Airtable Sync integration: Google Drive
  • 19 Jan 2023
  • 4 Minutes to read
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Airtable Sync integration: Google Drive

  • Dark
  • PDF

Article Summary

Learn how to use the Airtable Sync integration feature to bring information from external applications into a single, centralized table within Airtable. This article covers how to sync metadata from files in a Google Drive folder into Airtable. Once the sync is set up, you can then reference those records via linked records in order to maintain connections to canonical Drive files (and even access those files directly using a button).


Plan availabilityAll plan types

Owners/Creators - In order to create or update synced tables, you'll need to have creator permissions in the base where you are setting up the sync.

Platform(s)Web/Browser, Mac app, and Windows app
Related reading
  • Sync - Basic setup - If you haven’t set up a sync before, we recommend first reading this article to become familiarized with how the Airtable Sync feature generally works.
  • Airtable Sync FAQs - Answers to common questions that might help unblock you if you are encountering issues.


Step 1: Add a new synced table

Click the “+” symbol to the right of your list of tables, then select Google Drive from the list of available sync options.

Step 2: Select a Google Drive account

Select an existing Google Drive account (if you’ve previously connected to the service), or link to a new account.

To learn more about managing external accounts within Airtable, see this article.
If this is the first time you're connecting Airtable to a Google Drive account, we’ll ask your permission to see and download all of your Google Drive files. Select “Allow” to continue setting up the sync. For more information about authorization, security, and OAuth scopes jump to the section below.
Step 3: Select which root folder to sync from

Next, you will select the root folder that you would like to sync files from. You will first click the "+ Select from Google Drive" option.


This will open up another window where you can select the particular root folder to sync from. The root folder may be located in a personal drive ("My drive"), Shared drive, or a folder in the "Shared with me" drive.


After selecting your preferred root folder, you can then click whether you'd like to sync folders within the root folder:

  • Checking this box means that folders within the root folder will sync as a record.
  • Leaving this box unchecked means that subfolders contained within the root folder will not appear as records. Files within the root folder, as well as files within subfolders, will appear as records within Airtable.


Step 4: Select fields to sync

After clicking next, you’ll be presented with two sync options; you can sync:

  1. All fields from the source view (Google Drive), including any fields added by Google in the future.
  2. Specific fields from the source view (Google Drive).


If you choose to sync specific fields you’ll be shown a menu where you can toggle each individual field that you want to sync from Google Drive.


Currently, there are 13 fields to choose from when syncing from Google Drive:

Field typeDescription
File Path
Where the file is located within the selected Drive (e.g. subfolder/file name)
NameThe name of the file
ThumbnailThe thumbnail image generated or added to the file
CreatedWhen the file was first created
Last Viewed By MeWhen you last viewed the file
Last ModifiedWhen the file was last modified
Last Modified By
Who the file was last modified by
File Owner(s)A list of anyone with "owner" file permissions
File TypeIf the file is a spreadsheet, form, slide, sheet, or doc
File SizeThe file size shown in bytes
Parent FolderThe folder that contains the file (also shown in the file path)
LinkA direct link to open the file
File IDThe unique ID that Google generates for the file

For thumbnail images, if a thumbnail exists, then Airtable will sync in that image. If you choose the "Sync Folders" option, we are unable to sync over the thumbnail for those folders at this time. Additionally, some file types like .dmg or .zip do not support thumbnails in the sync.

Step 5: Create synced table

Before creating your synced table, there are “Settings” options that allow you choose how often you want to sync, and how to handle records deleted or hidden in Google Drive.

  • The frequency of syncing. Right now, the options are manual syncing and automatic syncing which happens around every 5 minutes.
  • Whether or not deleted records should be removed from the Airtable table. By default, deleted rows will be removed.


Once you’ve selected your desired settings, click the “Create table” button. A new table will be created with the synced fields from Google Drive.


Security and OAuth scopes


We request the minimum read/write scopes necessary to make the Airtable Sync integration work. The OAuth consent screen will look like this:


Google Drive scopes

Scope nameScope purpose
drive.readonlyFor accessing Drive metadata and content
emailFor user metadata
profileFor user metadata
openidFor sign-in

The tokens are transmitted between Airtable and Google’s servers securely via HTTPS. On Airtable’s side, the tokens are stored in databases that are encrypted at-rest.
For more information on Google Drive scopes, check out Google's documentation here.


Can I sync from a folder in a shared drive?

Yes! You can sync any Google Drive folder that you have access to. If you are looking for a shared drive folder, make sure to choose “View folder from: Shared Drives” when setting up the Google Drive sync.

How many files can be synced from a selected folder?

Airtable will sync up to 10,000 files from the selected folder. This ensures that the synced table remains performant.

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