Google Drive For Mac Multiple Accounts

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Update 2017-10-16: major update to article following the release of Backup and Sync; no longer require bindfs

How to Manage Multiple Google Drive Accounts. The easiest way to manage multiple Google Drive accounts on your desktop is by using Shift. The first step is to download Shift. Once it’s installed and open on your desktop, you’ll just need to add each of your Google accounts. Click the Plus sign on the left taskbar and select Add Account. Manage multiple Google accounts in a single desktop application. There's no need to have multiple tabs open for different email accounts, and the ability to add all of the apps you use regularly means you can use your browser for actual internet browsing. Search emails, contacts, and Drive files across multiple Google accounts with a single search. You can give each Google Drive account a custom name to help you recognize it quickly. You can also control notifications and sounds. Taking a cue from other popular browsers, Manageyum will display all connected cloud storage accounts in tab format.

Google Drive allows you to sync files/folders (to use the terminology fromthe support page) on your Mac/PC with Google Drive on the web. That is to say for example, a Mac OS X user can connecttheir Google Drive account such that files/folders stored locally on the OS hard drive are automatically synced with thecontents of Google Drive on the web.

As of September/October 2017, Google released two replacements for the old Google Drive application: Backup andSync (aimed at personal accounts) and Drive FileStream(aimed at business customers who have G Suite accounts). It turns out that, despite the apparent distinction, Backup andSync can also be used for “business” accounts (i.e. users of G Suite accounts). Drive File Stream can only be used by GSuite users, and presents a virtual file system that syncs files on demand.

This article focuses on the use of Backup and Sync for either personal or business (G Suite) accounts.

Google Drive: Lets you disconnect the Google Drive folder for your Google account. Once disconnected, the files within your Mac’s Google Drive folder will remain on your Mac, but will no longer be synced with the online data in Google’s cloud. You can reconnect by signing back into your Google account. Jan 27, 2020 Until Google Drive officially allows users to sync multiple Google Drive accounts, these workarounds are the best option for achieving the same sort of result. If you’re looking for more storage space, consider upgrading a Google Drive account to a “Google One” account as you get a lot of storage space for the money, starting at $1.99.

Whilst it is possible to be signed in to multiple Google accounts at once in abrowser, with Backup and Sync on your Mac/PC it is onlypossible to be signed in to one account at a time, i.e. you can only sync one account’s files/folders at any given time.This is something of a restriction for those of us who have multiple accounts for genuine reasons, e.g. multiple workaccounts and a personal account, where sharing across domains is either not possible/desirable, and where sync access tofiles from the same machine is desirable.

There are various solutions elsewhere on the web that involve opening up permissions etc. but I could never truly getthese to work (and to be honest the thought of chmod 777 on anything made me rather ill). Hence the alternative that Ihave laid out below. With thanks to @Moose for a great contribution in the comments.


The following instructions have not be heavily road-tested, so please follow with caution. Use at your ownrisk, etc.

Google Drive For Mac Multiple Accounts Receivable

Let us assume:

  • We are using High Sierra (only tested under High Sierra, may well work under other versions of OS X)
  • Tested using Backup and Sync v3.36.6721.3394
  • The Mac OS X user who wants to connect and sync two Google Drive accounts is user_1
  • user_1 has access to both [email protected] (personal account) and [email protected] (G Suite work account - couldequally be another personal account)
  • user_1 has followed the standard Backup and Sync setup to connect and sync [email protected] to '/Users/user_1/Google Drive'
  • user_1 wants to be able to connect and sync [email protected] to '/Users/user_1/Google Drive - work'
  • You have configured your system so that user_1 can run sudo commands


Let’s assume you are already logged in as user_1 (lines in code blocks should be run in the Terminal):

Download Google Drive Mac

  1. Create a new Mac OS X user called user_2
  2. Switch user (do not logout) to user_2
  3. In a Terminal: mkdir '$HOME/Google Drive' && chmod 700 '$HOME/Google Drive'
  4. Setup Backup and Sync as the user user_2 to connect [email protected], syncing to /Users/user_2/Google Drive (the default)
  5. Let this sync complete
  6. Switch user back to user_1 (again, do not logout)
  7. sudo chown root:user_2 /Users/user_2/Google Drive
  8. sudo chmod 770 /Users/user_2/Google Drive
  9. sudo chmod -R +a 'user:user_1 allow list,add_file,search,add_subdirectory,delete_child,readattr,writeattr,readextattr,writeextattr,readsecurity,writesecurity,chown,file_inherit,directory_inherit,delete' /Users/user_2/Google Drive/
  10. sudo chmod -R +a 'user:user_2 allow list,add_file,search,add_subdirectory,delete_child,readattr,writeattr,readextattr,writeextattr,readsecurity,writesecurity,chown,file_inherit,directory_inherit,delete' /Users/user_2/Google Drive/
  11. ln -s /Users/user_2/Google Drive/ /Users/user_1/Google Drive - work

Done. This should now allow you to read/write/etc. files in '/Users/user_1/Google Drive - work' as user_1. Thesechanges will get written as if you were user_2, which allows the Backup and Sync sync process for user_2 (linked to[email protected]) to proceed as if the changes had been made by the user_2 Mac OS X user.


This approach appears to work and doesn’t interfere with the normal operation of Backup and Sync for Mac OS X (it justthinks it’s running for another user). However, this has not been heavily load/road tested.

As of this latest update (2017-10-16) even Spotlight works for user_1 for the files synced via user_2.

One thing you will need to remember, if you restart your computer you need to: switch user to user_2 to ensure Backupand Sync is started (should start by default on login).

Comments/thoughts on this approach welcomed below.

Older revision history

Google Drive For Mac


Update 2015-09-25: clarify the term ‘switch user’ and emphasise that logout/login is not equivalent
Update 2015-04-18: updated bindfs command to use --xattr-none to avoid extended attribute problems when creatingfiles using Finder
Update 2015-06-09: updated bindfs command to use -o volname='XYZ' to set a custom name for the mount (as opposedto the ugly default). With thanks to Dennis Jarvis for highlighting this

Google Drive account makes it easier for us to store, share, and manage our files and documents online. Download ntlite alternative torrent download. One key feature of a Google Drive account is that it allows one account to have access to one drive. That is to say, if you want access to another drive, you need to sign up for another Google account.

Many people, like me, have multiple accounts – for example, one is for personal use, one is for business purposes, and one might even have an account to cater to one’s hobby. But what happens if one wants to manage all these files at once? Chaos? Definitely, no.

Unfortunately, Google Drive does not provide you with the option of managing all your accounts at once but there is a way around it and this article is specifically here to show you how, or tell you how to achieve that.


You can use the Drive’s share option to connect different accounts. That is, you have to choose a primary account and then create a folder in it.

You can either give all your secondary accounts access to this folder or you can create one folder dedicated to one account. Thus, it will be acting as a centerpiece of your Google Drive management.

Follow the steps:

  1. Choose a primary google account
  2. Sign-in to another google account (the one you want to sync from) and go to google drive
  3. Click on the ‘New’ button and select the ‘Folder’ option when the dropdown menu appears
  4. Name this folder with a unique name so you will know which folder is linked to the synced secondary account
  5. Drag and drop all the files that you want to be there
  6. Right click on this folder and select share
  7. Type in the email address of the recipient (which is your primary account) and hit ‘Send’
  8. Google will send you an email regarding permission
  9. Open another browser, it may be private or it may not
  10. Log in to your primary account and open the email
  11. Right click on the folder and select the option ‘Add to my drive’

The synced folder will now appear on the drive linked to your primary account. To access it, select ‘My drive’ on the left side of the google drive homepage.

Google drive for mac multiple accounts software

You can add multiple accounts to this by typing in the address of each of your email address and then by repeating steps 8-11 for each of the accounts that you have chosen.


Email Accounts For Mac

If you have the Google Drive Backup and Sync app installed on your device, then you can manage multiple accounts at once.

  1. Open the app
  2. Click on the ‘More’ option or the three-dot menu
  3. Select preferences
  4. Go to the settings menu
  5. Select disconnect account
  6. And select ‘OK’ when prompted
  7. Sign in to another google drive account
  8. Select the folders that you want to backup and sync
  9. Click ‘Next’
  10. And then select ‘Continue’
Google drive for mac multiple accounts softwareGoogle Drive For Mac Multiple Accounts

What you are doing here is, you are merging a great number of files that you want to store into one giant folder.

So, unless the feature arrives, one has to work around the given formula.