By Ailsa twitter/ Last Updated 07/07/2021

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Can Backup and Sync access to Share with Me Folder?

"Hi, I'm using Backup & Sync on Windows, and would like to be able to access the "Shared with me" folder in the Windows Explorer file manager. Accessing it through a browser is inconvenient and confusing. For example, Google Docs appears as just a list of documents, instead of being contained in the folders in which the file owner created."

- Question from support.google.com

How Backup and Sync access Shared Drives?

As a matter of fact, the Backup and Sync desktop app cannot access the Shared Drives on your computer. And you can only access the Google Drive Folder (owns all or part of the content in My Drive at drive.google.com).

Why cannot access Shared Drives with Backup and sync? Because Shared Drives (contains all the files from Shared with me) stores files only belongs to the team or organization, not a personal user. The files always stay in Shared Drives even if the members leave. And the Google Drive Backup and Sync is for individual personal users. That’s why you cannot access Shared Drives with Google Drive Backup and Sync.

Access Files from Shared with Me via Backup and Sync

Although you cannot use the shared drives via Backup and Sync, you have other ways to access files from Shared with me using Backup and Sync. Let’s find out the way.

Step 1. Add Shared Files to My Drive (Not Shortcut)

To make Google Drive Backup and Sync access Shared with me files, please move the shared files from Shared with me to My drive:

1. Log in to your Google Drive account, then click Shared with me on the left side.

Shared with Me

2. (Open the root shared folder) and select all the shared files and folders in Shared with me, right-click and select Move to at the dropdown menu.

Shared Files Move to

3. Then select the My Drive root directory, and click MOVE HERE button to transfer shared files from Shared with me to My Drive.

Select My Drive to Move to

Besides, you could select the shared files in Shared with me, then press Shift + Z key to add the selected files to My Drive. It’s useful while Google Drive add to my drive missing problem. However, you might find the Google Drive Shift + Z not working. Therefore, just follow the above steps to add to My Drive.

Step 2. Sync Shared Files to Computer via Backup and Sync

Sync the shared files from My Drive to the computer with the following steps:

Never set up Google Drive Backup and Sync ever

1. Please install Google Drive Backup and Sync on your computer. Then log in to your Google Drive account.

2. At the My Computer tab, you need to set up sync files to Google Drive.

3. Then at the Google Drive tab, choose the shared files to sync from My Drive to the computer.

Configured Backup and Sync Before

1. Tap the Backup and Sync icon at the system tray, and tap the three dots icon (More icon), select Preferences.

2. Tap Google Drive tab on the left side, then tick Sync My Drive to this computer option. And choose Sync everything in My Drive, or Sync only these folders to sync the shared files from My Drive to the computer.

Sync Only These Folders

3. Click OK to confirm.

Step 3. Access the Shared files with Backup and Sync

Now, all the shared files have been synced to your computer in Google Drive folder (usually C:\Users\Yourusername\Google Drive).

And you can access, edit, delete the shared files on your Windows File Explorer.

Sync Shared Drives to PC via Drive File Stream

The above words explain how to access files in Shared with me with Backup and Sync. However, there is another efficient way to access Shared Drives in Windows File Explorer - Drive File Stream (Drive for Desktop).

Drive File Stream is Drive for desktop now, and it’s for organizations to store files in the cloud without taking up hard drive space, and you could use it for collaborations. Drive File Stream will show you all files in Google Drive File Stream folder on your computer, and include the following two folders:

  • My Drive: owns all the content from My Drive at drive.google.com.

  • Shared Drives: contains all files from Shared with me at drive.google.com that owns by Organization.

Therefore, please install Google Drive File Stream if you have Google Workspace (G Suite) account. And the shared files in Shared with me will automatically on your computer with Drive File Stream.

With the shared drives, you could store, search and access the shared files.

What If Google Drive Storage Full?

Although Shared with me files do not count towards your Google Drive storage quota even if you move them to My Drive.

  • For personal users, there only 15 GB free storage space that will be filled up quickly after a period of time.

  • For Google Drive G Suite Business Starter, only have 30 GB storage per user.

There it’s probably to encounter Google Drive Storage full error? What should you do? The first thing you might do is delete files from Google Drive, but it’s not the ultimate way.

If you have multiple Google Drive accounts (even it’s free account), it’s highly recommended to try the best way to increase Google Drive space for free via the free cloud backup service CBackup.

1. Download the CBackup desktop app, please create a new CBackup account and sign in to your account.

Sign In

2. Tap My Storage > Add Cloud, then choose Google Drive, and click Add. The follow the guide to allow CBackup to access your Google Drive account (or sign in to your Google Drive and grant the CBackup to get the authority).

Add Cloud

3. Modify the Display Name, Storage Path, Allocate Space, and the Related Tasks, then tick the "Note: Please do not change the path directly in the third-party cloud disk, or modify or delete the backup file." option, click OK to confirm.

Complete Google Drive Info

4. Add other Google Drive accounts to repeat the 2-3 steps, then click My Storage > + > New Combined Cloud to merge all of your added cloud drives.

My Storage New Combined Cloud

Now your Google Drive storage space has been increased for free. Now you could backup files to Google Drive easily and freely.

Moreover, the free cloud backup service CBackup offers the desktop app for you to backup files to CBackup Cloud, the secure and cheapest cloud storage, and you can select Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox and other cloud drives as the backup destination.

Start Backup

The Epilogue

Although Google Drive Backup and Sync cannot access shared with me folder directly, you have other ways to get the shared files on your computer. If you are the Google Drive G Suite users (Google Workspace), please try Google Drive File Stream and find the shared drives (shared with me folder) on Windows Explorer. If you meet the Google Drive storage space full, please try the cloud backup service CBackup to increase Google Drive storage for free, then sync files to Google Drive safely.