Fix: Google Drive not Syncing on Windows

Google Drive is the main competitor of OneDrive (of Microsoft). Both platforms provide over the cloud storage for their users with support for almost every platform. OneDrive is the native syncing software which is already installed on Windows 10 beforehand.

Google Drive not Working

Users who have already installed Google Drive complain that they are not able to sync all their folders and files properly through the Windows application. This behavior of Google Drive is common as the software gets regular updates and Windows patches even break it sometimes. We will go through all the solutions one by one and start with the most relevant one.

What causes Google Drive not to Sync in Windows 10?

Google Drive is long known to have problems in Windows 10. These problems do not lie in Google Drive all the time; other applications might also be the culprit. Here are some of the reasons why Google Drive doesn’t sync on your computer.

  • Antivirus Software: Antivirus software are meant to protect your computer against malicious programs but instead they might flag some legit programs (such as Google Drive) as false positives.
  • Administrative Privileges: Google Drive requires administrative privileges to operate properly and sync all your devices. If these are not provided, it might not perform its operations as expected.
  • New version: In some rare cases, the new version of Google Drive doesn’t work on the computer and causes issues. Here we can try installing the older version and see if this does the trick.
  • Bad installation: If your Google Drive application isn’t installed properly, you will not be able to use its functionalities. A complete reinstallation might fix this issue.
  • Internet connection: If you are using proxy servers or public internet (such as Work or Hospital), Google Drive will not sync properly as these networks have many ports and applications restricted.

Before we start with the solutions, make sure that you are logged in as an administrator and have an open private internet connection. Make sure that there are no proxies involved and you are free to access anything.

Prerequisite: Checking Google Drive Account

Before we jump into the solutions, it is worth checking if your Google Drive is indeed working properly without any issue and if you have enough space available on your account for the syncing process.

  1. Open your web browser and navigate to Google Drive.
  2. After logging in, check your storage counter present at the left navigation bar. Check if you have enough space left for syncing.
Checking Google Drive Storage Available

You can also check which folders are being backed up and synced from the website end. This will give you an idea where the problem lies.

Solution 1: Logging in Using Taskbar Access

We experienced a specific behavior in several cases where users were accessing Google Drive using Windows Explorer. They assumed that they were logged in but in reality, they were not. They were accessing the local copy of Google Drive stored on their computer. If you are prompted at the startup telling you to log into the Drive, do so. If you don’t, you can use the taskbar to check the current status.

  1. Locate the Google Drive icon on the taskbar by clicking the upper arrow (you will see it on the front if it is not moved to the back).
Google Drive icon at Taskbar
  1. Once you click the button, a new window will pop up which will contain the login information of the application. Here you need to log your credentials used for Google Drive and sign in.
Entering Login Information

Solution 2: Disabling Antivirus/Firewalls

If you have Antivirus Software and Firewalls on your computer, it may be possible that these are conflicting with Google Drive. Since Google Drive accessing lots of your operating system as well as personal files, it is no surprise that these will try to conflict with the application.

You can check our article on How to Turn Your Antivirus Off. You should also take a look at How to Disable Windows Firewall. Completely disable all your security system temporarily first and check if this solves the issue. If it doesn’t, disable/uninstall them and see how this goes.

Solution 3: Granting Administrator Rights

If you haven’t granted administrator rights to the application, you should do so immediately. Accessing the huge database of the files you are syncing on your computer along with the constant network connection requires elevation of some kind. To do this, you need to be an administrator yourself.

  1. Press Windows + E to launch the File Explorer and navigate to the following path:
C:\Program Files\Google\Drive
  1. Right-click on the application “googledrivesync.exe” and select Properties.
  2. Once in Properties, click on the Compatibility tab present at the top and check the option Run this program as administrator.
Granting administrative access to Google Drive on Windows
  1. Press Apply to save changes and exit. Restart your computer and try opening Google Drive again. Check if the issue is resolved.

Solution 4: Signing in with a browser instead

If you are not able to sign in to your Google Account using the normal sign-in option in the application, you can also choose to log into the application using your browser. This options seemed to work for people who had two-step verification enabled or who were using proxy servers (we recommend that you disconnect proxies and VPN’s before opening the Drive). Here you will enter the credentials on your website and the application will automatically be signed in.

  1. Launch Back up and Sync application (aka Google Drive) and try to log into it.
  2. If you are having issues while logging into just like in the picture below, click the option of Sign in with your browser instead.
Signing in with a browser – Google Drive
  1. Enter your account details in your browser and check the application again.

Solution 5: Downloading an Older Version of Google Drive

If you started experiencing this issue after a new update was launched for Backup and Sync folder (Google Drive), you can try installing an older version on your computer. There are numerous compatibility issues whenever Windows rolls out a patch update. You will need your account credentials and will need to sign in again.

  1. Press Windows + R, type “appwiz.cpl” in the dialogue box and press Enter.
  2. Once in the application manager, search for the utility of Backup and Sync from Google. Right-click on it and select Uninstall.
Older version of Google Drive
  1. Now navigate to (this) website and locate the version of Google Drive which was working perfectly for you. The details of the application version are given right in front of the name.
  2. Install the application and proceed with the login process into your account. Remember to give the application some time before it has synced everything properly.

Solution 6: Reinstalling Google Drive and Selecting Folders to Sync

If all the above methods don’t work, we will try reinstalling the entire application. First, we will uninstall the application and then select the required folders which we want to sync. Make sure that you are logged in as an administrator on your computer.

  1. Press Windows + R, type “appwiz.cpl” in the dialogue box and press Enter.
  2. Once in the application manager, search for the utility of Backup and Sync from Google. Right-click on it and select Uninstall.
Uninstalling Backup and Sync (Google Drive)
  1. Restart your computer properly. Now navigate to Google Drive’s official website and download a fresh copy of the installation.
Downloading a fresh copy of backup and sync (Google Drive)
  1. Now launch the application. It will download some required files over the network. Be patient and let the process complete properly.
Google Drive downloading required files
  1. Now you will be prompted at the login screen to enter your credentials. Go ahead and after entering the details, press Next.
  2. After you have successfully logged into the application, check the folders which you want to back up to Google Drive. You can uncheck the folders which you don’t want to sync and also select other folders by clicking Choose Folders. You can also press the Change button and change the setting of folders being synced.
Selecting Folders to Backup and Sync
  1. After tweaking the settings, press Next and proceed with the next step. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.
  2. Restart your computer and let Google Drive sync everything. If you have lots of files, this might take some time. You can always check the progress from the taskbar.

Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.