how to Correctly Reinstall And Sync – Google Backup and Sync – on a New Computer / New Install

If you backup your computer using Google Drive and Google’s unlimited free Photo and video backup (which you should) you will notice all kinds of crazy problems when you reinstall.  Typically, google will make another “My Computer (1)” and re-upload all your photos again, AND OR start downloading all of your photos(1).jpg again onto your machine, creating possibley hundreds of thousands of duplicates.

But this is how you need to reinstall Google Backup and Sync.  Google is “in theory” working on this problem, so you don’t have to do this anymore, but as of Fall 2019, this is what you need to do.

  1. Before you Reinstall/Install windows, NOTE the exact paths and folder that Google Backup and Sync is Syncing.
  2. After you’ve reinstalled windows proper, install Google Backup and Sync:
  3. During the install/setup of the program DO NOT point the program to your existing Google Drive and Photos folders. Point it to a blank folder you just make, like “d:\temp
  4. Get out of the installation, let it run for a few minutes until you see the “My Computer (1)” folder in google drive.
  5. Then PAUSE the Google Backup and Sync.
  6. Via the web-interface, Drag and drop ALL the folders in “My Computer” into “My Computer (1)”.
  7. Delete the empty “My Computer” folder.
  8. Rename “My Computer (1)” to “My Computer”
  9. Make sure that location & path is the same as the original.
  10. Now go back into Google Backup & Sync’s Preferences:
  11. And configure it as before, with the same folders it backup’d before.
  12. Resume Syncing.

This will build a new database of all the files, but will not upload or download anything UNLESS there is a mismatch.