Google Drive, Backup and Sync, and Google Photos

This page is intended to supplement Mrs. Geek’s Guide to Google Photos. The Backup and Sync software is primarily a replacement for Google Drive. It also replaces the old Google Photos Backup. Uploading to Google Photos, in the new Backup and Sync is just an option. It gets very complicated! I try to keep it simple in the book. For those who want to understand more, (myself included) I am creating and collecting more information here.

Google official help pages

Documents by Peter Walsh (Google Photos Top Contributor)

  1.  Migrating from Google Photos Backup to Google Backup and Sync,
  2. Diagram of Backup and Sync Hierarchy,
  3. Overview Diagram of Backup and Sync as it replaces Google Photos Backup (aka Desktop Uploader)

WDTBD Episode 125 notes from Backup and Sync section

20:01 “Backup and Sync” replaces “Desktop Uploader’


If you have pictures on your computer and you want them to be uploaded to your google photos – you used to use an app called Google Photos Backup or Desktop Uploader. That is gone and it has been replaced with “Backup and Sync.” To get Backup and Sync, go to, click the 3-line menu and at the bottom find App Downloads.

Once it’s installed there are settings. If you leave them alone, it will upload all files in your Desktop, Documents, and Pictures sections of your computer. That’s great if you ALL the photos on your computer uploaded, but if not – or if you’ve already uploaded them, you may get lots of duplicates, and you may just be overwhelmed with the amount of photos you get. We recommend unchecking the boxes for Desktop, Documents, and Pictures. Then click the Choose Folder button and specify one folder where you will put the photos you want uploaded automatically. This can even be on an attached USB drive.


This new “Backup and Sync” is actually a Google Drive tool. It replaces the old system for Google Drive to synchronize to folders on your computer. This feature is now part of Backup and Sync. Chris promises to develop more instructions and videos on this important new software. … once she has figure it out!

Mrs. Geek’s miscellaneous diagrams and notes