How to get around Google Backup and Sync failing to work with Apple’s Mac M1

Google Drive Backup and Sync is broken on the new Apple Silicon hardware. Jack Wallen offers up what might be your best option until Google fixes the issue.


Image: Apple, Inc.

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I’m going to preface this by saying I don’t have a fix to get Google Backup and Sync to work on the new Apple M1-powered hardware. If that’s what you were hoping for, you’ll be disappointed (sort of). If you’re not sure what I’m referring to, the Google Drive Backup and Sync tool does not work with M1-powered Apple hardware. It’ll install and start, but cannot make a connection with your Drive account. When you do attempt to connect it, the software will crash and there’s no way to fix it at the moment. Even following the advice from Google fails to resolve the problem.

As it stands, the only way this will be fixed is if Google gets their software to work with the M1 chip–and they will. If they want their software to function with Apple hardware going forward, they have no choice.

Until that time, what do those Mac users, who want to sync to Google Drive, do? I have a suggestion.

But first…

SEE: Apple Silicon M1 Mac buying guide: 2020 MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro vs. Mac mini (TechRepublic)

How I use Google Drive Sync

I don’t use Google Drive in the same way most do. I don’t want a two-way sync. Why? Because I already use over 150GB on my Drive account. I don’t want (or need) all of that content to sync with my MacBook Pro. Even though that new M1-powered laptop has a TB of local storage, a lot of it gets gobbled up by Final Cut Pro video files. I don’t need the additional weight of Google Drive content jamming up my drive. Besides, I run a nightly backup of Google Drive to my Linux desktop, so I don’t need it to also happen on my laptop.

In the end, how I need to work with Google Drive on my MacBook Pro is to sync one particular folder to my Google Drive cloud account. That’s it. It’s…