I've started using OneDrive on my MacBook and (for those who don't know how it works) I have a folder on my laptop that is synced with the one in the cloud whenever I have an internet connection. Once the files are synced, I am allowed to remove them from my local drive and still have them in the cloud. The thing I really like about this system is that I can see what is stored locally and what isn't with this little status tag on the side of a file or folder. It is explained in greater detail here. I find this to be super convenient as I can still navigate my files without having to load them all on my machine, load them if I need to, and remove them when I'm done with them. If I'm not mistaken, services like Dropbox and iCloud use a similar system.

Furthermore, I have a lot of files that I keep on an external hard drive (mainly pictures and music). I like the way that OneDrive works, and I was wondering if there was a way, perhaps through an app, to use my HD the same way I'm using OneDrive.

Here's what I'm thinking: I'd like to have a folder on my computer that will be synced with my HD. Whenever I connect the HD to my machine, any new files that I've put in that folder on my laptop while not connected to the HD will get synced. Any file that were put on my HD, say via another computer, will also get synced to that folder. I'd like to be able to free up some space on my computer by removing it from my machine, but knowing that it is safe on the HD. And once a file is removed from my laptop, I'd like to be able to see it exists (without having access to its actual content, much like OneDrive). Ideally, I'd also have a status icon to know what's stored locally, what's not, etc. All in all, the title of the post sums it all: I would like to make my workflow with my external Hard Drive behave similarly to OneDrive.

Is there an app or built-in system that would do that?

I'd be willing to get my hands dirty with the automator or writing some scripts, for instance, if that is possible. Although, I wouldn't know how, or if it's possible, to modify the status icon of files with that kind of tool.

1 Answer 1


So, since I didn't get any answers, here is the method I ended up using:

I use Get Backup Pro and use the sync feature between my HDD and some folder I choose. It doesn't exactly work the same way as I would have hope, but it does work pretty well. For instance, I don't get the little icons like the ones from OneDrive or have the convenience of downloading them at will, but it's not too bad.

And as a bonus, I can use the archival functionality of the software to better manage the files that I put in OneDrive (yay!).

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