Google Backup and Sync is here: let’s take a look

Google Backup and Sync is a new program by Google that combines Google Photos and Google Drive functionality in a single client application.

The new client replaces the old clients that Google provided for these tasks. Downloads are available on Google Drive and Google Photos; I could not get the download to start on Google Drive, but the download started fine on Google Photos.

The new Google Backup and Sync is available for Windows and Mac operating systems only at this point in time. It seems that it is not available for mobile devices yet, as Google is still advertising its Google Photos application for mobile devices on the Photos download page.

Google Backup and Sync

google backup and sync

You are asked to sign in to a Google Account after installation. This is a straightforward process; you enter your username, then the Google account password, and if enabled, the two-factor authentication code on top of that.

Note that the new application is not intended for Google Suite users. These will have access to Drive File Stream at a later point in time.

Google Backup and Sync prompts you for making a choice in regards to backups. You can select to back up photos and videos only, or all files (in selected folders).

Once you have made that initial decision, you are asked to make additional selections on the next (and final setup) screen.

welcome to backup and sync

The first lets you select the folders on the computer that you want synchronized to Google Drive. Desktop,Documents and Pictures are selected by default. You may uncheck any of those, and add custom folders to the backup process as well.

The second option has been taken directly from Google Photos. You are asked to select a quality level for uploaded images. The default is “high quality” which does not count against the storage quota of the account. You may switch that to original quality, which may count against the quota but ensures that photos are uploaded in their original resolution and not modified by Google in the process.

A click on the “advanced settings” link opens an option to sync “My Drive” to this computer. This synchronizes the data on Google Drive with the computer in question. Note that this option is not selected by default, and needs to be checked.

Google will compare files on the device with those online, and start the sync process right after you hit the start button on the last setup page.


google backup and sync interface

Google Backup and Sync ships with additional preferences that become available after the initial sync is underway.

You may change the preferences that were presented to you during setup, and the following ones:

  • Select how items are deleted. You have three options:
    • Don’t remove items everywhere — The default option keeps files on Google Drive if you delete them on the computer.
    • Remove items everywhere — When you delete items on your computer, or on Google Drive, files in other sync locations get deleted as well.
    • Ask me before removing items everywhere — You are prompted whenevery ou delete something on the computer.
  • Upload newly added photos and videos to Google Photos.
  • Open Backup and Sync on system startup.
  • Show file sync status icons and right-click menu.
  • Show warning when I remove items from a shared folder.
  • Network Settings
    • Proxy: auto-detect or direct connection.
    • Limit download or upload rate.
  • Allow back ups of camera or phones connected to the device.


Google Backup and Sync won’t sync the following photos or videos (for use with google Photos):

  • Videos larger than 10 Gigabytes in size.
  • Photos larger than 75 MB or 100 MP.
  • Items that are smaller than 256×256
  • Photo file extensions other than: .jpg, .png, .webp and some RAW files.
  • Video file extensions other than: .mpg, .mod, .mmv, .tod, .wmv, .asf, .avi, .divx, .mov, .m4v, .3gp, .3g2, .mp4, .m2t, .m2ts, .mts, and .mkv files.

Closing Words

Google Backup and Sync combines Google Photos and Google Drive sync functionality in a single client. Google users on Windows or Mac devices that use an older client may want to consider installing the new client instead to take advantage of that.

Now You: Do you use a Google sync program?

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