rclone for Google Team Drive

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rclone seamlessly connects to remote cloud storage on Mac, Linux, Windows and several other operating systems for cloud storage services including:

  • Google Drive / Team Drive
  • Dropbox
  • Amazon S3
  • Microsoft OneDrive

The rclone interface is easy to use programatically (like rsync) without bothering to install weighty GUI clients that might not properly support your operating system. In general, whatever client you use to access remote storage solutions will be rate-limited. This is relevant to “unlimited” storage such as for Google G Suite for Education, which has unlimited storage space–the limit comes in how fast you can upload and download files.


  1. Setup Rclone for your operating system:
    • Linux
      1. Download and extract–for PC, use amd64.
      2. add to ~/.bash_aliases
        alias rclone='~/rclone/rclone'
    • Mac: brew install rclone
    • Windows: Download, extract, install
  2. add various remote file shares from Google Drive, Google Team Drive, Dropbox, etc. by:
    rclone config


I share lots of files with Google Team Drive, particularly since educational institutions get free unlimited storage. You must have rclone ≥ 1.37 to use Google Team Drive.

In these examples, remote is the particular drive name you chose during rclone config.

Configuration is stored in ~/.config/rclone/rclone.conf.

Finding remote directory contents

  • List remote directories
    rclone lsd remote:
  • list remote directories under path/to
    rclone lsd remote:path/to
  • list remote files under path/to
    rclone ls remote:path/to
  • count number of files in path/to
    rclone ls remote:path/to | wc -l

Copy/sync with remote

copy in rclone by default does not clobber existing remote files, if they haven’t been changed.

  • recursively copy local computer ~/path to remote
    rclone copy ~/path remote:path -v
  • copy only this directory contents ~/path to remote
    rclone copy --max-depth 0  ~/path remote:path -v

Using rclone sync requires caution, because sync DELETES files on remote that are not also on local PC!

  • sync local computer ~/path to the remote
    rclone sync ~/path remote:path -v


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