By Jonna twitter/ Last Updated January 18, 2023

Why Do You Need Cloud Backup?

  • Are you afraid of accidentally losing the data stored on your hard drive?
  • Are you anxious that there is not enough space locally for backup?
  • Are you panicked that you have lost all local backups due to local accidents?
  • Backup all your data to the cloud offsite, never lose data and recover them from any PC.

Eliminate all your concerns with the Best Cloud Backup service - CBackup

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How Do I Stop Google Drive from Making Files Available Offline?


I am using Google Drive to sync files, and it works well. The question is that these offline files and folders that syncing from Google Drive to my computer are taking up my hard drive space. How to stop Google Drive from making files available offline? I need help!

Case from Google Drive Community.”

Are you looking for a way to make Google Drive keep files online only without syncing locally? Stay here! On this page, you will learn 2 methods to delete offline files from Google Drive on your device with ease.

Google Drive Keep Files Online Only

Why Keep Google Drive Files Online Only?

While Google Drive files synced locally allow you to use them offline, they also come with issues such as taking up a lot of local space. Making Google Drive files online only can help you in many ways.

  • Free up local space. A large number of local Google Drive files can take up hard disk space, slow down your device and prevent other programs from running.
  • Prevent files from being deleted by mistake. As a two-way sync software, when you accidentally delete a local Google Drive file, the corresponding cloud copy will also be automatically deleted, which may lead to file loss.

Thus, how to stop Google Drive sync on PC? Two solutions are covered in the next part.

Let Google Drive Keep Files Online Only with 2 Easy Ways

In this part, we will show you how to keep files only on Google Drive without syncing to computer to save space.

Way 1. Keep Files Only on Google Drive with CBackup

With the Google Drive desktop application, there will always be files that are synced locally and take up hard drive space. To let files on Google Drive online only without syncing locally, you need professional sync software, like CBackup.

CBackup Main Page

  • It allows you to sync files and folders from any location, either inside or outside Google Drive folder/disk.

  • You can perform Google Drive file sync at flexible frequencies, like daily, weekly, or monthly.

  • Besides syncing files to Google Drive, it applies to upload to Dropbox without local copy, as well as OneDrive.

  • It offers more powerful features, like File Filter to exclude/include certain files during sync and Email Notification to set email notifications for tasks to keep you informed of synchronization results.

Now, let’s start on how to delete Google Drive offline files by not syncing cloud files locally using CBackup.

Step 1. Free download CBackup and install it. Register an account and log in to its desktop app.

Download CBackupWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 2. Select Storage on the left menu, and choose Google Drive. Click Authorize Now to grant CBackup access to your Google Drive storage.

Select Google Drive

Step 3. Go to Sync, and choose Sync PC to Public Cloud.

Choose PC to Public Cloud

Step 4. Select files, folders, or hard drives that you want to sync with Google Drive, and define a specific Google Drive folder as the destination. Then, tap on Start Sync to sync files to Google Drive and make Google Drive keep files online only.

Start Sync Desktop to Google Drive

Way 2. Keep Google Drive Files Online Only with Stream Files

Google Drive Stream Files is a syncing option that allows you to store all cloud files online only and choose specific files and folders to make available offline. Compared to Mirror files, Stream files can help you save hard drive space.

However, it is worth noting that open files and cached cloud files in the Google Drive disk/folder would use hard drive space as well. And many people say that Google Drive does not save local storage with Stream Files. How to stop Google Drive from downloading files using Stream files is instructed as follows.

Step 1. Run the Google Drive for desktop app on computer, and sign in.

Step 2. Open Google Drive Preferences by clicking the Google Drive icon and hitting Settings.

Google Drive Preferences

Step 3. Click Google Drive, select the Stream files option, and click Save to restart the Google Drive program.

Google Drive Stream Files

Then, all your files in the Google Drive disk are online only. If you open a file and stop it available offline, right-click it, hover the mouse over Offline access, and select Online only.

Offline Access Online Only

Bonus Tip: How to Use Google Drive as a Backup Only

Backup is a safer way to protect data than synchronization. This is because backup will not overwrite previous versions of files, and it also enables you to restore data to the normal state in case of accidents or mistake operations. However, as we all know, Google Drive is a sync service, but not a backup tool.

If you want to use Google Drive as a backup, CBackup can help you, which allows you to backup files to Google Drive with ease. Moreover, you can also use Dropbox and OneDrive for backup only. Here is what to do:

Step 1. Launch the CBackup and sign in.

Step 2. After adding your Google Drive account to CBackup likewise, click Backup > Backup PC to Public Cloud.

Create Task

Step 3. Pick items for backup, and choose Google Drive as your target location. Finally, click Start Backup.

Add Destination

Helpful features of CBackup your may need:
➯ If you need a professional backup solution, you can choose to backup files to CBackup Cloud. It gives 10GB of free backup space and offers premium plans with bigger backup space.
➯ If you want to transfer files from Google Drive to another cloud, you can use the Cloud to Cloud Backup/Sync function to backup/sync Google Drive to OneDrive, Dropbox, and FTP/SFTP quickly without downloading and uploading.

The Bottom Line

So, this is all about how to make Google Drive keep files online only. And two ways are provided in this article. The best option is to use CBackup to upload files to Google Drive without syncing locally. It can satisfy all your basic needs and sync files without any errors. With its Schedule Sync, File Filter, and other features, you can complete file sync much easier.

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