Google Backup and Sync - Windows Client


UA Google Drive is the University of Alaska's branding of Google Drive, an online service that provides resources for file storage, collaboration, and communication with other individuals.

Google Drive is a personal document and file storage hub. It's easy to upload, download, and share files. You can also create, view, and edit documents online using Google Docs, Sheets, and Presentations.

Because UA Google Drive is associated with your relationship to the University of Alaska, everything stored in it will be inaccessible should you leave the university. For this reason, it's best to use it to store materials that are your own personal university related (e.g. homework, business) use. For storing materials that are important to departments, schools, colleges, or other groups at the university indefinitely please consider using a department file share, Google Shared DrivesMicrosoft Teams, or a SharePoint Online site instead. If you're not sure which one is best for your group's needs consider reviewing our Where Should I Save Files article for some suggestions.

For additional information read about UA Google Drive.

In this article:


What materials do I need?


How do I use this technology?

Sync Google Drive to your Windows Computer

  1. On your computer, open a web browser and goto
  2. Beneath Backup and Syncclick the Download button.
  3. Read the Terms of Service and click Agree and download.
  4. After the client has completed downloading, double-click the installbackupandsync.exe.
  5. If you see a window asking if you want to allow the program to make changes on your computer, click Yes.
  6. Wait for the installer to complete, then click Close.
  7. At the Welcome to Backup and Sync dialog window, click Get Started.
  8. Enter your UA Email address (e.g., then click Next.
  9. Enter your UA Account password, then click Next.
  10. Login with your UA Email address and password.
    • If you see the following error message

      at the bottom of the Welcome to Backup and Sync dialog window, click the Sign in with your browser instead.
  11. At the Choose folder from your computer to continuously backup to Google Drive dialog, click Got It.
  12. At the My Device screen deselect the DesktopDocuments, and Pictures folders, then click Next.
  13. At the Sync files from My Drive to a folder on this computer dialog, click Got It.
  14. Select Sync My Drive to this computer,
    1. Choose whether to Sync everything in My Drive, or Sync only specific folders
    2. Click Start.


Adjust Backup and Sync client settings

  1. In the lower right corner of the display click the Google Backup and Sync icon on the task bar.
  2. Click the more options button.
  3. Click Preferences...
  4. Select from the following options:
    • My Device: Choose which content from your local drive is backed up to your Google Drive.
    • Google Drive: Choose which content from your Google Drive is cached to your local drive.
    • Settings: Change notification messages, and adjust network bandwidth utilization settings.
  5. Click Ok when finished.


Is there any additional information I should know about?

What is the differences between Backup and Sync and Drive File Stream clients?

The biggest differences between the Google Backup and Sync vs Drive File Stream clients has to do with how it accesses your Google Drive files. The Google Backup and Sync client by default caches the files and folders you selected locally on your computer which allows you to easily access your content when you do not have an Internet connection. Whereas the Drive File Stream client accesses all content directly from the Google cloud, and you have to specifically select content to be available offline, otherwise if you do not have an Internet connect you will not be able to access your files.

What file systems are supported by Backup and Sync?

Backup and Sync supports the following file systems:

  • macOS: APFS, HFS+, and FAT
  • Windows: ReFS, NTFS, and FAT

There is currently no support for network volumes (e.g. SMB or NFS).

Other related information


Need additional help or have issues

For additional assistance contact the IT Services Technical Support Center via phone at (907) 786-4646, toll-free at (877) 633-3888, email us at

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Article ID: 714
Thu 12/16/21 3:58 PM
Wed 1/5/22 1:29 PM