Dumb Backup and Sync can't recognize pre-uploaded stuff on Google Drive, creates duplicates [Update: fixed]

We have also compiled a detailed list of Backup and Sync related existing issues. You can access the complete story here.

Update 2 (September 07): We tested the new Backup and Sync (version 3.36) at our end, and can confirm that the ‘folder duplication’ issue has indeed been fixed. Now when you try uploading the same folder again, the application notifies you about the pre-uploaded stuff through notifications similar to the following:



Update 1 (September 07): Google has released version 3.36 of the Backup and Sync app, which includes fix for this issue.


If you have been affected by this problem, you should immediately download the latest Backup and Sync from here.

Original story follows:

Looks like in a rush to launch the Backup and Sync app, Google did not scrutinize the pitfalls that the app could get into. The hot issue being served on the platter is that the app fails to recognize already uploaded folders – it re-uploads them all over again, making multiple copies in Google Drive.

Baffling, but true. Among the long list of problems being reported with the Backup and Sync app, this issue recently caught our attention. One of the affected users said they unchecked the Pictures folder in Backup and Sync’s Preferences menu due to some reason, assuming that the application will continue from where it left when the folder will be selected for backup again.

However, later, when the folder was selected again, they were surprised to see that the application failed to recognize the existing Pictures folder and created another folder with the same name in Google Drive. This means it again started backing up everything from Pictures in local computer to the newly created Pictures in cloud.

The following screenshot (shared by the user) gives a clear picture of what they saw:


We were easily able to reproduce the issue at our end. In addition, we also confirmed the issue exists in case the app is un-installed and re-installed – regardless of the already backed-up folders (like Pictures, Documents, and Desktop etc) in Google Drive, it re-uploads all the folders again, leading to duplication as can be seen in the following screenshot.

backup-and-sync-pictures-folder-issue-reproduced-added- observation

It’s clear that currently Backup and Sync does get into re-uploading the already backed-up stuff. The problem in question got addressed on the official Photos forum on August 19, by someone who earlier used to appear in forums as a Google employee (not sure why they’ve changed their identity now). Anyway, following is what they exactly said:

“Sorry to hear about this. Recognizing pre-uploaded folders will appear in version 3.36 (~3 weeks release time)”

So it’s reasonable to say Google has officially acknowledged the bug. And it is expected to get fixed in a few weeks from now. In case you have been facing this problem, keep a tab here as we’ll keep you updated about all the related developments.

PS: This is not the only problem plaguing the Backup and Sync application – head here to take a look at the ones we’ve already covered.


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Dr. Aparajita Sharma

A budding entrepreneur by profession, and a psychologist by education. As a founding member of PiunikaWeb, I am nurturing this firstborn with my sharp-eyed expertise and even journalistic writing when needed.