Google accepts Backup and Sync issue with non-ASCII characters in profile folder name on Windows [update: fixed]
Update (September 21):
Google has fixed the Non-ASCII character issue. Affected users are suggested to download the latest version (3.36.6884.5911) of Backup and Sync (updated on September 20).
Original story below:
Of late, a user voiced his inability to use Backup and Sync on Windows 8.1 on the official Drive forum. Following a short discussion, Google acknowledged the problem as an existing issue with the application.
Specifically, the complainant mentioned that after clicking on Backup and Sync’s icon, it initially appears like the application is launching, but nothing shows up, except a spinning wheel which usually indicates some processing is going on. However, soon the launch action gets suspended without any warning or error. Neither the Backup and Sync icon appears in task-bar nor does it bring in the set up page asking for login credentials.
Sadly, common troubleshooting actions like uninstalling-reinstalling, rebooting, as well as others steps the user took (see the following screenshot) didn’t resolve the problem.
The affected user also revealed that their computer language is Chinese while their user name is in English, which later turned out to be the root cause of the issue. An expert on the official Drive forum soon diagnosed that the problem was non-ASCII characters in the user’s profile folder name.
The expert’s comment highlights that Backup and Sync in not compatible with non-ASCII characters. That shouldn’t come as a surprise as it’s a well known fact that folders with names having non-ASCII characters can cause display issues in applications, among other problems.
The expert further promised to escalate the issue. And very soon, Google acknowledged it by saying:
Thanks for the report. We will look into fixing this
Clearly, in order to gracefully use the client application, non-ASCII users will have to wait for Google to come up with a fix. We are hopeful that the company will bring in the needful changes soon. Meanwhile, the only expert suggested workaround is to change the user profile folder name.
Note: For those of you aren’t aware, ASCII is a character encoding standard for electronic communication. To learn more about ACII as well as terms like non-ASCII or extended-ASCII, head here.
Note: We stumbled upon some of the other threads on official Google Drive forum, and found that users of other Windows versions like Win10 are also facing the same issue.