13 Solutions to Fix Google Drive Sync Issues on Windows 11

Google Drive for desktop is a convenient tool for syncing files across different devices and platforms. However, many users encounter issues where Google Drive fails to sync on their Windows 11 computer. This can be due to various reasons, such as changes in app or device settings, bugs, or internet/firewall problems. In this article, we will explore 13 effective solutions to resolve Google Drive sync problems on Windows 11.

Pause and Restart Sync

One simple but effective step is to pause and restart the sync process. To do this, click on the Drive icon in the Taskbar Notification Area and select “Pause syncing” under Settings. Wait for a few moments to allow Drive to stop syncing, and then click on “Resume syncing.” This can often solve the syncing issues.

pause syncing of google drive for desktop

Multiple Accounts

If you have added multiple accounts to Google Drive for desktop, it's possible that you are trying to find the right file in the wrong account. Click on the Drive icon in the Taskbar Notification Area and select the appropriate account. This will help you access the correct files and folders.

switch accounts in google drive for desktop on windows 11

Check File Name, Length, and Size

There are certain rules regarding file names, character length, and size when uploading files to Google Drive on Windows 11. Ensure that the file name does not contain special characters and is within the character limit. Additionally, check the file size and ensure it does not exceed the allowed limit. Also, make sure the file follows Google's User Policy.

Check Storage Space Left

Check the available storage space in your Google Drive account. Free users get 15GB of storage, which is shared among various Google products. You can check the storage space in the Notification Area of the Taskbar or visit the Google storage page. If your storage space is running low, consider freeing up space to ensure proper syncing.

check drive storage space left on windows 11

Quit Drive, Restart Windows

Sometimes, relaunching the Google Drive app and restarting your Windows 11 computer can resolve common errors that may be affecting the sync process. Right-click on the Drive icon and select “Quit,” then reboot your computer and relaunch the app.

Delete Desktop.ini File

If Google Drive fails to sync a file, it may create a hidden file called desktop.ini. This file can prevent the syncing of other files from the same device. To resolve this issue, open File Explorer by pressing Windows + E, navigate to the Drive folder, enable the display of hidden items, and delete the desktop.ini file. Refresh the folder and try syncing the files again.

Allow Firewall and Antivirus Settings

In some cases, firewall and antivirus settings may block Google Drive from downloading and uploading files, resulting in sync issues. Whitelist the Google Drive app in your firewall and antivirus settings to ensure uninterrupted syncing. The steps to do this may vary depending on your antivirus software.

Check Drive Settings

Check the sync settings in the Google Drive for desktop app preferences. Open Drive from the Notification Area in the Taskbar, go to Settings, and click on Preferences. Make sure the settings are not causing any conflicts with the sync process.

Clear File Cache

Clearing the file cache can help resolve conflicts that may be hindering the sync process. Press Windows + R to open the Run prompt, type “%LOCALAPPDATA%Google,” and delete the DriveFS folder. This will remove the cache files, allowing Google Drive to create new ones.

Remove Bandwidth Restrictions

If the upload and download speeds are restricted in the Google Drive settings, it can affect the sync process. Go to Settings, Preferences, and uncheck the “Download rate” and “Upload rate” options under Bandwidth settings. This will remove any restrictions and improve sync performance. Adjust the values if necessary.

Reconnect Google Drive

Sometimes, simply reconnecting Google Drive can resolve sync issues. Right-click on the Google Drive for desktop icon, select “Quit,” and then relaunch the app. This quick action may solve any temporary syncing problems.

Delete GDOC and GSHEET Shortcuts

Google Drive creates shortcuts for Docs, Sheets, and Slides documents, which can only be opened in a web browser. If these shortcuts are causing issues, you can safely delete them. This can help resolve sync problems on your Windows 11 computer.

Change Folder Location

Changing the location where Google Drive saves and syncs files and folders can also help resolve sync issues. Go to Preferences, Settings, and choose a new folder or drive location. Google Drive will move all files to the new location and begin syncing them from there.

While these solutions should help resolve most Google Drive sync issues on Windows 11, you can also access Google Drive through a web browser or on your smartphone as an alternative. If all else fails, consider uninstalling and reinstalling the app using a utility like Revo Uninstaller to ensure a clean installation.