How to Run Multiple Instances of Google Drive on Windows to Sync Multiple Accounts

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Working on multiple Google Drive accounts on the browser is very simple. Once can simply use the Google account switcher and work on multiple accounts in parallel. Unfortunately, when using the Windows application for the same, there is no such feature.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: This is an old post and many people recently started reporting in the comments that this method no longer works because the Google Drive app was updated to exclude this feature. Hence we’ve written another post that uses a different method. Here it is -> How to Use and Sync More Than One Google Drive Account on Windows.

multiple Google drive

According to Google Support, once must use application preferences and sign out from the first Google account before using another. But that’s not a solution if you want to sync more than one account and use them in parallel.

Fret not, like always, we’ve got your back. Here’s a method to get it done and run multiple Google Drive instances on the same machine.

Multiple Google Drive Instances

Step 1: Close all instances of Google Drive running on your computer and then download and install this application. After the application is installed, add C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Drive to your Windows Environment Variable. You can refer to this article to see how it’s done.

Step 2: Having done that, open Notepad and copy paste the following line. Don’t forget to replace username@ domain.com with your Google username.

@ECHO OFF
SET USERNAME=username@ domain.com
SET USERPROFILE=%~dp0%USERNAME%
SET USERPROFILE=%~dp0%USERNAME%
MD “%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming”>nul
MD “%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Application Data”>nul
MD “%USERPROFILE%\Application Data”>nul
MD “%USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data”>nul
MD “%USERPROFILE%\My Documents”>nul
MD “%USERPROFILE%\Documents”>nul
START googledrivesync

batch file

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Save the file as Account 1.bat to your desktop or another folder where you would like to sync the files. Don’t forget to select All Files as type in Notepad while saving the batch file.

Step 3: Now run the batch file and wait for another instance of Google Drive to Start. The second instance of the application will ask you to sign in to a new account. Proceed normally, just remember to change the sync folder to the new folder that’s created using the batch files in the advanced option.

sign in

advanced settings

Note: Sometimes you might encounter some difficulty while changing the folder. In such a case, copy the exact path of the folder to select the directory.

browse for folders

That’s all, you will now see two instances of Google Drive syncing side by side. Amazing, right? The next time you want to sync files on the secondary account, run the batch file of that particular account. To add every subsequent account, just make a new batch file, run it and configure the application.

Conclusion

As we are not using any third-party application for the trick, this is the best method to sync multiple Google Drive accounts in Windows according to me. However, I think this is one of the very basic feature that should be provided as a built-in feature by Google. What do you think?

Thanks TumaGonx Zakkum for the heads up!

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Show archived comments (67)

Archived Comments

  1. Chris Pivik says:

    Great walk-through. This is definitely something Google Drive should offer without any work-arounds.

    That said, I am having issues with the Environmental Variable. Do I name the variable “PATH” as in your linked example, or something else? Sorry, I’m new to adding/editing environmental variables.

  2. alx96 says:

    Sorry, didn’t really work for me.
    The files from my one account got mixed up with the files from my other account.
    Google drive apps I run, both logged in under the same user name.

    • Todd Harrison says:

      Same here… I’ve got 4 separate google accounts (3 corporate entities plus one personal account).

      I’ve followed the above, making the slight alterations suggested in Jason Poole’s comment.

      Everything ‘seemed’ to work fine, then when rebooting, each of the icons in the system tray show the last account added using this work around, and the files in each drive were combined to some extent…

      So far, I’m in to my 5th hour of trying to re-sort out all my files… and nowhere near done.

      Bleuch!

  3. Bryan Sullo says:

    You say, “The next time you want to sync files on the secondary account, run the batch file of that particular account.” Does that mean that the files won’t sync automatically, like they will for the primary account?

    • File will sync automatically. The batch file will just be used to run the second instance. You can add the batch file to Windows startup if you would like to launch it automatically like the Google Drive account linked to the primary email.

  4. Apoorv Misra says:

    Hi, I’ve got 2 queries. 1. The entry ‘PATH’ does not exist in my user environment variables, how do I add it and what should be the value? 2. What did you mean by “Don’t forget to select All Files as type in Notepad while saving the batch file” in Step 2?

    • 1. A reference article to Environment Variable is lined in Step 1

      2. By selecting all files I mean that you must make sure the file extension is not TXT which is the default file type of Notpad.

  5. marketing.cloudfuze says:

    Use CloudFuze that simply enhances your multiple Google accounts experience with Google Drive .

    Doanload Free : http://www.cloudfuze.com/access-google-drive-multiple-accounts/

  6. Jean Gionet says:

    so this script creates another location where Google Drive will sync files? Why doesn’t it use the default location? ie: c:usersGoogle Drive
    I tried this script and it simply creates folders with jargon text. If I run the batch file from a command prompt I keep on seeing syntax errors.

    “The filename, directory name, or volume label syntax is incorrect.”

  7. Richard Buentello says:

    Doesn’t work in Win 8

    • Hardik Sanghvi says:

      Dear Richard,

      Have you tried right-clicking on the batch file and then “Run as administrator”. I use Windows 8 too and was stuck at Step 3. While running the batch file, it simply installed Google Drive to my PC and the “Sign in to Google Drive” never appeared. Then I realised that in W8 some files need to be run with administraor privileges. VOILA. It worked immediately.

      I think the procedure shown here is not too difficult for layman like me and works perfectly fine.

  8. jimaoe says:

    I can’t get this to work with windows 7. Even after adding the path, It crease some folders but then there is “the filename, directory name, or volume label syntax is incorrect.” multiple times

  9. ЗІИИОЯ says:

    If you copy the .bat script text you have to remove the “ and replace them by ” characters otherwise you will get errors.

  10. Sebastiaan Terpstra says:

    Another way is to simply combine your Google Drives to access them from one account on all your devices. I’ve written a small tutorial about this at http://goo.gl/N56MF. Check it out!

  11. Henk says:

    in step 2 there are 2lines the same !!! is that a typo ?

    and I am not on a domain, I use a workgroup.

    I have a “Programs Files” directory, not the … (x86), I assume that I should
    leave that out of the environment variable ?

    please help.

  12. John L. Galt says:

    Ashish,

    Thanks for this. I’m going to test it with 4 GAFYD accounts as well as my regular Google accounts.

    The character encoding for the script as you posted uses incorrect characters for the double quotation marks, and does, indeed, cause problems – even when pasting directly into a font-limited app like notepad. Any chance of redoing it as a downloadable template .txt file instead?

    Also, if this batch file is used repeatedly, will it repeatedly try to create the folders? if so, will it repeatedly try to download the items already in Google Drive? (In reading on the Google Drive groups page, in the topic about multiple accounts, I read that GDrive needs to start with an empty folder the first time it is set up – ad your script seems to set up GDrive from scratch every time it runs, so….)

    Finally, does it work with newer versions of Drive? I’m currently running GDriveSync Version 1.10.4769.0632, the latest that I can find – or does it require specifically the version that you have linked?

    Again, thanks for this.

  13. Pedro Mattos says:

    Sadly (is it?) SkyDrive by MS Live can run multiple app for desktop.

    See you soon, Google.

  14. Kampiamo DiKuesto says:

    hi, great trick!!! i’m testing it in windows 8. all seems work but when the synchronizzation starting to finish, google drive crash and i have to close the synchronization. does samone has positive expirience with this trick and wind 8?

  15. Kampiamo DiKuesto says:

    hello!!! is there some one live?

  16. Jason Poole says:

    This is a great tutorial! However, it took me a while to finally get everything working. Here are a couple things to get it to work on Windows 7. One was mentioned but I think that many people seem to miss it. I know that I did.

    1. When you copy the code into notepad, you MUST replace the “ and the ” with ” or it WILL NOT work.

    2. In the .bat file, in the line SET USERNAME=username@ domain.com, make sure that you leave a space between the @ sign and the word domain.

    Once I did these two things, everything worked for me. :-)

    Thanks again Ashish for such a great tutorial!

    Jason

    • Randy says:

      Thanks so much Jason and Ashish. This is so useful. The folder share option from Sebastian is genius and great in some cases, but when you want to have multiple accounts separated (no sharing or space interaction) different Drive users on same Windows user for example (like an always on common home computer ) this is a great way to go. Much appreciated.

    • candy4me says:

      worked perfect, thanks!!

    • candy4me says:

      This created a profile folder on my desktop (even though I created the folder in my C drive as you did). Is this file deletable? (there seems to be a duplicate one inside the folder in the C drive)

      • Abir says:

        Wherever we run the bat file from, it creates the user profiles in that directory. So, if batch script is in desktop, profiles will be created there. I created a folder structure like this:

        D:Multi GoogleDriveSetup

        and when setting up drive account, there is an option for advanced setup. Select separate folder for each account, each time you run the bat. My folder structure:

        D:Multi GoogleDrive

        Hope this helps…

        • Abir says:

          Sorry, I used angle brackets, and it seems they get converted to xml. I’ll write w/o those:
          Folders:
          D:Multi GoogleDriveSetupgoogledrive.bat
          D:Multi GoogleDriveaccount_name

    • Shl57 says:

      Thanks Dude

    • Michael says:

      Thanks for clearing that up! I have also tried Cloudfuze, its a platform that lets you access multiple cloud services at one time

    • Abhishek Mitra says:

      sorry mate, but I did not get the first point.. Could you explain a bit more?

  17. Snehal Masne says:

    This is what I was looking for. This is good and working too. Now thats what I call Out of box simple way of doing complex things. :)

    Thanks!
    Snehal Masne
    http://www.techproceed.com

  18. Z0mbie says:

    Dear Ashish, great idea I really like it, only problem is when I first ran the bat files it worked like a dream but when I ran it again the next day they all run but if I click on the GD icon by sys clock it shows all my accounts as logged in as the same account :( If I select open google drive folder it does open the ‘correct’ on that the bat relates to, anyone else hit this issue? If so how may I fix it? BTW I’m running Windows 8.

    Thank you.

    • Kampiamo DiKuesto says:

      i have the same result with another disavantage: after few hour google drive disapeare without an advise.

      it will be great if it works:(

    • Nic says:

      Great tutorial Ashish!
      But I have this same issue too. All the icons in the system tray show the same account name, and there is also no way to select individual folders for each account. Only the newest account folders show on the preferences dialog.

  19. Anon says:

    I have tried this workaround for Google Drive on my desktop and all went well on the first run, thank you. However, now when I start up a second instance it shows the account details from the first in the tray:
    [email protected]
    1.58gb (11%) of 15gb used
    Yet if I click on Preferences it shows the correct account attached to that version of GDrive (so two accounts running, both show the same account).
    Has anyone found a solution to this please?

    • Todd Harrison says:

      I’m having the same issue on Win 8… I REALLY need this work-around to … well. WORK.

      Again, it works the first time I set up my accounts, but every time I restart my computer, the accounts get messed up and each icon in my system tray shows the same account.

  20. Amrat Patel says:

    Dear,
    can you provide youtube video for this tutorial.

  21. Rob Bower says:

    Tried this and got it to half work but not successful. Decided to reverse the process and be happy with the original single account access and its all stopped working. Cant even delete, clear registry and re-install. Google Dive is no longer working for me :(

  22. Perry Ornitorrinco says:

    Owww man it really works. I can guess a little how it works but no complete understanding how.

    (1) “googledrivesync.exe” have parameters to decide which folder syncronize right?
    the bach file does it?

    (2) Can I set the second account (batch file) to start with window like the first?

  23. clayton says:

    It’s working for me on windows 8 pro. what the other commentor said about replacing the quotations if you copied it from the browser page is true. they are not the correct format. Run as administrator. It would be best to disconnect any accounts you already have set up (so long as they are not waiting to sync files). Read the other comments here first. It works. YAY business and personal documents in the cloud :)

    • clayton says:

      too soon.. it didn’t work :/ Crashed also and when I restarted only one of them was syncing

  24. mus says:

    i’m running on win xp, nothing happen.

  25. TechUser says:

    Thanks for the receipt and the time spent but it didn’t work in my win7 HomeP. The related batch instance allways crashes.

    Maybe the issue is from the 3rd Party software you don’t explain much ?

    Note: IMHO you should pay more attention on receipt usablity skills:
    – use topics use topics
    – work more with examples instead talking about generic steps like “Don’t forget to select All Files as type in Notepad while saving the batch file”.

    thank you

  26. Tatarize says:

    If this was native, they’d run the risk of somebody spanning together a few hundred google accounts to get 1TB rather than 5GB free.

  27. Tomáš Petrilák says:

    It was working for 2 days, I don’t know what happened because not anymore. Two instances GD were running at the same time and suddenly when I uploaded some files into drive and wanted to share message appears “9 files cannot be synchronized” I did restart GD, no change, I did restart PC and now only one instance of GD is running.
    I’ve repeated whole procedure mentioned in tutorial again, but it was not working as for first time.
    Now I can run only one instance of GD.

  28. Charles Newman says:

    I’ve experienced just about what everyone else has. With Windows 7 Ultimate, it works initially, but both instances of my Google drive just disappear after syncing is complete. It’s a valid work around, but by no means a stable solution. I would recommend anyone who needs a serious and reliable multi-google drive solution to steer clear of this.

    • Charles Newman says:

      Just wanted to add: That’s not a slam against you, Ashish. I appreciate the effort you put in to at least try to come up with a solution, whereas all Google has done is to say they have it on their radar (which means nothing).

  29. nehal dave says:

    I can’t understand “path” related tutorial and without that step I cant do this process. please help me….

  30. Calabr says:

    don’t work on win 7 !

  31. orlando says:

    Excellent, that’s work ok. thanks from Ecuador south america

  32. Folks who’ve been reporting that this method doesn’t work anymore, try out this new method in another post of ours -> http://www.guidingtech.com/27321/run-sync-more-than-one-google-drive/

  33. Alex Wright says:

    I don’t understand why Being able to switch between accounts not a feature available on PC. Being able to switch between accounts using Google Drive works wonderfully well on tablets and phones! It’s sooo convenient and productive and effective!!!

    Something political going on????

  34. melvin says:

    Dear all,

    It is not work for me… what I had do is
    1. quit the running google drive
    2. download the gsync.exe and run (the setup box just appear and then disappear
    3. made a dir as d:syncdrive and put the bat file in
    4. run the bat file, it generates 4 dirs, and the command prompt show ” The filename, directory name, or volume label syntax is incorrect. …
    Is something wrong of me ? and how can I fix it ?!
    Thanks,

  35. lef says:

    Maybe a bit late response, but that’s how I made it work under win 8.1 64bit:

    In my case I have 7 google apps accounts.

    I’ve created 7 different bat files and saved them under C:Users …editing the “SET USERNAME=” line depending the username of each account.

    Then I’ve created a “Google Drive” Folder under C:Users
    In the Google Drive folder I’ve created 7 different folder one per google account.
    Then I’ve gone back to my batch files and I was repeating the guides steps for each file separately.

    Then you can create a batch file calling all of them. You can create a shortcut under Start Up or a windows service to call this batch file using the sc.exe command.

  36. Anders Thulin says:

    Why complicate things?
    I use one master google account for sync. This master account subscribes to the other accounts folders.
    Set this up in My Drive in the Drive web GUI.
    Works perfect for me and the master accounts quota is not affected bu the subscribed content.