Mounting "Computers" (Backup and Sync) with rclone?

What is the problem you are having with rclone?

I'm using Backup and Sync in combination with Drive File Stream. There's a work-a-round to see the Backup and Sync folders in Drive File Stream by doing Shift+Z on the folders to make a second location in My Drive. However, it seems Google is throwing this option out in September. So I'm wondering if there's a way to accomplish this though rclone mounting?

I've currently got it working by manually changing the folder id to one of the computers in the "Computers" tab. But I have multiple computers so that won't work.

What is your rclone version (output from rclone version)

rclone v1.52.3

  • os/arch: windows/amd64
  • go version: go1.14.7

Which OS you are using and how many bits (eg Windows 7, 64 bit)

Windows 10, 64 bit

Which cloud storage system are you using? (eg Google Drive)

Google Drive

The command you were trying to run (eg rclone copy /tmp remote:tmp)

Paste command here

The rclone config contents with secrets removed.

Paste config here

A log from the command with the -vv flag

Paste  log here

You can create a shortcut to the computers folder in your drive which can then be access by rclone as usual.

Wow, thanks! I thought it'd just do the same thing Drive File Stream does and not direct it to the right location. Is there a way to have the drive mount automatically when Windows starts?

you want to have a rclone mount start when windows starts?

Yes. The command I've been running is:

rclone mount --vfs-cache-mode full [name of drive]:/ [drive letter]:

I'm not into command line stuff so I'm not sure what "--vfs-cache-mode full" is doing, or if there's other commands that accomplish the same thing. I don't need it to cache any data on the local drive. I'm just looking to access and edit directly in the cloud. But that's what someone said to use on a YouTube tutorial and it worked.

well, it depends on what you want from the mount. to play videos or what?

the easiest way to run a command or batch file at startup is to use task scheduler.

Yes. I would like the ability to play a video if need be. I suppose it would need a cache in order to do that?

Does Task Scheduler need a batch file for it since it's more than one command to get rclone to mount the drive?

for playing video, then you do not need --vfs-cache-mode
when i have a mount for playing video i use --read-only

you might not need a cache, try playing a video and see what happens.

I tested it out and it did play a video. It took forever to open the folder that had the videos in it though.

what was the exact mount command?

if you do a, what are the results?

the folder was slow to open, that can be tweaked, could be a windows explorer issue

but the video, did it play without stuttering?

I tried my original command:
rclone mount --vfs-cache-mode full [drive name]:/ [drive letter]:

I then tried it with what you recommended:
rclone mount --read-only [drive name]:/ [drive letter]:

The video played in both instances and didn't stutter but it was only a 30MB video. I tried a higher bitrate video just now that was closer to 3GB and it did stutter, even under the read only command. I got a 10ms ping, 28 mbps down and 6 mbps up in the speed test.

I noticed when I use the vfs command and I try to open a folder containing videos it is writing to my local disk. Is this it filling a cache?

yes, did you read the doc link i shared for full?
"When a file is opened for read it will be downloaded in its entirety first."

if the entire 3GB video was downloaded, it should play without stuttering.
if you download the file to your local computer c: drive and play the video from the c: drive, does it stutter?

about your internet connection, is it 28 mbps` or 28 Mbps?
my download is 780Mbps

Yeah I did. I just found it odd that it would start writing to the local disk when only the folder was opened rather than when the file was played. Maybe to make thumbnails?

It will play without stuttering if download and play it. Windows Explorer seems to be a lot slower at browsing the files when I use the vfs command compared to the read only command.

It's 28Mbps.

in my computational reality, windows explorer is evil, like google is evil.
i have not used windows explorer since windows 98.

@VBB might tell you different......
"Microsoft's fusion of Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer may confuse consumers"

but there is a beta version of rclone that might be helpful

you can download the beta from
and try to use --vfs-cache-mode=full

1 Like

Windows Explorer is pure evil once you have more files and folders in one root folder than it wants you to :). That number, at least in my experience, is around 4,000 to 5,000. That's when it slows down to a crawl, unless the contents are indexed. This can be accomplished by using this command, once the mount is up (note that you have to add --rc to your mount command for this to work):

rclone rc vfs/refresh recursive=true --timeout 10m

Oh, and Jojo, come on, the big G evil, too? How can you say that when most of us use it to store gigglebytes*!!! of data in their service :wink:

*Gigglebyte=hilarious amount of data

I recommend to set view as "Details" ("Small icons" & "List" can be used too) in your Windows Explorer and then apply that view for all folders of the same type (photos only, music only, mixed etc...). Also enabling "Always show icons, never thumbnails" is good alternative. Probably even better but less flexible.

To apply: File -> Options -> View
apply to folders

It helps because it effectively prevents thumbnail generation which consumes quite a lot of data/requests which you don't want. However metadata (properties) are still being read so Windows Explorer may hang if there are lots of files which specific metadata attributes (apart from standard ones for all files like size, creation/access/modification time, etc.) have to be read (e.g.: you enable dimensions for photos or length for videos in your "Details" view). It is possible to disable thumbnail generation and file specific metadata parsing in effect making Windows Explorer very effective while viewing rclone mounts. Although loosing some convienience as that information won't be available to you through Windows Exporer. You can do that with ShellExView ( by disabling required property (MF ASF/AVI/MKV/MPEG/MPEG-4 - for video thumbnails and properties; IPropertyStore Handler for Images - for photos) and thumbnail handlers (Photo Thumbnail Provider). Then restarting Windows Explorer to apply the changes. In my opinion photos thumbnailing (Photo Thumbnail Provider) can be left untouched as they don't affect performance that much and you may not know what photo the file contains if it uses general name. Photos metadata (IPropertyStore Handler for Images) should be disabled or you should use viewing mode which doesn't need file specific metadata information. Else, you risk hanging Windows Explorer with folders which have lots of photo files. All those things apply to music, word and other files from which file specific metadata information can be extracted as every file must be read to get that information compared to general file system metadata (file size, modification date etc.) which don't have to be parsed per file basis.

1 Like

To add to the post above, I also found this to be very helpful:

I have the entire mount set to "Documents". That way, Explorer will not show/read any media properties. Unfortunately, if you're dealing with Plex scans, none of this will help :sob:

It creates "desktop.ini" file in specified folder with your viewing settings. So it shouln't work (after next restart) if mount is in --read-only mode.

@asdffdsa @VBB It seems like quite a few questions come in for Windows mounts and there are quite a few tips for it too that are spread across various forum posts.

Something similar like @Animosity022's thread dedicated to Windows mounts would probably be helpful to lots of users.

Would either of you mind creating a dedicated thread for the same to keep everything contained and referenced in it?

1 Like

I'll see what I can do, if I can find the time :slight_smile:

1 Like