Image: Jack Wallen

One of the best desktop clients for syncing Google Drive cloud files and folders to your local folders is Insync. Not only does it do an outstanding job of keeping your Google cloud data in sync with your desktop, it also allows you a certain level of customization. One such customization is the ability to blacklist file types and folders.

This came in very handy for me recently when, because of a local backup, I found a large number of video files winding up in my Google Drive folders. No matter what I did (and how many times I deleted them), the files wound up back in my Google Drive cloud folders — to the tune of 64 GB. Not only was that taking up a lot of space, it was eating up bandwidth. Fortunately, Insync has a built-in system for preventing such behavior. I walk you through the process of blacklisting file types and folders, so your cloud doesn’t wind up full.

I will assume you already have Insync installed and associated with a Google account. I run Insync on an elementary OS Freya desktop (it also works with Windows and Mac).

Creating a blacklist

Insync makes it easy to blacklist file types and folders; the only caveat is that you have to know where to look. If you open the Insync window, you will be presented with your Insync Feed where all notifications are posted (Figure A).

Figure A

Figure A

Figure A

Image: Jack Wallen

The Insync Feed window.

To get to the blacklisting, click your profile picture to the right of the Insync icon in the app window. Click the IGNORE LIST tab (Figure B), and now you’re ready to set up the blacklist.

Figure B

Figure B

Figure B

Image: Jack Wallen

The Insync settings window.

Adding file types and folders to the blacklist is as simple as entering the file type or the exact folder path into the text area and then clicking the + button. File types use wildcards as you would expect (such as *.mp4 for all files with the .mp4 extension). Once added, you should see a drop-down that allows you to set the behavior of the blacklist item. By default, all items will be set to do not upload or download. If you want to make sure anything you add to the Google Drive cloud is downloaded to the sync’d folder but not the opposite action, select Do Not Upload from the drop-down (Figure C).

Figure C

Figure C

Figure C

Image: Jack Wallen

Blocking .mov and .mp4 files from being uploaded to the Google cloud.

Now you’ve blacklisted specific file types from being sent to your Google cloud, thus saving space and bandwidth.

Insync is one of best desktop Google cloud sync clients I have used. With the help of blacklists, you can control how much data is sent to and from your Google account.

What desktop app do you use to back up and sync your Google account? Tell us in the comments.

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Pro tip: Blacklist files and folders in Insync to prevent filling up Google Drive