Google Drive & Service accounts - can't see any files or folders - how on earth does it work

I'm trying to set up Service Accounts as I heard they bypass the 10TB/Download daily limit. I have 223TB of data on my drive that I'm trying to move to my NAS so I can say goodbye to google for good. But I can not for the life of me get this figured out. I followed the rclone documentation here but

rclone v1.63.1

  • os/version: debian 11.5 (64 bit)
  • os/kernel: 5.15.107+truenas (x86_64)
  • os/type: linux
  • os/arch: amd64
  • go/version: go1.20.6
  • go/linking: static
  • go/tags: none

Storage: Google Drive


./rclone -vv lsf SA:


type = drive
client_id =
client_secret = xxxxxxx
scope = drive
service_account_file = /mnt/TANK/matt/rc/SA/file-loader-viewer-xxx.json
team_drive =


matt@truenas:~/rc$ ./rclone -vv lsf SA:
2023/08/12 21:16:10 DEBUG : rclone: Version "v1.56.1" starting with parameters ["rclone" "-vv" "lsf" "SA:"]
2023/08/12 21:16:10 DEBUG : Creating backend with remote "SA:"
2023/08/12 21:16:10 DEBUG : Using config file from "/mnt/TANK/matt/.config/rclone/rclone.conf"
2023/08/12 21:16:11 DEBUG : Google drive root '': 'root_folder_id = 0AKcRGnab-WoMUk9PVA' - save this in the config to speed up startup
2023/08/12 21:16:11 DEBUG : 6 go routines active

I am sure I'm just not wrapping my head around how this works..... I followed all the steps yet I cannot see any folders or files

post also content of file-loader-viewer-xxx.json file with secrets redacted. Then somebody maybe can see what the problem is.

Each service account is a separate user, so what you are doing here is listing the service account's files - and there aren't any

If your data is on a shared drive, then point the above config at it by setting team_drive = XXXX

Or share the data with the service account's user and use --drive-shared-with-me

Or use --drive-impersonate to impersonate the user that has the data.

However which of those will work depends on whether you have a google workspace account or are you just using a normal google account?

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