Airtable Sync integration: Google Drive
  • 31 Aug 2022
  • 4 Minutes to read
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Airtable Sync integration: Google Drive

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Airtable Sync integration allows you to bring information from external tools 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).

If you haven’t set up a sync before, we recommend first reading the Sync - Basic setup article to become familiarized with how sync works.

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.

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.

TIP

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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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

1. File Path
6. Last Modified
10. File Size (in bytes)
2. Name
7. Last Modified By
11. Parent Folder
3. Thumbnail
8. File Owner(s)
12. Link
4. Created
9. File Type
13. File ID
5. Last viewed by me


  • File Path: where the file is located within the selected Drive (e.g. subfolder/file name)
  • Name: the name of the file
  • Thumbnail: the thumbnail image generated or added to the file
  • Created: when the file was first created
  • Last Viewed By Me: when you last viewed the file
  • Last Modified: when 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 Type: if the file is a spreadsheet, form, slide, sheet, or doc
  • File Size (in bytes): the file size shown in bytes
  • Parent Folder: the folder that contains the file (also shown in the file path)
  • Link: a direct link to open the file
  • File ID: the 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.

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.

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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.

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Security and OAuth scopes

Authentication

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

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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.

FAQs

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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