Backup and Sync consuming excessive CPU, Google wants details to debug issue [updated]

Update 6 (November 18):

While reverting back to one of the affected users post, Google employee Rishi agreed that the client consumes high CPU due to large number of files. He also mentioned that the company has plans to make the client more efficient.

You are correct. We could slow down the application, but then the checking would take longer with net CPU utilized being the same (just amortized over time). We are looking into making this more efficient and its on our roadmap



Update 5 (October 20):

Google is asking the affected users to upgrade to Backup and Sync’s latest version (3.37).


Update 4 (October 19):

Google is asking the affected users to share their CPU profiles and sync_log.log at the email address which can be seen in th following screenshot:


Note: Don’t forget to replace at with @

Update 3 (October 10):

Google accepts that the client is indeed CPU hungary.

Update 2 (October 04):

The company is actively working on fixing the excessive CPU consumption issue faced by Backup and Sync users.
The app’s version 3.37 may be the pill that users are looking for. Here’s what Google said lately

We are continuously making improvements to the application. There may be more than one cause for CPU spiking. We have fixed some of them which will be in the next version (3.37) and will continue to monitor any new reports of CPU consumption as well


Update 1:

Backup and Sync users on Windows are also complaining about the same problem.

Original story below:

CPU consumption/usage indicates the current load on it or how excessively it is being used by the system. Insanely high CPU usage (100% or beyond) can be alarming, as it doesn’t leave room for running other applications. And that’s exactly what some Backup and Sync users on Mac are complaining about.

The issue has been long known, as it was there in the old Google Drive desktop app as well (which has now been deprecated by Google). Sadly, nothing changed despite the advent of Backup and Sync, for the reason that poor Mac users continue to be baffled by how a single application’s eating up insanely high amount of CPU.

The only twist in the story is that Google has suggested the affected users to share the link to their ‘cpu_profiles’ directory, in order to investigate the matter in detail. So, if you are among those grumbling about the client application’s excessive CPU consumption, here’s what you have to do to generate the asked for link:

  • Click on the cloud menu icon.
  • Hold the Shift key and click on the three dots in the upper right hand side of the Backup and Sync menu.
  • Select the menu item titled “Enable diagnostic mode”
  • A new window will pop up
  • Check the “Enable CPU Profiling” checkbox and wait until either CPU usage has returned to normal or a few minutes (~5) have passed, then uncheck the checkbox
  • Click “Open the config directory”
  • Compress the “cpu_profiles” directory and share a link to it after uploading it to Google Drive.


Once you have the link, post it on this thread on the official Drive forum, where the issue in question is being entertained/discussed.

Source 1 | Source 2 | Source 3 | Source 4 | Source 5

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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.