Downloading Motion Photos via Google’s Backup and Sync is broken for some

For many people, especially those of us here at Android Police, Google’s various backup tools are an integral part of our daily workflow. Frankly, I’d have to entirely restructure how I do things without the convenience of Google Photos and Google Drive/Backup and Sync. For some, the combination of those two services isn’t working as expected when it comes to Motion Photos, and backup synchronization to a desktop fails for those MVIMG-labeled images. 

This isn’t the first time Motion Photos have introduced problems with Google Drive. Last year, shortly after the introduction of the new Motion Photos, MVIMGs files deleted via Google Photos weren’t actually being deleted (much to our own Artem’s chagrin).

This new problem, in which Motion Photo images refuse to download via the Backup and Sync client, has been reported since around the beginning of the year, and not everyone seems to be affected. Again, Artem is experiencing the problem on his account, but mine is synchronizing Motion Images/MVIMG-labeled photos just fine.

So far reports on the Product Forum are mostly for Windows clients, but some of our readers on OSX are also affected. You should be able to confirm the problem by glancing at the status of Backup & Sync on your desktop (right-clicking the icon in the taskbar on Windows, clicking the app icon in the menu bar on OSX, or righteously raging at Google for the continued lack of a client on Linux) and checking for “can’t sync” errors. If any are present and the files associated with the problem begin with “MVIMG,” then you are likely affected.

  • Thanks:
  • Jason Martin

Google Drive File Stream update adds bandwidth limit settings, sync pause, and more

The Google Drive desktop client isn’t very great (at least on Windows), and if you want to access a file, it has to be stored on your computer at all times. Google announced a new client called ‘Drive File Stream’ last year, which adds all your files to your computer, but only downloads the data when you want to open something (similar to OneDrive on Windows 8). Unfortunately, Drive File Stream is only available to G Suite users, so us normal people can’t try it out.

If you do happen to have a G Suite account, File Stream just became much more useful. A new update, which started rolling out on February 23 (yesterday), adds the ability to move the file cache to any directory (on drives using NTFS, APFS, or HFS+). So if you are running out of space, you can easily move the cache folder to an external or network drive.

Other new features include upload/download speed limits, performance improvements, and the ability to pause file syncing. Now, who do I have to bribe at Google to let Gmail accounts access this?