[Updated] Google confirms Drive client Backup and Sync's issue with temporary files

Update (February 01):

Backup and Sync’s latest v3.39 is out. Try installing that and see if the client’s new version fixes the issue.

Original story:

It’s definitely sad, but not wrong to say that Backup and Sync – Google Drive and Photos common client application – is rife with issues. And recently, we ended up uncovering another one – the client interferes with programs like Microsoft Excel (that involve temporary files).

We stumbled upon a thread on the official Drive help forum where a user brought to Google’s notice that in case of large Excel files, the time Backup and Sync takes to backup temporary files created by Excel interferes with the process of renaming the file.

Confused? Let’s get a better understanding of what’s being reported.

As some of you may probably know, whenever we edit an existing file in programs like MS Excel, they create a working/temporary file (usually with name containing no extension). So whatever edits you do, it’s the temporary file in which the changes are done, and the same temporary file later on replaces the original file.

Turns out, this is where Backup and Sync interrupts, as it doesn’t let programs (like Excel) execute the name change procedure unless it completes the cloud-sync procedure. As a result, on opening the Excel sheet (in which changes were done) the last edits won’t reflect unless Backup and Sync is done with syncing. Hence, it appears to the user that the changes were not saved in the first place.

Here’s how the affected user explained the matter in question:
backup-and-sync-bug-with large-files1

Interestingly, Google employee Rishi not only addressed the complainant, but also acknowledged the issue and said a bug report will be filed for it. Here’s what he said:

Could you give me more details about this interference? If you can I can relay it back to the team as a circumstance to address and fix

backup-and-sync-bug-with large-temporbackup-and-sync-bug-with large-temporary

The above mentioned use-case clearly highlights a new weak link in Backup and Sync which the company needs to work on, and from what the comments convey, it appears they’ll be definitely looking into it (if not already). We are keeping a track of all developments related to the matter, and will keep you posted. So stay in touch.

Google Drive Help Forum

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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.