Filtering by Tag: unsync

A Designer’s Gift from the Cloud Storage Gods

Added on by Aric Johnson.

No need to worry about disk space anymore

If you’re a designer or creative who relies on cloud storage heavily, it’s likely you’ve run out of space on your computer hard disk at least once in your career. You use cloud because it’s awesome for redundancy and sharing, but you never expected it to take up so much space.

And let’s face it, disk real estate is in high demand. Your 2012 Homepage video isn’t nearly as important as the video you’re putting final touches on tonight and delivering to your client tomorrow.

"Recency almost always decides what files are hot or not."

I feel your pain.

I’m the designer/marketing/video person here at odrive. I probably produce more files by myself in a given week than our entire company combined. Working on everything from large video projects to the smallest of icon designs and web mockups — it adds up quickly.

But I use odrive — a designer’s gift from the cloud storage Gods — and it’s been a complete game changer for me and my productivity. Here we go…

Save Tons of Space With Unsync

Ina perfect world, you could offload all the files and projects you don’t need from your computer. They stay safe in the cloud, you can get them on-the-fly if you needed them, and you wouldn’t have to sync the entire folder just to get one file. That’s exactly what odrive Unsync does for you.

Relax Mac folks — there’s a bit of Photoshop magic for a more stark contrast. But this is really the ratio of cloud stuff to system and application stuff on my hard drive— and it’s all because of Unsync.

Every time I work on something I save it directly to my odrive which points to a company Amazon S3 bucket. As I continue to work on the files, my edits get synced to the cloud. When I finish that project and no longer need it, I unsync the whole folder from my computer and reclaim the space. The folder gets replaced with a placeholder file, which I’ll get to in a second.

Unsyncing files & folders removes them from your HD but keeps them safe in the cloud

Unsyncing files & folders removes them from your HD but keeps them safe in the cloud

If I need a file that I’ve unsynced, I just double-click its placeholder file and it automatically re-syncs and is available for me to use.

Since odrive is all about improving the way you currently use cloud storage, we’ve added the ability to set a universal unsync policy as well. For example, you can have odrive automatically unsync files that haven’t been edited in over a week.


Use Placeholder Files and Folders

Last time I checked, the point of cloud storage is to store stuff in the cloud. So why does it need to take up all my disk space, too. This problem escalates the second my cloud storage becomes larger than the free space on my hard drive and my old projects continue to add up.

odrive is designed to minimize the amount of space that cloud storage consumes on a local disk without sacrificing accessibility.

Placeholder files and folders show me everything in my storage without taking up any space — that is until I decide I want that file. Files I create and later unsync, get a recognizable pink tab when they turn to placeholder files.

Sync is fully customizable so you can set policies based on file sizes. Maybe you like having all your small documents automatically sync, but you want to avoid downloading any huge videos. The auto download limit, when browsing your existing files in the cloud, lets you decide the maximum size of files you’d like to sync automatically and excludes any files that are larger.

I prefer to use the “Never download” setting. It very literally translates into me being able to browse all my files and folders as placeholders. I find the file I need and sync it. Only it.

Setting “Never Download” allows you to look through all your files and folders without taking up any HD space.

Setting “Never Download” allows you to look through all your files and folders without taking up any HD space.

The auto download limit is especially awesome in shared storage environments. If Jeff and I share a Dropbox folder and he uploads a gigantic 10GB video file into it, I have to spend the bandwidth and disk space to download a huge file that isn’t relevant to me. With odrive, I would only see the placeholder file and not pay the cost of space and bandwidth. Pretty useful.

Link Multiple Accounts from Same Service

Now even though I have dedicated storage for my company stuff, if you’re like me you still have lots of different accounts, some using the same service. For example, I have a personal Google account, a work account, and I also share an account for a non-profit group I volunteer for. Instead of logging in and out to access your Google Drives via their desktop app, I link all my accounts to my odrive and access them all as single folders inside of my odrive desktop folder.

Now I can work on everything immediately from one place. Mix in placeholders and unsync to multi-account access and you’ve got a fully customizable, cloud dominating arsenal.

The Result: Save space, stress less

With odrive, you can finally use cloud storage the way it was meant to be used — as storage! And you’ll never run out of local disk space again. The best part is that you have full control over the amount of space your cloud consumes. So whether you’ve got thousands of PSDs or hundreds of gigantic movie projects, with odrive you’re all good — all the files you need, nothing you don’t.

odrive isn’t just a one trick pony, so it does a lot more than just save you space. It’s an all-inclusive cloud storage tool kit, so we’ve got even more to offer :

  • Share your own storage with others
  • Encryption for any file on any storage
  • Backup external storage to the cloud (to come)

Come create an account and test drive all that odrive has to offer.

odrive tips: The power of unsync

Added on by Tony Magliulo.

Sometimes we here at odrive need to take a step back and remember that our users are not all sync experts who know the ins and outs of odrive’s Progressive Sync engine. The truth is that you shouldn’t need to know that much about sync. Our goal is to make everything work smoothly and with as little effort as possible, despite the sophistication and numerous capabilities bubbling just under the surface. Due to our desire to make things simple, we sometimes end up with awesome features that folks may not even know about. That is why we are starting an “odrive tips” series to explore the odrive features and capabilities that are available, but may not be readily apparent or understood.

Today we will delve into unsync. Unsync is a core feature of odrive; a feature that sets us apart from every other sync platform. Unsync is built on the premise of “file virtualization”, which means that we can represent files in a local file system view, natively, without requiring the actual content of those files to also exist locally. When we apply this core principle to folders as well as files, things get quite interesting. The ability to represent folder hierarchies using placeholders allows users to dynamically expand and collapse large structures, or even entire links, down into a single placeholder file. A user can then expand and sync the collapsed structures at a later time, on demand. This is very unique, and part of the foundation for odrive’s Progressive Sync technology.

Unsync: The nuts and bolts

The act of unsyncing is done via your native file browser, using a simple right-click action on either a file or a folder.

Unsyncing a file will substitute the local content of the specified file with a placeholder file. The data that was taken up by that file will be freed. For example, if you had previously synced a 4MB photo in your Dropbox account down to your desktop (my_cool_photo.jpg), a right-click-> unsync action on that file would replace my_cool_photo.jpg with a placeholder file named my_cool_photo.jpg.cloudx, and you’d have an additional 4MB of available space on your local disk!

Unsyncing folders works in much the same way, except that it applies file unsync to all of the files below the specified folder structure, no matter how deep it goes. odrive collapses everything in that folder down to a single placeholder file, freeing up all of the space that was previously occupied by the entire structure. For example: Let’s say you copied in 100GB of photos into a directory inside your linked Amazon Cloud Drive account (My Photos) and, after a time, it all synced up to the cloud. Now you want to free up that space locally. A simple right-click->unsync action on “My Photos” would go through all files within that folder structure, check to make sure each one was successfully synced to Amazon Cloud Drive, and, once verified, would unsync the entire “My Photos” folder. The result would be a single “My Photos.cloudfx” placeholder file in its place and an additional 100GB of available space on your local disk! All of the content in “My Photos” is now safely tucked away in the cloud for later access.

When to use unsync

The need for unsync can be as simple as wanting to free up some extra space for that new game, application, or movie, but there are more advanced use cases for unsync that can help you enhance your workflow or allow you to truly “live in the cloud”.

  • For users who work on projects frequently, unsync is a great last step in your project flow. It signals the end of the project and frees up the space for the next one. It also reduces your data sprawl, allowing you, and odrive, to work in a more focused and efficient manner.
  • For the more organized users, unsync gives you a great new dynamic for your organizational needs. You can now collapse structures that you want to archive away, or keep from your current focus. Use unsync to lock those sections away until they are needed again.
  • For users looking to “live in the cloud” unsync is essential to the migration process. The gigabytes of data that you may have strewn about on different computers, external hard drives, NAS, and flash drives can all be stored in the cloud using odrive. Once a batch of data has synced, you can unsync those files and load in the next ones. This is truly the only way you can get full, native access to potentially unlimited storage on your very limited desktop.

odrive, like a pro

If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! You are now a certified in the secret arts of odrive unsync. Feel free to utilize it liberally to help you access the vastness of your cloud on even the smallest of local storage.

If you have stumbled upon this post without having used odrive before, head on over to to get started.

Have fun odriving!

To read more about odrive sync: