Using Google Drive to sync your folders with your computer used to be an “all or nothing” scenario, and that would eat into your hard drive space. With last week’s update for the Google Drive desktop app on Windows and Mac OS X, that’s no longer the case.
Depending on your storage plan, Google Drive has the ability to hold a lot more files than your computer’s hard drive can. Now, instead of filling up your hard drive, Google Drive will let you select which folders and subfolders you want to sync with your computer and which ones you don’t. When you deselect a subfolder, it will stay in your Google Drive’s storage, but it won’t take up any space on your hard drive. You’ll also be able to see the size of each folder and how much space you have on your computer’s hard drive, so you know how much space you could be freeing up. To check out the new feature, open up your Google Drive desktop app, head to Menu > Preferences > then Sync Options and uncheck the folders and subfolders you don’t want to keep on your computer’s hard drive.
Last week’s update also makes it more difficult to accidentally move or delete files you’ve shared with someone else. You’ll now receive a warning whenever that might happen. The update is rolling out over a week, so if you don’t see the option yet, it should show up for you soon.