[HELP] Google Backup and Sync Stopped Working
A reader, Dave, is having a peculiar problem. Ever since the April 2018 Update of Windows 10 (version 1803), Google Backup and Sync has been acting erratically, he says. Now he cannot get it to run at all. Should we blame it on the software or call it user error? Let’s see if we can help Dave...
Problems with Google Backup and Sync
It’s tempting to blame the 1803 Update. After all, we just learned that Microsoft has thrown quality control out the proverbial window. (See my article [WARNING] Don't Click This Button! for details on that.) But a Google search reveals that this problem predates the 1803 Update. The update may still be causing Dave’s issue, but it cannot be the only cause.
Another possibility is Microsoft’s OneDrive, which added features very similar to Backup and Sync in August, 2018. Any of the known conflicts between the two apps could cause either or both to misbehave. Is that the problem here? No, Dave says that he does not run OneDrive, but the app does exist on every Windows 10 machine.
I had Dave open Task Manager (Ctrl-Shift-Esc) and check its Startup tab to see if the OneDrive service was being loaded at startup. It was disabled, as the screenshot below shows. But look at the highlighted item in the screenshot. Googledrivesync.exe is also disabled! That filename stands for Google Drive Synchronizer, better known as Backup and Sync from Google. No wonder Dave can’t get it to run.
Dave doesn’t know how that process got disabled, and neither do I. But if it was done by Microsoft the sabotage would have been widespread; it would have been detected by experts and publicized far and wide. It is more likely that Dave disabled the process, wittingly or unwittingly, and forgot he did so. That’s OK, Dave, we all do such things.
Enabling googledrivesync.exe, re-installing the Backup and Sync desktop app, and restarting the machine cured the problem for Dave. His data is again constantly backed up to Google Drive. When files are deleted from synced folders on either Dave’s laptop or Google Drive, the changes are reflected in the other location. His synced folders are available on his Android phone, and the phone’s files are available on his laptop.
As I said above, there may be multiple causes of a problem with Backup and Sync. A bit of research shows there are some common problems, including "Files not syncing between your computer and My Drive", "Backup and Sync stuck on Preparing for Sync", and "Backup and Sync client stops suddenly".
Fortunately there are some solutions for these problems that have worked for different people:
Install Backup and Sync with administrator privileges. After downloading the installbackupandsync.exe file from Google, right-click on that file and select “run as administrator.
Delete the Drive cache on your computer, open the folder %UserProfile%\AppData\Local\Google and delete the subfolder named “Drive.” This will not delete any data on Google Drive, only temporary cache files stored in the Drive folder. An empty Drive folder will be created when it’s needed.
Uninstall Backup and Sync, re-start your computer, and re-install Backup and Sync.
Google provides a troubleshooting page that details solutions to these Backup and Sync problems.
One or more of them may cure your Backup and Sync issue, too. Are you using Google's Backup and Sync, Microsoft OneDrive, or Dropbox as part of a backup regimen? Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 8 Nov 2018
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- [HELP] Google Backup and Sync Stopped Working (Posted: 8 Nov 2018)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved