files

Why aren't my files syncing properly?

Files

Episode 1548

Roy from Orange County, CA

Roy uses Google Drive and DropBox, but he's having issues with syncing folders to his other services. Leo says to check which folders are synced in the settings. He can also look at a third party service like ODrive. It will do all the syncing and will even merge all of his backup options except for Apple iCloud. He can also use a network attached storage device, which will also have a sync utility.

How can I email files securely?

Email

Episode 1471

Fred from Fort Worth, TX

Leo says that Fred is right to be concerned about the security of sending emails because the contents of the messages can be read along the way. If the email is going from one Gmail address to another, however, it would be secure. Ultimately, though, Leo doesn't recommend sending attachments at all. Opening attachments is how most people end up getting infected, and it doesn't just affect that person either. It will spread to all of that person's contacts, affecting their family, business, and the internet as a whole.

How can I find out what's taking up space on my hard drive?

Disk Inventory X

Episode 1290

Aiden from Johanesberg, So Africa

Aiden's SSD drive keeps filling up with stuff and he isn't sure what's using up space. Leo says on the Mac, he should check out Disk Inventory X. It gives him a color based representation of what's using up space and sorting by size. It even gives him the ability to move things to the trash from within the app.

There's a similar program on Windows called WinDirStat.

How can I get ownership of old Windows files?

Episode 1158

Cal from Erie, PA

Cal followed Steve Gibson and Leo's advice to run as a limited user in Windows. But now he can't get access to documents and settings that are under the administrator account. Leo says that ownership of files is assigned according what user it is. If he's an administrator, he's "god," and can do anything with files. What he can do, then, is create a new admin account and then downgrade his existing account to a limited user. This will give him access to the documents he is missing.

Why did my USB thumb drives become read-only after I replaced my hard drive?

USB drive

Episode 1139

Glen from Baltimore, MD

Glen has several USB thumb drives with files on them. His computer hard drive died, so he replaced it. But now he can't write to the thumbdrives anymore. Leo says that's because technically, they're "owned by another." Windows sees that new account as a new user. He can take ownership of them, but it's not trivial. HowtoGeek has an explanation of how he can do this.

Access Your Files Anywhere Using Microsoft OneDrive

Syncing files between multiple computers in different locations has been a difficult task. Syncing software will often end up creating duplicates of files because it can't determine which file should take precedence over the others. It also might not delete files in other locations if you delete them in one place, and therefore it isn't "true sync." This is why the concept of the "cloud" took over, and it has solved many of these file dilemmas.

Manage File Versions in Google Drive

File syncing can be complicated, especially when multiple people are accessing the file, or if a file is being edited in two different locations separately. The computer or cloud service often won’t know what changes should be preserved in the official file, so it will create duplicates which can be messy. It’s also possible to lose changes when the file is synced, or a collaborator could delete something you want to get back. Google Drive is one cloud service that makes this easier to manage with ‘file versioning.’

Why is my 1TB drive saying it's almost full, even though I don't have much on it?

Episode 1080

Diane from Chicago, IL

Leo says that just videos, images and MP3s can't fill up that much space all by itself. There has to be something else on the drive. Leo advises using a program called SpaceSniffer. It's free. Another is called WinderStat and TreeSize. Leo also thinks that Diane has backups on it.