[Updated] Google blames Apple for Drive client-triggered lags on Mac OS High Sierra

Update (March 05):

Google is now looking into the matter, to figure out whether it’s an issue at their end or Apple’s. Here’s what Google employee Rishi’s latest post says:

I’m not entirely sure this is an issue in High Sierra or in the application at the moment. I’ve found some other apps have a similar issue while others do not. I’ve filed a bug with the team for investigation into this further. Thanks for bringing this to attention

Original Story:

Have you been facing lag/delay issues with the Finder on your Mac OS High Sierra? For example, screenshots appearing after a gap of several seconds. If yes, then see whether you have the Google Drive/Photos client Backup and Sync installed. That’s because a large number of users facing the lag problem have confirmed that quitting/disabling Backup and Sync solves the problem for them.

If I have Backup and Sync on, my finder slows down tremendously. I take a screenshot and it only appears on the desktop literally 5 seconds later. Thats a long time. When I’m saving/exporting files from apps, the files show up in my Finder much later which makes me question if they were saved or not.

After a restart the screenshot delay issue hasn’t really changed. However I’ve quite Google’s Sync & Backup (previously Google Drive) just to see what happens, and there you go: instant screenshots again!

Wow good find! I can confirm that after quitting Google backup & sync files appear instantly on the desktop as they originally did.

Slow screenshot saving to desktop on mac os High Sierra ( 10-60 sec). When the application is running. When the application is not running, the save normally works.

Mostly, I think Google Backup and Sync makes finder run like shit, anyone else notice this?

One of the affected users also shared an animated GIF showcasing the problem in question, and here’s how they explained:

It looks like the File System is OK as `ls` reports the new file right away. The problem seems to be with the Finder getting updated randomly slowly! Notice how the 2nd screenshot takes 4s to appear in the Finder and on the desktop:


From the looks of it, the problem seems to be with Backup and Sync. However, Google has a different story to tell. Recently, when an affected user brought this up on the company’s official forum, a company employee blamed Apple for the issue, and as a resolution until Apple fixes it, suggested the complainant to disable the Finder Extension.

Here’s what exactly they said:

You can disable the Finder Extension. Unfortunately this seems to be a bug on Apple’s end (afaict) and all applications that use the Finder Extension API are affected.

You can disable it by:
1. Going to System Preferences -> Extensions
2. Unchecking the Backup and Sync Finder extension.

You will need to do this for all extensions there for your screenshotting to work again.

Alternatively you can go to Preferences -> Settings and uncheck “Show file sync status icons and right click menu” to specify the application to never load the Finder integration again.

It’s worth mentioning that we went through many forum threads where this issue is being discussed, and found that in almost 100% of cases the complainant confirmed the problem got resolved by quitting/disabling Backup and Sync.

Plus, Apple is yet to officially acknowledge the problem (in case it’s at their end). So everything is up in the air at the moment, but what’s confirmed is you can avoid the issue either by disabling Finder or Backup and Sync.

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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.