How to Fix the "Unable to Sync" Google Drive Error

I am loving Google Drive.  I’m currently using 52% of my 80 gigs and everything is now online and properly backed up.  I did have a problem for a day that was annoying and took some sleuthing to find a fix.  If you are experiencing the greyed-out “Unable to Sync” error message, you are left to your own cure because there isn’t an official solution online from Google yet and the App itself offers no advice.  Today, I will share with you the fix I found that worked for me and might just get your Google Drive syncing again with your local Mac computer.

The first thing you need to look for if your Google Drive has stopped syncing is for the list of files that Google Drive is having trouble syncing.  The App will give you a list of problem files.  In my class, I had four local .PSD files that were quite large:  5.7MB, 6.3MB, 7.8MB and 8.9MB and Google Drive was choking on them for some reason.  I believed those files only resided on my local Google Drive and had not yet uploaded to my online Google Drive.

I opened up my local Google Drive folder and drilled down to the problem folder and files. I looked for the tiny icons Google Drive added to the file identifiers to indicate the file’s sync status. Green check marks meant everything was good. Circular arrows meant that folder was in the process — OR NOT! — of syncing. I opened the folder with the circular arrows and looked for red check marks on the files — those were the problem files I had to remove from the folder by dragging them to my Mac desktop.

After removing the four problematic local files from my Google Drive folder, I quit Google Drive and restarted it.  I waited about 10 minutes and — for the first time in a day — the sync was complete!

I still had those four .PSD files that were not yet synced.  I have a lot of .PSD files that are larger than the four that caused Google Drive to barf, so I knew I wasn’t hitting a file size upload limitation.

I decided to go online to my Google Drive.  I drilled down to the same folder that held the problem files and saw, as I suspected, they were not in the online Drive.  I simply dragged those files from my Mac desktop into my Chrome browser, and all four files uploaded the proper directory without pause or concern.

I waited another 10 minutes and checked my local Google Drive folder and the four “problem” files were in the right folder and everything had perfectly synced for the first time.  As well, the folder-within-folder changes I made online were also live in my local Google Drive.

I used Google Docs all day long for writing and editing and publishing and now, with the rise of Google Drive, my usage will only increase and my workflow will continue to get better.  It’s magnificent having so much cheap storage space online that now just simply syncs to provide a local mirror and that provides incredible ease-of-use and untold delights of the mind.