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Fix: Google Drive not Syncing on iOS

google drive wont sync iphone

Many iPhone users still prefer Google Drive because it offers better sync across different platforms. But even Google Drive, just like any other app or service, has its own set of problems. Those problems may be individual cases, but they’re still bugging users who experience them.

In this article, we’re going to focus on one of the most common issues iPhone users have with Google Drive, and that’s syncing. Namely, users have been constantly reporting that files from their iPhones won’t sync to Google, so we’ll try to resolve that problem for them.

6 Solution to Force Google Drive to Sync

Solution 1:  Check the connection

The first thing you should do is make sure you’re properly connected to the internet. Because without a strong internet connection, Google Drive won’t be able to sync any of your files. Preferably, you should be connected to a WiFi network, as your iPhone might pause all data-consuming actions, like syncing to the cloud or updating apps to preserve data.

If you determine there’s nothing wrong with your internet connection, and that you’re properly connected to a WiFi network, the problem may not be here. So, move on to another solution.

Solution 2:  Update the Google Drive app

As all your apps are constantly updated, there’s a good chance the previous Google Drive version you installed on your iPhone contains a bug that prevents the app from syncing your files. If that’s the case, you should be on the lookout for a new update that will probably resolve the issue. Especially if the problem is widespread. The number of negative reports will surely prompt developers to deliver the fix as soon as possible.

update google drive ios

To check for a new Google Drive update, simply go to the App Store, search for Google Drive, and install the latest update (if available). If a faulty update was indeed the cause of the problem, the new version of the app should deal with it.

Solution 3: Check the storage

Obviously, Google Drive won’t sync anything if there’s not enough storage space for new files. This one’s a little tricky, though, as everything you upload to your Google storage counts against the quota, regardless of the service. Once you create a Google Account, Google gives you a certain amount of storage space for your services, depending on the plan you select, where everything from your Google services goes (Google Drive, Photos, Gmail, etc.).

iphone wont sync gdrive

For example, if you upload Original Quality photos from the Photos app, these photos will take up the unified storage space, so you’ll have less space for uploading files to Google Drive. At the time of writing this article, you can change the upload quality of your pictures inside the Google Photos app to High Quality, and these photos won’t count against the common quota. However, starting from June 2021, Google will remove this option, so everything you upload from then on will take up the storage space.

Google originally offered 15GB of free storage space, which probably won’t be enough for all your photos and files. So, if you want to upgrade to 100GB or more, you’ll have to pay for additional storage. You can check Google’s storage offerings here.

Solution 4:  Disable Low Power mode

iOS’s signature Low Power mode is designed to preserve battery when it reaches a critical percentage by disabling all the battery-consuming processes until you charge your phone. The list of processes, of course, includes syncing. Be it iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, or any other storage service, you won’t be able to upload your files to the cloud while the Low Power mode is on.

The Low Power mode gets disabled automatically when your battery percentage reaches 80% percent, but if you don’t want to wait for your iPhone to charge, you can also disable it manually. Just make sure you have enough battery left.

low power mode google drive sync scaled

To disable Low Power Mode, go to Settings > Battery, and disable Low Power Mode.

You can also put Low Power Mode in the Control Center for even easier access. To do so, head over to Settings > Control Centre, find Low Power Mode under More Controls, and add it to the list of Included Controls.

Solution 5:  Re-add your Google Account

If nothing’s helped so far, you can try a good old trick of signing out and into your Google account. If there’s a conflict between your iPhone and Google services, re-adding your Google account might resolve it. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open the Google Drive app and tap your Account picture in the upper right corner.
  2. Go to Manage Accounts on this device.
  3. Choose Remove from this device.sign out google drive scaled
  4. Tap Remove to confirm.

Your Google account is now removed from your iPhone, and you won’t be able to use not just Google Drive, but also other Google apps like Gmail or Photos. Here’s how to sign in to your Google account again:

  1. Open Google Drive (or any other Google app),
  2. Tap Sign in.
  3. Enter your Google account credentials.

That’s it, you’re now signed in to your Google account again. Go ahead and check if Google Drive syncs the files now. If it does, your problem is resolved.

Solution 6: Offload the Google Drive app

And finally, if you still can’t sync your files to Google Drive, try offloading the app. Offloading is a nice feature exclusive to iOS that allows you to delete the app from your iPhone, but preserve its data. So, for example, you won’t have to log into Google Drive when you install it again. It will take you back right where you left off.

Here’s how to offload the Google Drive app on your iPhone:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Head over to General iPhone Storage.
  3. Scroll down until you find Google Drive.offload google drive ios scaled
  4. Tap the Facebook app and go to Offload App.
  5. Confirm by tapping Offload App.

Now, head over to the App Store, and install Google Drive again. Hopefully, you’ll have more luck this time.

That’s about it. I hope at least one of these solutions helped you resolve the syncing problem with Google Drive on your iPhone.

Picture of Ivan Jenic

Ivan Jenic

Editor-in-chief at Mobile Internist. @ivan_jenic I founded Mobile Internist to help people understand technology better. And maybe solve some annoying problems. That's about it, cheers!