Can I use odrive to replace all of my other sync clients?

Once I install the odrive sync desktop client, does this completely take the place of clients for my individual storage accounts (GDrive, Dropbox, etc)? Can I delete them without worry?

On a related topic, when I install the odrive client, does it copy locally stored files from GDrive, Dropbox, etc, or does it just reference the existing file locations? Am I getting duplicate files on my hard drive?

Apologies if this question has already been addressed, but I could not find it in my search attempts.

odrive can be used as a full replacement client for all of those services. Once you have odrive setup, you can remove the other clients.

odrive will reference files in the cloud. It does not try to account for the items that are kept locally in the other desktop sync clients. With odrive’s progressive sync, files are only locally cached once you navigate into a folder.

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The odrive client can be a sync client replacement for all of those source-specific clients. We’ll give you:

  1. Fast and reliable sync
  2. Progressive sync (so we don’t try to sync everything in your account immediately when you set it up–if you have a lot of data in those services, you’ll really appreciate this)
  3. Our own unified sharing capabilities (share weblinks to folders/files, or use our Spaces add-on to share folders in odrive collaboratively)
  4. Ability to purchase and use our Unsync, Pro, and Encryption add-ons (see against any source.
    …and more.

So even people that want to replace a single source-specific client for the above capabilities can do so.

But people that use more than one service or that want to link more than one account from the same service will find the odrive client especially useful. So yes, by all means, go ahead and install odrive so you can uninstall those other clients.

And, yes, there is the duplicate file problem (each sync client maintains its own set of locally synched files). But if you uninstall the other source-specific desktop clients, you will then be able to eliminate the duplicate files on your hard drive, too, since the only client you need is the odrive one.

Finally, if disk space is of special concern to you, check out our Unsync add-on which can help give you in-line selective sync capabilities with placeholder files.



Should I uninstall dropbox on local drive completely - and use Odrive instead?

Yes. You’ll reduce your disk usage and gain access to all cloud storage. You can still use dropbox’s web UI for any administration or sharing, just like with native dropbox client.

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Thanks. That makes sense.

Hi there, similarly to the original thread post, I’m quite confused as to how the odrive sync desktop client should function with my individual storage accounts and what I should be deleting.

In a nutshell, I have multiple storage accounts, of which, my personal Google Drive (around 50gb) is synced to locally to my hard drive. I also have Work-related Google Drive and Dropbox accounts but this is currently accessed via the web only.

I am most concerned about my personal Google Drive account. If I uninstall Google Drive on my desktop, i understand that I am only deleting the local files on my desktop - the actual files will remain in the cloud. I can therefore access these files via the odrive sync desktop client. However, some of these files i have in my personal Google drive are large - 500mb+ (adobe illustrator, indesign, photoshop files for example). How will i easily/quickly access these files? Will odrive have to download them each time i want to open and amend them? Am i better off keeping my personal Google drive for quicker access?

Second point, if i do retain my google drive application on my desktop, should i be adding files to my odrive folder on my desktop or my google drive folder? I am confused as to which i should be using.


Hi @jpthen,
Apologies for missing this earlier.

Once a file is cached locally (in sync), it will not need to be re-downloaded unless it changes remotely.

For your second question, I think the first may address it as well. You can definitely work efficiently with the odrive client. Downloads only need to be paid once unless the file changes.

The only argument I would make for retaining the native cloud client app (Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.) is if you change the cloud content from more than a single computer, either by using more than one personal device or from shared access. The native clients reliably pick up remote changes and sync to each linked client. Odrive is less good at this. We see the most issues with odrive encrypted folders (the native client can’t be used in these cases) but also on occasion with non-encrypted files. All too often odrive requires a manual sync or, if you use Win 10, navigating to the folder in question using Explorer.

Let’s say I ONLY us odrive and no service specific clients on my computers. Since odrive is not available for iOS and Android, if I continue to use the service specific client (i.e.- Dropbox), will everything still be in sync on my computers running only odrive if I make changes on my Android device?

Hi @bryan.schramm,
Yes. odrive syncs with the backend storage service (dropbox in this case). A long as your Android client uploads the data, odrive will see it. In general, odrive will be able to show and sync files/folders that you have successfully stored in your remote storage (Dropbox, in your example), regardless of how they got there.

@bryan.schramm: If you use Windows, you’ll often need either to do a manual refresh on the odrive folder or stop and restart odrive (manually, via rebooting, etc.) before files uploaded from Android are synced to your computer.

Hi @bryan.schramm,

To clarify @Ethan 's comments, there are certain factors that can affect automatically reflecting changes.

  • The largest of these is large scale data. Having hundreds of thousands of tracked files/folders, for example, can slow things down.
  • Another factor is Encryption, which does not look for changes as aggressively as non-encrypted folders.
  • Then there is the remote source, itself, which varies in terms of how often we can ask the source for changes. Dropbox is fairly rapid, so you should have very quick pick-up. Amazon Drive is less rapid than Dropbox (as per their specifications), so automatic reflection can take several minutes. Traditional sources like FTP are slower than Amazon Drive, and it can take up even longer to automatically reflect changes.
  • Combining large-scale data with Encryption or a less aggressively checked source can create longer delays in automatic reflection, too.

We are currently working on improving logic and behavior to mitigate these factors.

As Ethan stated, you can ask odrive for an refresh in a specific location, at any time, to get the contents listed immediately.

I think this all may be tangential from your original question, however. The bottom line is that odrive will be able to show and sync files/folders that you have successfully stored in your remote storage (Dropbox, in your example), regardless of how they got there.

As Tony alludes, a strength of odrive is that it makes sync cloud provider agnostic. If all works well, you do not need to have apps for each provider on your computers.

We see the worst problems with odrive not picking up that a remote file has changed with encrypted folders. That said, folders with more than a few hundred files often do not sync at all (or for at least a few weeks) when files are changed on the remote side with or without encryption. If odrive can make bidirectional automatic sync as reliable as that of the better cloud apps (e.g. Dropbox or Google Drive), I’d happily ditch the provider apps entirely.

I assume that we delete the original sync apps after we downloaded odrive?

Hi @ongboonlay,
Take a look at post #3 above : Can I use odrive to replace all of my other sync clients?

For me, the problem here is that odrive do not work as seamlessly as dropbox. Dropbox currently will appear in your Microsoft folders so that you can work directly off it. Until then, I’m afraid that I’ll still have the Dropbox app sitting on my computer.

…unless, of course, I’m using, or installing the odrive app wrong. Right now, there’s tedious a process of copying and pasting and then, deleting plus there is a limit to size of file or bandwidth.

Hi @ongboonlay,
Can you clarify what you mean by “Microsoft folders”? odrive is just like any other folder on your system, so you should be able to access those files from the application you are using.

Hi, I’m just getting started with odrive and wrapping my head around how things work. This thread really helped!

I do have a question that I’m still not sure the answer to:

Once I’ve completely synced Odrive with my entire Dropbox, can I keep dropbox active with selective sync on? Or will that cause issues with odrive syncing those files I no longer sync? I’ve already spotted one “Selective sync conflict” error, which made me wonder.

There are just a few preference files and things like 1password that I need to have active in dropbox and keep synced across multiple devices.

Hi @d11,
You can continue to have the Dropbox client installed and running. The odrive client doesn’t know about the Dropbox client and won’t access the files in the default Dropbox folder.

You do need to make sure that you are not cross-syncing any areas, though, where odrive and Dropbox are acting on the same files on the local system. For example if you are using aliases or symlinks, or you have used the “sync to odrive” option to target a Dropbox client folder.