Fix: Google Photos not syncing with Google Drive

Even though it isn’t as homogenous as iOS, Android, with its unified Google apps isn’t far behind. You can use one account to connect various services, including the limitless Google Photos and not-so-limitless Google Drive. Basically, every photo stored on both physical phone storage or Google Drive can be synced.

Now, in theory, that’s a sweet song of love, but in practical use, you can run into a problem or two occasionally. One of the reported issues is failed sync from Google Drive to Google Photos. Simply put, even though user set Google Photos to sync from Google Drive, they just fail to appear. For that purpose, we conducted a thorough research and brought to you a few workarounds that should relieve you of the issue at hand.

So, if you’ve had a hard time with Google Drive photos syncing to Google Photos service, make sure to check the solutions below.

Enable ”Show Google Drive photos and videos in your Photos Library”

In order to see the photos that you’ve already backed up on Google Drive in your Google Photos library, you’ll need to enable this option first. It’s disabled by default so you’ll need to navigate to Settings and toggle it on. There are some things to know before we move to this step. Namely, once you’ve enabled this feature, you can freely delete or edit synced photos without a fear of losing them from Google Drive.

Now, let’s find our way to Settings and enable the above-mentioned feature:

  1. Open Google Photos app.
  2. Tap the three-line menu and scroll down to Settings.
  3. Toggle on ”Show Google Drive photos and videos in your Photos Library”.
  4. Wait for some time (up to 24 hours) for photos to sync. It depends on your bandwidth and quantity and quality of photos stored on Google Drive.

After that, you should be able to access Google Drive photos on Google Photos app. Both on your Android and PC. However, if you run into additional problems, don’t despair. There are some additional steps you could use to resolve the issue.

Check the connection

If you’ve already enabled Google Drive photos on Google Photos Library and those still fail to sync, it just may be the connectivity issue. There’s a simple way to ensure yourself that the unstable connection is the cause of the problem. Follow the instructions below to check for issues:

  1. Open Google photos.
  2. Tap the Assistant card.
  3. If you’re prompted with the message that informs you that there’s no connection or that the process awaits for Wi-Fi, the problem is most certainly related to connectivity.

If you’re on the move and you have a lot of free data to spend, you can enable the sync with Mobile Data. But, we won’t advise you to do so on a regular basis since it can prove as an expensive and rather slow way. Wait for the stable Wi-Fi connection or follow these steps to troubleshoot connectivity on your device:

  • Reset your router.
  • Disable Bluetooth.
  • Restart your phone.
  • Forget network and re-establish a Wi-FI connection.
  • Use 2.4 GHz band instead of 5 GHz. It lacks range, but it’s a more stable option.
  • Wipe cache partition within Recovery settings.
  • Reset Network settings.
  • Reset phone to factory settings.

Clear app cache and data

Occasionally, the problem might be just related to a small stall within the app. Due to frequent changes that are made to the app through updates, there’s a chance that something within settings is failing, and thus, blocking sync between 2 services. Now, as you’re probably aware, the best way to restart an Android app is to clear its Stored Data.

This can be done by following these simple instructions:

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Open Apps.
  3. Navigate to Google Photos and Google Drive, respectively.
  4. Open Storage.
  5. Tap Clear Data.
  6. Restart your handset and try syncing again.

Have in mind that you might need to enter your Google Account credentials again in order to access the Google-related apps.

Update the app

If you’re still stuck with the same error and unable to reach Google Drive photos and videos in Google Photo Library, the next obvious step is to update. This mostly goes for users that have had experienced issues after the OS upgrade. With the update, you’ll have the latest optimized version of the app, which should clear some issues.

Follow the instructions below to reinstall the app:

  1. Connect to Wi-Fi and open Play Store.
  2. Tap the 3-line menu and open ”My apps & games”.
  3. Tap Check for updates.
  4. If there’s an update available for either Google Photos or Google Drive (or both, for that matter), make sure to install them.

Try on a computer

Finally, if everything fell short, you can always use Google features on your personal computer and access your photos from there. Just open a browser and navigate to this Google Photos. Sign in with your Google Account credentials and make sure to enable Google Drive in Google Photos Library. It should be easier to do so than it was on your Android.

With that, we conclude today’s how-to. Make sure to share with us your experience or ask a question in the comments section below. Have a nice day and thanks for reading.

Note: This article is a part of our Google Photos coverage. If you want to learn more Google Photos tips and tricks, or you have a certain problem with this app, visit our Google Photos Hub for more content.


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Jeremy Aaron Coapstick
Jeremy Aaron Coapstick
February 28, 2018 5:48 pm

thx hope this works! otherwise I’m switching to iOS!

March 10, 2018 11:32 am

it doesn’t 🙁

Jeremy Aaron Coapstick
Jeremy Aaron Coapstick
February 16, 2018 6:46 am

thx hope this works! otherwise I’m switching to iOS!

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