client preferences.

Image: Jack Wallen

In the next pop-up menu (Figure 2), click Preferences.

The interactive menu of Google Drive Desktop Client.

Figure 2: The Google Drive Desktop Client pop-up menu gives you access to the Preferences item.

Image: Jack Wallen

2. Choose the option Stream

In the resulting window, click on the Google Drive tab in the left sidebar (figure 3

The Google Drive Desktop Client Preferences window.

Figure 3: The Google Drive Desktop Client preferences window on macOS.

Image: Jack Wallen

You should then see the stream and mirror list, where you can choose between the two (Figure 4

The Stream and Mirror options available in the Google Drive Desktop Client Preferences window.

Figure 4: The two sync options available for the Google Drive Desktop Client.

Image: Jack Wallen

Make sure stream is selected. If not, select it and the Drive Client will do the rest.

And that’s all there is to stop the Google Drive Desktop Client from taking up your precious hard drive space on your device. Enjoy that newly freed up storage space.

RELATED ARTICLES

How Limepay rebuilt its application from the ground up

Founded in 2017, Australian payment platform Limepay had a minimum viable product (MVP) and when the company raised $21 million in funding in December...

Arsenal sign Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus

Posted in: 04/07/2022 – 10:14Last updated: 04/07/2022 – 10:12 London (AFP) – Arsenal...

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 with 2520 MHz boost clock, almost 50% higher than RTX 3090

Note: this post is tagged as a rumor† GeForce RTX 4090 with 2520 MHz boost clock Kopite7kimi has an update on the...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

How Limepay rebuilt its application from the ground up

Founded in 2017, Australian payment platform Limepay had a minimum viable product (MVP) and when the company raised $21 million in funding in December...

Arsenal sign Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus

Posted in: 04/07/2022 – 10:14Last updated: 04/07/2022 – 10:12 London (AFP) – Arsenal...

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 with 2520 MHz boost clock, almost 50% higher than RTX 3090

Note: this post is tagged as a rumor† GeForce RTX 4090 with 2520 MHz boost clock Kopite7kimi has an update on the...

Lindsay Lohan Announces She’s Married to Bader Shammas – Socialite Life

Lindsay Lohan is a married woman! The mean girls actress took to Instagram to share a sweet snapshot of her cuddling next to her now-husband,...