[Update: Fixed] Users losing Backup and Sync settings post Windows 10 (1803) update

Update (May 24):

The latest version (3.42) of Backup and Sync has fixed the issue. More information here.

Update (May 22):

Google says the fix may take time to be released.

This is going to continue to happen until our engineering teams push a fix. This may take a while.


Update (May 18):

Those of you encountering crashes while manually fixing the glitch, here is Google’s latest suggestion:

If the manual repair instructions may cause a crash, quit Backup and Sync, delete the config directory and sign in again. The safest course of action for users that have already upgraded is to sign in again and start over. Effectively the OS upgrade process has corrupted the app configuration, which is what causes this issue.


Update (May 17):

Google says the problem will not be fixed by the company for those who have already installed the Windows 10 1803 update, as all they have to do is sign-in again.


And for those who haven’t signed in yet, can manually fix the glitch with the help of the following suggested steps:

Update (May 15):

Google is seemingly blaming Windows for creating the issue, and have proposed a fix which is to remove the AppData/Local/Google/Drive from Default on every app upgrade. Take a look at what a Google employee recently said while addressing the matter:

We’ve identified the problem: after the Windows upgrade completes, Windows restores your AppData hierarchy. Unfortunately, it seems to first copy the AppData/Local/Google/Drive folder from the Default account then it copies the AppData/Local/Google/Drive from your account over it.

Sometimes, there are empty database files in the Default config that get copied first, causing the real database files to be renamed with a (1) at the end so the app doesn’t find it’s databases and concludes you need to sign in again.

The empty database files under Default are the root cause of this bug, but I still think Windows’s behavior here is a little ridiculous.

Proposed fix is to remove the AppData/Local/Google/Drive from Default on every app upgrade.

Update (May 08):

Google is asking those affected to share log files to debug the issue.

Windows 1803 issue

Original story:

Users of Backup and Sync – the common client for Google Drive and Google Photos – have started facing a serious issue after installing the latest Windows 10 update (version 1803). Basically, users say the client application is behaving as if it has been freshly installed, meaning all their saved settings, preferences, and configuration are lost.

What’s more, because one has to log in (or set up) again now, the client even creates a duplicate of the Google Drive folder (as can be seen in the following user shared screenshot):


In fact, some users are complaining that even the two-step authentication is broken for them after the update.

Take a look at how some of the affected Windows users, as well as experts (on the official help forum) who upgraded to the OS’s latest version, explained the issue:

I’ve just installed the Windows 10 1803 update (17134.1) and noticed that, upon first boot of the new update, Google Backup and Sync setup pops up as if I’ve never used it before – it asks me to sign in with my Google account, and then has the default folder backup selection of Desktop, Pictures and Documents. Well I had already customised this previously with my own folders to be backed up, but it has lost all those settings. I vaguely recall this happening when I installed Windows 10 1709.

I have the same exact problem after Windows 10 1803 update. Also I fear if I configure the sync again, there is the risk of duplicating ALL files that Agent Tompkins mentions. I have just quit Backup and Sync for now, and awaiting a resolution or a how-to to get back to properly syncing my files. This is frustrating.

I can confirm. I am having the same issue. I’m using two factor authentication as well and when Drive doesn’t recognize my acceptance of the login from my phone. I’ve tried twice to no avail.

same issue here – it’s like Google didn’t even bother to keep up with the Windows testing – lost all my settings and had to start again.previously it was only syncing a selected few folders, i picked the top level correct folder again and it attempted to dump all of my google photos down to my PC…all 64GB of them….not good google….not good enough. (why hide that option on first setup?)…now removed the software until Google admit they test their product on the 2 (yes 2) platforms they have a client for (desktop clients)

Same problem Backup&Sync configuration is lost after 1803-Windows-update 2-Factor-auth doesn’t work. Needed to login with password. Then cant choose my google-drive to sync. IT always ends up with an error, that this drive is already chosen…WTF MS and GOOGLE ?

It is a problem and it’s not working for me, at least not working correctly. As I tried to explain before, after the 1803 install, B&S refused to recognize the pre-existing Google Drive on my laptop, and forced me to create a second duplicate Google Drive (1), which it then populated with a 2nd copy of my 13GB downloaded from the cloud. And yes, it appears that B&S then also created a 2nd copy of that 13GB in the cloud, as well. I guess at this point, I just want accurate advice on which local GD I can safely delete, and which cloud copy…

The problem in question got quickly addressed by a Google employee Dave (who is also the Community Manager at Google Drive help forum) this morning, saying the matter is being looked into.

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I’m having my team of Drive engineers look into this right now. I’ll reach back out as soon as I hear from them! LMK if you’d like to share any updates for the better/worse in the meantime!


It’s good that investigations have been launched by Google into this issue, but we can’t comment on how long will they take to debug and fix whatever is causing the mess. Though we hope they do it sooner. We are keeping a tab on all related developments, like always, and will update the story as and when anything news worthy shows up.

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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.