Utility ~ Google Drive


Google Drive is a free application that synchronizes files and folders between computers via an online Drive that requires a Google Account such as Gmail. It offers 15 GB of free storage to share between Google Drive, Gmail, and Google+ Photos and allows files to be shared with individuals, groups, or networks. More storage can be purchased if required, for about £1.20 per month per 100 GB (Google Drive Storage Plans).

Even with one PC, the Google Drive online store provides a useful short-term backup facility. Deleted files are automatically moved to the Trash folder from where they can be restored for up to 30 days. Also File Versions are supported.

The general maximum single file size is 5 TB but there are various specific limits defined by Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides size limits.

It appears that files are encrypted in transit by Transport Layer Security (TLS)/Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) but not encrypted within the servers, although there are plugins that will.

Google Drive synchronises most Windows PC, Apple Mac, tablets & phones (iOS, Android), but not Linux (although third party support exists via Google Drive Clients). Alternatively, files can be accessed via most web browsers.

To prevent files such as .doc and .txt being converted to Google Docs format, click the Settings cog icon top right, then Settings, untick Convert uploads, and click * *Done* *.

See the Google Drive Help Center for more details.

Family Historian Synchronisation

The process for using Google Drive is straightforward, assuming you have all your media within your Project folder.

  • In a browser, sign in to your Google Account then click the Apps icon and select Drive.
  • Click the Settings cog icon and choose Get Drive for desktop, then scroll down to For Individuals and click Download and then Agree and Download to download and install the installbackupandsync.exe file on both PC, accepting the default settings. A white cloud icon Backup and sync from Google should appear in the Notification area that offers useful links and settings.
  • Use Windows/File Explorer to move your Family Historian Projects folder into the Google Drive folder created in Documents (My Documents) on your main PC.
  • Start Family Historian and via File > Project Window select More Tasks > Project List > Choose Location for Projects and point it to the folder you just moved into the Google Drive folder.
  • Wait a while, which may be many hours for large Projects or slow Internet connections.
  • Check the second PC has the files, and use More Tasks > Project List > Choose Location for Projects as above.

Now on whichever PC you change Project data, it is copied to the other PC automatically via the Google Drive online store. Use the Backup and Restore Family Historian Settings Plugin to synchronise settings and preferences.

To ensure Internet Data Matches are synchronised in fh V6 or later, then either use the Backup and Restore Family Historian Settings Plugin to Restore Registry Data Keys, or use File > Import/Export > Export > User Credentials on main PC and File > Import/Export > Import > User Credentials on other PC to transfer the FH User Credentials.fhcrd file.

For advanced PC users see the Utility ~ Link Shell Extension or Utility ~ Windows Directory Junctions for ways to include individual Projects, or customised Queries, Text Schemes, or any other folders within the Google Drive folder.

Installation Instructions

Click on the link below and follow the download and installation instructions.