Amazon Cloud Drive adds new native Dropbox-like sync feature

amazon-drive-sync

I’m a big fan of Amazon Drive and use it regularly, but the desktop software is a bit lackluster. Sure, you can use the software to upload and download files, but that’s pretty much it. Amazon has now added the ability to automatically sync files in your Amazon Drive with your computer. To achieve this before, you had to use a 3rd-party app like Odrive, or do what I do, which is let my NAS handle syncing and have it upload a copy to Amazon Drive. Now syncing capabilities are natively built into the Amazon Drive client.

The Amazon Drive software will create a new Amazon Drive folder on your computer which it will automatically sync, just like Dropbox. While you can select any folder in your Amazon Drive to be synced down with your computer, you unfortunately can’t select other folders on your computer to be automatically synced up. All files you want synced to your Amazon Drive and across computers must be in the sole Amazon Drive folder on your computer.

It’s also worth noting that any stray files in your main Amazon Drive root directory, that are not in a folder, will automatically be synced down to your computer. If you want individual folders in your Amazon Drive to be synced, you have to manually select them.

With an Amazon Drive subscription costing only $59.99 per year for unlimited storage, or now free for a year if you buy a specific hard drive, it’s a great solution for offsite backups. This new sync feature makes it even better.

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22 comments
  1. Mark_Venture says:

    It appears that the Amazon Drive app makes its folder under c:\users\[USERID]\Amazon Drive

    Is there a way to move/change that? My “C drive” is a smaller SSD… so I’d rather put my amazon stuff in the “my docs” folder on drive D…

    • Troks says:

      This can be changed in the registry. You will need to navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Amazon\Amazonclouddrive or HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Amazonclouddreive. The registry key U are looking for is SyncRoot.

      • AFTVnews says:

        Great tip! I’ll have to see if a similar thing can be done in Mac OS.

        • AFTVnews says:

          I haven’t tested to see if this actually works yet, but it likely will.

          For Mac, inside
          /Users/[YOUR_USERNAME]/Library/Application Support/Amazon Drive/
          there is a file that ends in sync.db
          If you open that with an sqlite database reader you’ll see there is a database table named “files” with one entry that has the field “local_path”
          If you change that to be a different folder path, it’s likely it will change which folder is automatically synced.

          Again, I have not tested this myself.

      • Jeck says:

        Very strange that I don’t have a HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Amazon*

        I’m running Windows 10.

      • Gilad says:

        This method no longer works. There is not Amazon Registry under Software.

      • Jason says:

        If you install the software now you have the option to select the folder on the tutorial menu.

        • Lance says:

          Doesn’t allow you to use your NAS. Is there anyway to trick it into allowing that? The old version you could just change the registry.

  2. edw says:

    this is the dumbest feature ever.. needs some kind of off switch

  3. Christopher Loughrey says:

    Odrive sucks as it won’t let you authorize a UK Amazon Drive. It defaults to the US site.

  4. Nathan says:

    About damn time.

  5. Stephen says:

    All I want is a convenient interface to upload and download files from any of my PCs to and from my Amazon drive. Fortunately, this new version has an option to use it like the old one and you can deselect all folders so it doesn’t try to replicate your terabyte of crap down to your local PC like Google drive does.

  6. Zef says:

    Doesn’t look like this tip works for Win 10 and the latest app release. They’ve updated the app so it allows you to select the location in the latest release, as of January 2017.

    Came to this page because one can’t change the location after the initial setup, even when uninstalling or reinstalling the application.

    I can select another folder, but the application reboots to the select location screen. Select another folder again, same thing. A continuous loop.

    Even took out the hard drive thinking I could force it to select a new location, but that wasn’t the case. Still referenced the (now ghost) drive.

    Having a heckuva time with this. Regedit fix no longer works, or at least the files are hidden. The only thing I can think of to solve this is to find a program that does a better scrub of the system than the Win10 Uninstall or to reinstall Win10 completely on my boot drive.

    • Jeremy says:

      Zef: You can reset the path by simply unlinking your Amazon account in the sync client. You can do this in the sync client’s settings. This will “reset” the application and bring you back through the setup process where you select a target folder. Be forewarned that if the target folder contains a copy of the same files as Amazon Drive, the client will need to cycle through each one to verify it hasn’t changed; for a large folder that can take a while.

      • Nora says:

        Hi Jeremy. I’m having the same issue. Excuse my ignorance, but how do I access the synch client?

        • Jeremy says:

          Nora: In Windows, at least, you click on the Amazon Drive icon in your Windows task bar, next to the time. Note that it might be hiding behind a down arrow. It looks like a white cloud with a status icon (paused, syncing, or synced).

          When you click on that icon, it will bring up a window displaying the files most recently synchronized. From there, click the settings menu (“…”) in the upper-right-hand corner and choose “Preferences”. Within the preferences window, click on the “Account” tab. You can then click “Deregister” to log out of your account.

          Once this is done, the sync client will return to the same state it was when you first installed it, and should immediately ask you to log back in. Once you do, you will once again have the option of specifying where to place the “Amazon Drive” folder.

          Hope this helps,
          Jeremy

          • Nora says:

            Thanks for the response, Jeremy. I think have discovered a work around…
            I uninstalled the windows app and am accessing Amazon photos from my browser. This allows me to upload files from whichever folder(s) I specify… and doesn’t seem to save a duplicate copy locally. There is no automatic syncing, and that is fine for my needs.

          • Jjames says:

            It also won’t let you name the folder…it adds ‘Amazon Drive’ to the end of any specified path….any way to fix that on Windows 10? If you can’t name the folder yourself, it’s kind of useless.

  7. Helmut says:

    Just use NTFS junctions:
    type cmd in start

    mklink /J c:\users\[USERID]\Amazon Drive d:\Your_Folder_Sync

  8. Helmut says:

    .. better use this path:

    mklink /J “c:\users\[USERID]\Amazon Drive\Your_Folder_Sync” “d:\Your_Folder_Sync”

    ..whereas the folder c:\users\[USERID]\Amazon Drive\Your_Folder_Sync shouldn’t exist before executing the command. It will create a link of d:\Your_Folder_Sync in \Amazon Drive\ – i.e., amazon will believe everything in d:\Your_Folder_Sync is in Amazon Drive-Folder.

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