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Fix: Google Drive won’t sync in Android

Google Drive is one of the most-used cloud services in the world. In its favor goes the fact that this service is available on most, if not all Android devices as a preinstalled app. Additionally, with 15 Gb of free storage space and multi-platform support, it’s not unusual for you to choose it over, say Dropbox or Microsoft’s One Drive.

However, a cloud backup software that can’t sync isn’t of great use to no one. Namely, it’s not uncommon for Google Drive on Android to stop syncing, and for some users, that’s a nightmare to cope with. So, for that purpose, we prepared a list of workarounds that should help you resolve this issue. If your One Drive app has a problem with syncing, you’ve come to the right place.

Check the connection

The first step you should take when troubleshooting any connection-dependent app is to, obviously, check the connection. If your connection is unstable or the app permission is blocked in the system, Drive won’t be able to connect to the storage server, and there so, won’t be able to sync the data. For that purpose, make sure to check these steps:

  • Connect and make sure that the connection is stable.
  • Use Wi-Fi for syncing rather than mobile data.
  • If you’re in need to use the mobile data, make sure that the ”Transfer files only over Wi-Fi” option is disabled. Navigate to Drive > 3-line menu > Settings, and toggle off Transfer files only over Wi-Fi.
  • Restart your device to clear bugs that may occur from time to time.
  • Make sure that the sync is enabled. Navigate to Drive > 3-line menu > Settings > Backup & reset, and enable ”Back up my data”.

Update the Drive app

Additionally, you should make sure that the app is up to date. Even though the auto-update of the Play Store tends to do that work for you, it won’t hurt if you check for the updates manually. That’s as simplistic procedure as they come, and here is how to do it:

  1. Tap Play Store app.
  2. Open 3-line menu.
  3. Open My Apps and Games.
  4. If there’s Drive update available, tap Update to download and install it.
  5. Check for changes with the sync procedure.

Clear app’s data

Another usual workaround that comes into play when the certain app won’t function as intended is related to accumulated data that, occasionally, may cause issues. Namely, the data that certain app collects can get corrupted and that will result in malfunction. Even the slightest file can stall the whole sync process, in this case. So, make sure to clear data before moving on with other steps.

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Open Apps.
  3. Navigate to Drive.
  4. Tap to open App info.
  5. Tap Storage.
  6. Clear Data.

Reset your device and sign in again. Additionally, you can download the cache within the app settings. This is how to do it.

  1. Open the Drive app.
  2. Tap 3-line menu.
  3. Open Settings.
  4. Tap Clear cache.

This process won’t delete any of your data, but rather clear the cached documents.

Sign out and sign in again with the Google account

This may be too obvious, but it may be worth a while. There’s a good chance that, if you’re using Drive on multiple platforms, something went wrong during the backup procedure, some kind of corruption. Moreover, some of the files you’re trying to sync on Google Drive for Android may not be updated from the other device. So, stop the syncing/backup procedure and log out from PC/Mac/Android clients or browser extension, and log in again.

Once you’ve finished with this, your problem should be gone. However, if you’re sure that the problem is strictly app-related, there’s still one thing you can do.

Use Drive trough the web browser

This is far away from the solution, but it may prove as the simplest temporary workaround. You can log in with your credentials in any given Android web browser and access your data. If the app isn’t doing the job as intended, you can always turn around to good old browser. This is how to use Google Drive via the browser:

  1. Open the browser of your choice.
  2. Navigate to drive.google.com
  3. Enter your credentials to log in.

Reinstall the app

At the end, you can try and resolve syncing problems with Google Drive by resetting to factory values. In other words, Android is the system as any other and there are cases when something suddenly went wrong with the individual app or all-around performance. Especially if you have multiple backup solutions, e.g. Huawei Backup or Samsung Cloud. So, your last resort is to restore the factory settings.

In case this was of any help to you, make sure to give us a shout in the comments. Additionally, you can always post questions or suggestions in the comments section.

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Kendra Owen
Kendra Owen
September 27, 2019 3:39 am

I will go ahead and post this even though its an old post just in case someone else stumbles onto it and it could help. My problem was that even though an excel file was correct on my computer and on my g.drive, when I opened the file from my g.drive app on my phone I kept getting a previous version of it. The thing that finally fixed it was to clear the data and cache in my mobile excel app. If that doesn’t work, it may be opening in g.sheets, try clearing the data and cache on sheets as… Read more »

Sheila M. Averbuch
Sheila M. Averbuch
January 21, 2019 8:37 am

if these methods don’t work for you, try performing the same steps but with Google docs. It was docs that was causing the problem for me. I cleared the cache and it worked.

Monika
Monika
May 21, 2020 5:00 pm

Clear apps data helped me. Thanks!

Emon Sharma
Emon Sharma
May 30, 2018 9:43 am

I deleted some files from my bin and after that it stopped refreshing. I can’t access my files. I updated Drive, cleared data, logged in and out, opened it with browser nothing happened.
Please help me

Ivan Jenic
Admin
Ivan Jenic
June 5, 2018 6:35 pm
Reply to  Emon Sharma

Hi Emon,
Are you getting any error message or warning?

Garrett
Garrett
February 28, 2018 5:46 pm

I removed updates, then reinstalled them. It still didn’t seem to work. Then I discovered that if you swipe down it refreshes drive. Problem solved. I’m not sure if the updates added this functionality or if I just never noticed it before.

Garrett
Garrett
December 1, 2017 4:16 am

I removed updates, then reinstalled them. It still didn’t seem to work. Then I discovered that if you swipe down it refreshes drive. Problem solved. I’m not sure if the updates added this functionality or if I just never noticed it before.

Tony Crossley
Tony Crossley
December 1, 2019 12:25 am

OneDrive and Amazon Photos work fine on Android. Don’t bother with Drive.

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