Sync your files with Google Drive

Paperpile can sync your files to Google Drive. That allows you to access them on all devices and applications that support Google Drive. Here are a few important notes about Paperpile's Google Drive sync.

What you need to know about the Google Drive sync

  • Google Drive syncing is initially turned off. Enable sync by clicking on the Drive icon in the top right of the Paperpile tab.
  • Once enabled, all syncing takes place in the background and no manual action is required. The Drive icon indicates the current status of the sync process:
  • To check if a file is synced, open the file panel by clicking the paperclip symbol of the reference in the main list . The drive icon indicates the sync status of a file:
  • The contents in Google drive always reflects your Paperpile library. Make any changes (e.g. delete or rename a file) directly in Paperpile, not in Google Drive — this is the safest way to make sure you don't see unexpected results. However, Paperpile is smart and works hard to automatically fix any inconsistencies encountered during sync.
  • By default , files are arranged in folders by the first letter of the first author's last name. All files are prefixed with 'Author year' of the reference they belong to (e.g. 'Crow and Kimura 1970'). The main PDF for a reference is renamed with the title, while all supplementary files maintain their original filename (plus the 'Author year' prefix).
  • You can change how files are named and organized. Click the Google Drive icon and choose Configure... from the menu. Note: this feature is in beta.


  • The drive icon says "Sync has been disabled because of errors": Normally, if there are problems syncing your files (e.g. Google's server is temporarily overloaded), Paperpile will automatically try again and there is no action required from you. However, if a problem persists and several sync attempts fail, syncing will be disabled. Wait some time and click the icon to re-enable sync and start a new attempt.
  • One or more files did not get properly synced: If a file is not synced, click 'Start sync now' in the drive menu on the top right of the screen. That will force a re-sync of all your files. It does not re-upload any files unless necessary, so it should finish within 1-2 minutes. If the sync is still not successful, read on and try the next tip. Also keep in mind that files bigger than 100MB are currently not synced.

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