Syncing Google Drive Folder to a Network Drive on Windows


A friend asked me if it was possible to sync a particular folder he had on Google Drive to a network drive.  Apparently, the official Google Drive client only allows you to sync to NTFS partitions, and the network drive was a samba mounted ZFS share.  Upon researching, I found conflicting info. Some people said symbolic links worked, and others said to use hard links or even NTFS junctions.

Here’s what I ended up doing. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a better way, but this worked for me.

Install Google Drive

You’ll need to install the Google Drive application if you haven’t done so already. If you only want to download one folder (like me), be sure to uncheck all the other folders in the sync options.

For this example, I will assume two things:

  • The network drive is mounted to Z:\
  • Google Drive was set to sync to the default path of C:\Users\<username>\Google Drive

Create the link

Open a command prompt as administrator. We will be using the mklink command to create a directory symbolic link.  The basic syntax for this is as follows: <link> is where it is going to put the new link, and <target> is the destination of the link, or in this case the folder on the network drive.

mklink /D <link> <target>

Here’s an example of the command I used:

mklink /D  "C:\Users\<username>\Google Drive\DownloadThisFolder" Z:\<NetworkFolder>


  • Be sure you don’t have a folder named “DownloadThisFolder” in your Google Drive
  • Ensure that <NetworkFolder> already exists
  • Use quotes around paths that include spaces

Move Files Into Link

Once the link is created, it should show up on the Google Drive web interface as a folder. From the web interface, move whatever folder you want to download into the newly created folder.  You should start to see Google Drive sync down the contents to your local network drive.

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