Here's how to sync Google Earth placemarks on multiple computers

Save Google Earth Places on one PC and you won't find them on another one, unless you know the trick.

1224 primary earth

Michael Parry uses Google Earth on multiple computers. But the placemarks he puts on one computer don’t show up on other ones.

This should be ridiculously easy. You open Earth (the desktop program, not the planet), and use the Sign in button to log into your Google account. Your settings go up into the cloud, and when you log into Earth on another machine, your placemarks are there. Easy, intuitive, and obvious.

But that’s only how it should be. In reality, you can log onto your Google account in Earth, but nothing actually syncs.

So you need a workaround.

[Have a tech question? Ask PCWorld Contributing Editor Lincoln Spector. Send your query to answer@pcworld.com.]

First, let’s review creating a placemark: Click the pushpin icon on the toolbar. A pushpin icon will appear at the current position on the map, and a dialog box will appear. When you close the dialog box, your new place appears in the Places section on the left pane.

1224 create placemark 1

Another option: Use the Search tool at the top of the left pane. When you find what you want, click the small folder icon at the bottom-left corner of the search box to place the results in your Places.

1224 create placemark 2

Okay, now let’s get to the main event:

Right-click My Places in the left pane, select Save Place As, and save the file. The default name, myplaces.kml, is just fine.

1224 save places

Where should you save it? I recommend a cloud-based sync-and-storage service such as Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive.

On your second computer, just double-click the KML file in your cloud folder. It will open Earth with all of your placemarks.

This isn’t a perfect solution. You’ll have to manually save the cloud-based KML file on a regular basis. But it works.

In researching this article, I came upon a Registry hack for true syncing. But it didn’t work in my tests, so I’m not recommending it—even for people who feel comfortable hacking the Registry.

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