External source sync 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 setup, 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 “plus” 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.
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.
Select which drive to view folders
You can sync files from folders in your own drive (“My Drive”) as well as Shared Drives. Select which drive to use.
Select a folder from the selected drive
After selecting which drive to use, a new window will open showing the files and folders within that drive. At this time only folders can be selected to sync. After selecting the folder, move to the next step to select which fields to sync in Airtable.
Select fields to sync
After clicking next, you’ll be presented with two sync options; you can sync:
- All fields from the source view (Google Drive), including any fields added by Google in the future.
- 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.
List of fields that can be synced
You can sync the following fields from Google Drive to Airtable:
- File Path: where the file is located within the selected Drive (e.g. subfolder/file name)
- Name: the name of 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
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.
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.
What OAuth scopes is Airtable requesting?
When connecting a Google Drive account, Airtable requests the https://www.googleapis.com/auth/drive.readonly OAuth scope in order to access folders and sync files.