‘Solving’ folder and file duplicate problems in Google Docs

For those of you using third party apps with Google Docs, you would realize how common the folder duplication problem is. All (if not most) third party apps delivering sync service to google docs is suffering from such duplication issue.

This is true for syndocs (see discussion here), gladinet, insync and the rest other. The problem appears to rests on the conversion from folder structure into ‘collection’ in google docs.

Unfortunately there is no direct way to completely solve this problem until google itself handle such situation. Thus, if you want to keep using google docs with such third party apps, then you will have to backup everything in GDocs without its folders. This scenario may also be useful for those whose google docs are no longer usable due to hundreds or maybe thousands of folder duplications. These folders are often without content.

My solution is to clean up my google docs from such empty duplicate folders. For this, we will need three tools:

1. The Remove Empty Directories software

2. Insync and,

3. Teracopy

Step 1:
Sync everything inside your google docs with Insync (you have to install insync if it’s not already installed). It will take some hours if you have large files. But don’t wait until its over, because the folders will keep reduplicating itself. When you think you have enough files, go to step 2 below.

Step 2:
Use Teracopy to move the all the files to the insync root folder on your computer.

Step 3:
What remains in your non root folders are empty folders which are the result of google docs self duplication issue and those which content has been removed by you to the root folder using teracopy. Now, delete those empty folders using the “Remove Empty Directories” software.

Step 4
Keep repeating the above steps until all folders are moved to the root folder and empty folders are cleared. In the end, you will have a workable google docs (which you can sync using Insync) but without any “collection” category. From my experience, there are no more file or folder duplication issue at this stage, your sync will proceed flawlessly no matter how many files you sync. 

Do this at your own risk. Backup everything first before proceeding.