Making the Switch from Dropbox to Google Drive

Posted on Posted in Blog, Computing, Technology


For years Dropbox has been my go to solution for cloud storage and file backups on my Windows PC, Linux computer, Macbook and all of my mobile devices. In my experience, the service they provide is secure, reliable and one of the best. I’ve never had any problems at all with Dropbox. It’s one of the first apps I install on any new device to easily move files from my old devices to my new! At least it was, until recently, when I started using Google Drive instead. One of the reasons I was using Dropbox is because of the ability to invite friends and get extra space and I also got extra space when I added new devices, which when I have so many, is great. One of the other benefits of Dropbox is that it automatically uploaded my camera images to the cloud, so that I could access them anywhere, and also sync them to my computer very easily, when combined with the internet usage on my Three mobile contract.

A few years ago, while I was at university, Dropbox offered me a good deal, get 25GB of extra storage for two years as part of the Dropbox Space Race. Being a university student and photographer this storage came in very handy and I used it all the time. Then, just after Christmas, Dropbox emailed me to say thank you for taking part in the Space Race, but we’re now removing your extra storage as your two years have expired. Please buy some more to continue accessing and storing your files. This annoyed me, as I went from the 28GB I was used too, to a measly 4GB. The files I already had with them took up 12GB, meaning I needed to spend £79 per year, to have access to 1000GB of space to continue storing them. I don’t need 1000GB of cloud storage, and I certainly didn’t want to spend £79 per year on the storage. Especially when I know other services, like Google Drive offered more than 4GB, for free.

I had toyed with the idea of switching from Dropbox to Drive for a while, but Google didn’t offer me a convenient way to sync photos from my Nexus 5 to my Mac and PC. Yes, Android has the Photos app, which uploads them, but in my experience it did a terrible job. They didn’t sync to my computer but to Google Photos online, which I couldn’t stand. I had to resort to using Dropbox for automatic photo backups and Google Drive for my document storage.

Eventually, Google added an option to Drive to allow it to automatically add photos to a folder on Google Drive. Hallelujah, I could finally get more storage and automatic photo backups all with the same provider. Since switching over to Google Drive, I really haven’t looked back. Yes, they only offer me 17GB rather than the 28GB with Dropbox, but this storage with Google is permanent, it’s not a promotion and unless baring some stupid announcement from Google, it should never be reduced.

The only issue I’ve had with Google Drive!

I suspect this issue comes down to the fact that I am slightly colour blind. Before you ask, no, I don’t see in black and white, but I am green deficient. Now take a look at the images below, can you see the Google Drive icon in the top image of my menu bar? Nope, and nor can I. That’s because I use the dark mode in OS X Yosemite and Google still haven’t added white icons for Dark Mode. This means I have no idea when Drive is full, or if it’s still syncing files or if there is an error.

Now take a look at the bottom image of the menu bar. Other than the time and the amount of free RAM what is different? Google Drive now has an icon, and it’s white, but it’s not because Google updated Drive. It’s because I had to add them myself.

WARNING! Proceed with this at your own risk. If you mess something up, it’s not my fault!

All you need to do is go to Applications > Google Drive > and right click and hit Show Package Contents > Contents > Resources. Then scroll down and you’ll find a whole load of menu bar icons. Some are even white and have inverse at the end of the file name, but it’s a shame they don’t actually seem to work! So I copied all of the images and renamed them by removing the inverse option, and deleting the black icons.

Alternatively, here is a much easier way. Go to the same resources folder in the Google Drive package and backup all of the icons in there, just in case things go wrong, although you can get them back using the Google Drive Installer. Now paste in the icons that can be found in this folder here, into the Google Drive resources folder. It will ask you if you want to replace the icons and click yes. Now quit Google Drive and restart it. When it reopens your icons should be white and visible. Obviously if you turn dark mode off, the icons will disappear again and you’ll need to put the original ones, but I have no intentions of doing that anytime soon, and I much prefer the dark mode in OS X, over the regular one.

I also performed similar surgery with the app Caffeine, as the menu icon for the app was a dark grey and very difficult to see, so I found the white files online here and swapped them over. Now I can see the app in the menu without a problem. The app Spectacle also had a similar issue with it’s dark mode menu icon, but the developer fixed it soon after the public release of OS X Yosemite.