Google Drive Backup

Otto Wanders
3 min readMar 7, 2022


Weekly Report CW10

Do you have all your google documents (.gdoc) (.gsheet) backed up? It turned harder than expected to backup these files without a third-party solution. Backupify and Cloudally make it easy to backup your gsuite space, but it feels unsafe that someone else can see, delete, customize all your documents especially when you store contracts and sensitive data.

From my old-school experience, I create backups simple and easy with Carbon Copy Cloner. I am just making a hard copy from one volume to another one.

Volume → Backup Volume

When I do this with google drive, it backups all files that are not from the google-system, so PDFs, images, etc. BUT the mirrored google documents on the Mac system are links or aliases. So there is no information stored inside of these files. In this following case, it’s not correctly backed up:

  • Google Document on the Google Drive → Backup to external volume
  • Deleting this Google Document
  • Emptying the Drive Trash
  • Restoring the file from the external volume
  • Results in a corrupt / not functioning file

It works when you do a conversion to a Microsoft Word document. But then you have to convert it back to google drive.

So my solution at the end was using a second google user and then backing up from one drive user to the other one. This keeps the google documents in the google system, and they are fully functional when restoring the file. There is no need for a conversion to Microsoft Word. With the Google Drive Desktop app, you can see all your files in a second user. No third party is needed. This makes the User interface where your files are stored familiar. It’s all in the Mac finder accessible.

Google Drive User A → Google Drive User B

Note: You have to have “mirrored” turned on at the Google Drive Desktop App and specify a physical hard drive folder on your computer for each User.

Then use Carbon Copy Cloner to backup from User A to User B.

If a file is deleted permanently on User A, it’s easy to restore it from User B. copy what you need back into your User A.

Note: You have to set permissions on google drive so that User B can edit all files of User A and vice versa.

The solution is almost ready. I want to check if it’s possible to do it within a single account. But it’s essential that you can’t see all the files in the same drive. Having them twice on the same drive would result in chaos. But probably it’s possible to have it in one account (not a User).

As this is still a work in progress, consider it an inspiration to use two google drive accounts as a backup solution.

The Five Weekly Questions

I end every week with a Friday Report and five questions, as we implemented it at OnSaPa GmbH to keep a consistent feedback relation.

What was good?

  • Achieved 100% of weekly highlights
  • Great feedback about my work from the new stakeholder group
  • NFT collab visuals ready
  • Found a solution to backup google drive
  • I had an inspirational meeting with an older entrepreneur
  • Successful call for tax reduction

What to look at in the future?

  • More Motion Freelance

What was shitty?

  • Missed two meetings (Calendar sync accident)

What should stay as it is?

  • Scoring high

What was neglected?

  • nothing

I will be back next week with new updates.

Enjoy a fantastic start to this week!