Synology Drive Server Tutorial: Sync Files To and From a NAS!

This tutorial will show you how to use Synology Drive Server on a Synology NAS.

I’m writing this tutorial because Synology Drive Server is my favorite way of ensuring my documents get synced up to my NAS. They are processed in real-time, allow me to reclaim space on my local PC by storing them on my NAS, and give me an easy way to follow the 3-2-1 backup rule. If you set up a VPN on your NAS, you can even access your files anywhere in the world securely!

1. How to Install Synology Drive Server (Tutorial)

1. Open the Package Center and install the Synology Driver Server application.

synology drive server tutorial

2. You will be informed that there are dependencies that must be installed. Select Yes.

synology drive server tutorial

3. After the package has been installed, select Open. You will be prompted to refresh the page. Select Yes.

synology drive server tutorial

4. Synology Drive Server is now installed!

2. Team Folder & My Drive

In Synology Drive Server, you can manage one folder shared amongst a team by using the Team Folder option. This will give users the ability to collaborate using a specific folder stored on the Synology NAS. Think of this option as the ability to give multiple users access to a central folder where they can all add/edit/delete files/folders with changes automatically syncing to all users.

My Drive, on the other hand, will sync a user’s local folders to a Synology NAS linked to their user account. This requires the User Home to be enabled but allows users to select folders from their local PC and automatically sync them to their PC.

2.1 How to Set Up My Drive

1. Open Synology Drive Admin Console on your Synology NAS. Select Team Folder.

synology drive server tutorial

2. Highlight My Drive and select Enable.

synology drive server tutorial

3. You will be informed that User Home must be enabled. Select Yes to be brought to the control panel.

synology drive server tutorial

4. Scroll to the bottom and Enable user home service. Since this will be used for documents, I suggest that you Enable Recycle Bin as well. This will create two new shared folders on your Synology NAS named home and homes. Inside the homes folder, you will see that a folder is created for every user on your NAS.

synology drive server tutorial

5. Go back to the Synology Drive Admin Console and set up versioning. These settings are personal preference, but it’s probably a good idea to keep versioning on. This will allow you to retrieve each version of the file up to the maximum number of versions you specified.

synology drive server tutorial

6. After you save, you will be informed that users with read-only permission to Team Folders will only sync files from the NAS, and not to the NAS. We will get into this a little later, but keep this in mind.

7. My Drive is now set up!

2.2 How to Set Up Team Folder

Enabling a Team Folder is a little easier than setting up My Drive since the folder already exists with the necessary permissions. As mentioned above, Team Folders are shared across users and allow multiple users to collaborate on individual documents. When an item is created, modified, or deleted, the change is automatically synced to the NAS and all devices connected to the Team Folder will automatically sync the change as well. This ensures that all files, for all users, stay up to date with the version on the Synology NAS.

1. Open Synology Drive Admin Console on your Synology NAS. Select Team Folder.

2. Select a folder, then select Enable. This will enable the document and allow it to be used on clients that install Synology’s Drive Server application.

3. Set up the versioning as you’d like. Since Team Folders are synced to multiple people, I highly recommend that you keep versioning on.

3. Synology Drive Client Application

3.1 How to Download the Install File for Synology Drive Client - Synology Drive Server Tutorial

The best part about Synology Drive Server is there are applications for all of your devices that allow you to access your files. You can find the version you need by downloading the correct version for your NAS here.

An easier way that I have found is by using the process below. This will download the application for the operating system you’re currently using. The Synology Drive Client is also available for mobile devices by using the App Store or Google Play store.

1. Open the Synology Drive application from your NAS.

2. Click the link in the bottom right that says Get Synology Drive apps now.

3. Select the For PC button. This will automatically download the correct version for your operating system. If you’d like to download the application for your mobile device, you can select For Mobile.

3.2 Synology Drive Client Configuration – Sync Task

For this section, I will be using a Windows 10 PC. The options should be the same, but there might be slight differences when you configure the tool.

1. Launch the Synology Drive Client on the local device.

2. Select Start Now.

3. For now, we are going to create a Sync Task. You can also create a Backup Task at a later time if you’d like. Select Sync Task.

4. Enter the IP Address of your Synology NAS and your username and password. If you keep Enable SSL data transmission encryption selected, Synology Drive will use your HTTPS port as opposed to the HTTP port. Select Next.

5. Since we don’t have a certificate configured, you will receive a message stating that the SSL certificate is not trusted. Select Proceed Anyway.

6. The Synology Drive Server section is the folder that you want to sync from your Synology NAS. This will either be a Team Folder or your individual drive. At the bottom, Local Folder is the folder which the data will sync to. I normally sync my data to the Documents folder on my PC, but the decision is up to you. This is the folder that you’ll be working out of, so make sure you select the correct location. If you’d like to change it, select the edit icon next to Local Folder. NOTE: If you keep Create an empty “SynologyDrive” folder enabled, a folder named SynologyDrive will be created inside of the local folder you selected. If you want it to sync to the root of that local folder, uncheck this option. You are only able to set up one folder sync initially. If you’d like to sync other Team Folders, follow these instructions after you finish setting this up.

7. If you’d like to change any options, select Advanced. The main setting to check here is the Sync mode. Two-way sync will sync files to and from this device. If you only want to download remote changes, select Download data from Synology Drive server only. When you’re done, select Next to proceed.

8. The next screen will ask you if you’d like to have access to folders/files shared by other people on your NAS. If you’d like to use this option, configure the location you’d like and proceed. If not, select Maybe Later.

9. Select Done and Synology Drive Client is fully configured! You will be brought through a tutorial that shows you how to use the tool.

10. Refer to the video above to learn how the tool automatically syncs data to your NAS and allows you to reclaim some of the space locally!

3.3 Setting up Multiple Sync Folders - Synology Drive Server Tutorial

The initial setup of the Synology Drive Client only allows you to sync an individual folder. For this reason, you have the option of syncing the “My Drive” folder, or a “Team Folder”. This is NOT to say that you can only sync one folder, it’s just that the initial setup only allows you to sync one. If you’d like to sync multiple, follow the instructions below.

1. Open the Synology Drive Client’s settings. Select Create under Sync Tasks.

2. Use your Connected Synology NAS or specify a different Synology NAS. Select Next.

3. Select Sync a folder in My Drive/Team Folder and press Next.

4. The Synology Drive Server section is the folder that you’d like to sync FROM your Synology NAS. Select the My Drive folder or a Team Folder. The Local Folder is the folder where you’d like to sync your data TO (this will be on the local device). Modify any Advanced settings you’d like, then select Done. The folder will now sync! Do this for as many folders as you’d like!

3.4 How to Configure a Backup Task

Synology Drive Client offers a way to back up your local files. This is not a bare-metal backup. The files will automatically back up to your NAS, but you won’t be able to do a bare-metal restore. For this reason, it’s a good idea to only back up your files and exclude the operating system files. You’re free to back up anything you’d like, but the idea is to back up your important files only.

1. From the Synology Drive application, select Settings.

2. Select Backup Task, then Create Backup Task.

3. Select your connected NAS (or a different one if you’d like).

4. Select the files that you’d like to back up, along with the destination where you’d like it written. If you’d like to modify the Backup Rules, you can do that as well.

5. You will now select from three different backup modes. It’s hard to suggest one as being better than the other, so select your preferred option and select Next. NOTE: If you select Schedule Backup, you will be required to enter the backup schedule.

6. Select Done. Your backup is now configured!

4. Conclusion - Synology Drive Server Tutorial

This tutorial went over Synology Drive Server and hopefully shows why it is one of my favorite applications. When I create a file on my PC, it automatically syncs to my NAS, which automatically backs up to the cloud. This ensures that my data is backed up following the 3-2-1 backup rule and I don’t have to think about it.

As always, thank you for reading the tutorial. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments!

This Post Has 18 Comments

  1. First comment ever…just to say best Synology tutorials, period! Synology should hire you to write, manage and produce their tutorials. Thanks so much.

    1. Thank you so much!!! I really appreciate the kind words! I am glad to hear that they’re helping. Thanks for your support!

  2. I second the first comment, this is a great and well explained tutorial. But I have a question, hopefully you can help me out here.
    The folder My Drive that is created in “home”, is there anyway to add it in another shared folder, like my personal folder? Because I see that the content of “home” is also shown in my user folder in “homes”. Or then, the way to have a full private folder would be to create one with team folder and only give permission to the specific user?
    Thanks in advance

    1. I’m glad it helps! I’m a little confused on what you mean by another shared folder. Can you clarify that a little?

      1. Sorry for not explained it better. By “add My Drive folder to another shared folder”, as default (or what I am getting on my NAS), the My Drive folder is being added to the “home” folder. But I would like to place that folder in my personal folder, the one that only that user can have access to (or depends on how the rules are defined). In my case, I would like to see if I can move My Drive folder to my own personal folder, and the same for the other users of the NAS that want to use this tool. But in a way that the content of our folders is not visible to everyone in the folder homes.

        I tried to find a way in the Synology Client admin and I couldn’t find that. The only way that I have the feeling is, to define a Team Folder, but to give only permission to the specific user of that folder.

        Hopefully, I was able to explain myself a bit better. Thanks again 🙂

        1. Thanks! You are correct, the “Team Folder” is the only way I would know about doing this. However, users shouldn’t have access to other users homes, so it might be worth exploring if it’s already permissioned the way that you’d like it to be.

          1. Oh really! Ok, then I am going to take a look at the “homes” folder settings to see what’s wrong there because I can see the content of other users’ home folders on my homes and vice-versa.

            Thanks a lot

          2. Found the solution. I think when I set up the settings for the home folder, I decided to move the user’s permissions, which I found that we don’t have to touch them, or at least not the no-experienced users. So, I disabled the home folder, erase it, and create a new one, but this time I did not move anything in the users’ permissions and things are working now as expected.

          3. Awesome! Glad to hear you got it working!

  3. Hi WunderTech. Great tutorial and very helpful!

    I have set up 2 team folders to sync. One is my Documents which has been syncing happily for many months. When I change a file, it syncs instantly.
    My second folder is a large sync of around 500GB. I just set this up a few days ago. Sometimes when I change a file it syncs instantly but more often than not, it does not sync for many minutes or hours after the actual file change. Would there be any reason for that? Thanks.

    1. If I had to guess, it’s the size of the folder. Depending on how it’s monitoring those files/folders, it could take a while to get through 500GB. If it’s only happening on that specific folder, I’d be inclined to say that that’s what it is.

      1. When you say “Depending on how it’s monitoring those files/folders”, I think that’s key. I’m not sure how exactly it is monitoring the folders. I might look at trying to reduce the size of the folder to see if it makes any difference. Thanks for the reply and thanks for the article. Very well explained.

  4. I’m having an issue..
    When I back up anything from my desktop drive client; I am able to see the file on my mobile drive client however, my desktop drive client can’t see any files that I have already uploaded from my mobile drive client. Have you seen this issue or know how to fix it?

    1. It sounds like the files aren’t syncing properly from your device to your NAS. Is there any way you can verify that they’re being uploaded properly to your NAS?

  5. I’ve already commented on the YouTube channel but I must comment again due to your clear and detail instructions on these topics~ It really shows me what I can do with my Synology NAS 🙂 but I still have a question regarding limiting lan access only but allow access to Synology Drive externally. You’ve said “you can create a firewall rule for port 6690 (Synology Drive Client) to your local subnet and the VPN’s subnet. That should allow local traffic only. The other ports it uses are the standard DSM ports” I’m a bit confused about how to get that done….is there a similar tutorial to guide me to the right direction? 🙂

    1. Thanks! The “local subnet and VPN subnet” are basically IP address ranges. In the firewall section, you would add your local IP address subnet (ends in a 0, so most of the time it’s 192.168.1.0) and VPN subnet (default is 10.5.0.0, I believe). From there, you can set the subnet mask as 255.255.255.0, and this will basically say to Synology’s Firewall that ANY IP address in that range can be accepted. This way, you don’t have to create individual rules for 192.168.1.5, 192.168.1.6, etc). If your local subnet is not 192.168.1.X, it could be 192.168.0.X, etc. You will have up update the firewall with whatever address you are using.

      The best video you can watch on that topic that I have is this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3BJo4B1GgU

  6. Awesome Tutorial~ WunderTech !
    But I have a question for you regarding access to the Synology Drive if I’ve restricted to LAN only access and using OPENVPN for the external access? Anyway I can still provide the Synology Drive service for my family members without openvpn?

    1. Without opening ports on your router or giving them access to your VPN, no. You can technically use Synology’s QuickConnect, but you should read the whitepaper on it (found online) before you implement it to confirm that you’d like to use that approach.

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