Google’s “Backup and Sync” will stop working at the end of September

Jul 19, 2021

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Google’s “Backup and Sync” will stop working at the end of September

Jul 19, 2021

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Launched in 2017, Google’s Backup and Sync app was its way of tying your desktop computer or laptop into Google Drive and Google Photos so that you could, as the name suggests, back stuff up and sync the data on your devices. That application is now being retired in favour of a new “Drive for Desktop” app. Backup and Sync will stop working completely this year, and the rollout of the new Drive for Desktop app has already begun.

It’s probably not much of a surprise. Google’s cloud stuff is always “evolving” despite what a pain it can often be for its users and it’s already changed Photos around quite a bit lately. The new Drive for Desktop application offers a couple of perks over the existing app, although some are only available if you’re part of a team.

The new Drive for Desktop app is currently available for both Windows and Mac, although you’re not being forced to update quite yet. You have a little time, but not much. In-app notifications should start popping up on August 18th for those who have not yet transitioned. And you won’t be able to log into Backup and Sync at all from October 1st. So, you’ll have to make the transition over to Drive for Desktop.

According to Google, the reason for the change is that the new app is essentially a unified sync client for business, educational and personal users. It streamlines things down for both Google and the user, no longer requiring multiple separate apps to keep everything synced up, regardless of the platform you choose to use.

This should be handy for photographers regularly switching between a desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone – the latter of which already have dedicated drive apps in both iOS and Android. Strangely, though, even though Google is prompting people to update as soon as possible, the Drive app download page still promotes Backup and Sync for individuals. But, you can download the Drive for Desktop app here if you’re impatient and don’t want to wait for the in-app prompt.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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4 responses to “Google’s “Backup and Sync” will stop working at the end of September”

  1. Baldsparrow Avatar
    Baldsparrow

    I tried this a week ago and rapidly backed out again. I have used Backup and Sync for years to keep a cloud copy of all my laptop files “just in case” and make them available to my iPad when I need them. From the information given about the new Drive app we will be compelled to use I erroneously assumed that fit would just replace B&S on my hard drive … but it doesn’t, it’s a new install and none of my existing files are available to it unless I laboriously go the cloud and mark each folder/file to be available off-line. That is a HUGE inconvenience. I want my files to be automatically available both on my hard drive and in the cloud because there are situations when the cloud is not available – not many, but it happens. I hope they rethink this aspect in the very near future. If they don’t fix it then I will be transferring to Apple’s iCloud …

    1. Kaouthia Avatar
      Kaouthia

      Ack, that sounds frustrating! I only really use B&S for sharing things with other people (because all I have to do is drag stuff to a folder on my hard drive, wait and then copy+paste a link to them). For syncing between my own devices I either use Resilio Sync (for backing up the camera roll and various app data on my phones and tablets) or Syncthing (for syncing between various desktops, laptops and Raspberry Pis).

  2. Clichey Avatar
    Clichey

    I’m using Backup and sync for years, to sync my Lightroom catalog with smart previews both on my laptop and Imac. (with many issues but I could manage)
    But now, like pcloud drive, google drive is now using a network drive i,stead of a local folder, and Lightroom is unable to open a catalog on a cloud drive.
    Or maybe I miss a thing ?

    I was already thinking about moving to dropbox, now I’m sure I will. Google drive is dead to me.

  3. Rhonda I Avatar
    Rhonda I

    I’m not liking it because they’re now asking for money so I can transfer all my files. Whereas I never had to do this for Backup & Sync. I’m not happy!