Google’s newly-released Backup and Sync tool combines previous Windows utilities into a single solution that spans your documents and photos. And for many, it could work as centralized cloud backup.
Previously, Google had a sync client for Google Drive that works much like similar clients for OneDrive, Dropbox, and other cloud storage services. Except for testing, I’ve never really used this client, as I don’t use Google Drive regularly.
But Google also had a separate upload/sync client for Google Photos, allowing you to copy your existing photo collection to the cloud. I use Google Photos extensively, and I wrote about this capability two years ago in Tip: Use Google Photos to Archive Your Photo Collection.
Google Backup and Sync for Windows combines these two clients into a single new client. But it also dramatically changes how the Google Drive (e.g. documents sync) part works: Instead of a single “Google Drive” folder under your user account folder, you can instead choose to continually backup your own folders to Google Drive. So it’s both consolidated and an upgrade.
It’s easy to setup: Just sign-in to your Google account and then choose the folders (if any) you’d like to continually backup. Google chooses Desktop, Documents, and Pictures by default, but you can deselect any of those and add any arbitrary folders to backup too.
While some have described this as a complete PC backup solution, you can’t choose a drive, and there’s no system image capability. But you could choose all of the folders on your PC, for sure, and while that wouldn’t make sense, choosing all of the folders with important documents, images, videos, and other files is certainly possible.
If you’re in the Google ecosystem, this is worth looking at. I don’t really need it, as my photos are all backed up to the cloud already and I don’t need the document sync capabilities. But it looks solid for those who need either.