Why it matters to you
If you’re a Google Drive and/or Photos user, you likely want it to be as easy as possible to sync your files across different platforms. Google Backup & Sync helps with that.
Google wants to be better at backing up your computer’s files. While the company already offers a Drive folder that can be installed on your computer, Google has now officially launched a new way to back up and sync any folder that you point it toward on your computer. If you want, Google Backup & Sync can back up your desktop, entire documents folder, and more.
The new feature is now rolling out to users in the form of an app called Backup & Sync, and it replaces both the Google Photos desktop uploader and Google Drive for both MacOS and Windows. The app is aimed at regular consumers rather than business users — Google recommends business users stick with the already available Drive functionality that’s part of its G Suite.
the new Backup and Sync app backs up files and photos from your PC and stores them in Google Drive and Google Photos. You simply install the app, select Preferences, and then select the folders you want to backup. Click Choose folder to add other folders outside of the default choices.
You can also choose which files to sync back from Google Drive to your local computer and make available offline. Again, go to Preferences in the Backup and Sync app, click Google Drive, then Sync My Drive to this computer and specify whether to sync everything or just certain folders.
Finally, the Backup and Sync app can automatically upload files from a phone, camera, SD card, or other removable storage devices. Just go to Preferences, click USB devices & SD cards, click Plug in a camera or phone to backup files and click OK.
There are more options for you to check out once you’ve installed the app, which is available here for Google Drive and here for Google Photos. One thing, however, is for sure — syncing your entire computer will likely count pretty quickly toward your Google Drive storage limits, which sit in at 15GB for the free version — although you can buy more.
It’s nice to see Drive and Photos getting some upgrades. The Drive app has been around for some time now, and while it has gotten minor upgrades over the years, it has also become a little outdated. Another nice touch — and a necessary one — is that Google says your settings from the Google Drive app will remain untouched after the upgrade, so you shouldn’t have to worry about any of your files being lost or deleted during the switch. The integration with Google Photos is also a nice touch — and means that users should be able to more easily manage their photo libraries.
Updated: Added information on how the new Backup and Sync app works, as well as its availability.