Tip: sync your files to the cloud without taking up space on your Mac

Tip: sync your files to the cloud without taking up space on your Mac

per Roberto Freitas (@batboymac)

Upon hearing the MacMagazine on Air # 125, in the part of reading emails, a question arose: would it be possible to occupy space on iCloud without occupying the same space on Mac? Well, I have good news and bad news.

Unfortunately, as far as I know, with iCloud this is not yet possible. But the good thing is that with other popular cloud file storage services including Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon Cloud Drive, Box, etc. it can be done.

All thanks to odrive, an app for OS X and Windows that consolidates the synchronization of most of these services, also including Gmail, FTP, Facebook and Instagram.

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The app is free and, to start, just install it on your Mac. A icon will appear in the menu bar and a folder of the drive will be created in your user.

Well, when we click on the bar icon, we have several synchronization options in Add Link. When selecting, for example, Google Drive, a login box appears for you to login and allow access to your account. Once this is done, odrive creates a subfolder for your Google Drive within your folder, only that it * does * download all files to your machine. Odrive creates shortcuts for them that, when opened by the Finder, synchronize the folder or file locally with your drive.

Odrive works with a way to sync call Progressive Sync, that is, when synchronizing a folder only it and its lightest files are downloaded. For the heaviest subfolders and files, shortcuts (by the way) which you have to click to download them to your machine.

The cool thing about this is that you can edit your files, save and, after that, odrive takes care of synchronizing everything with the cloud again.

After everything is synchronized, just click the right button on the folder and choose the option odrive Unsync Folder so that odrive deletes local files and turns them into shortcuts, instantly and instantly freeing up space on your drive.

There is no danger of it accidentally deleting files that have not been synchronized, as the drive warns you if this happens and you are the one who determines what to do.

But not everything is just flowers: one thing I didn’t like is that once the shortcuts related to your files are created they can’t be moved anymore, because if you do, odrive will not be able to synchronize anymore and you will have to download everything again through the browser .

I recommend odrive for those who want to keep all their files in the cloud without taking up space on the machine, but still want easy access to them.