Run Backup and Sync as a Windows Service with AlwaysUp

How to Run Backup and Sync 24/7 as a Windows Service with AlwaysUp

Automatically start file synchronization in the background whenever your PC boots. No need to log on to copy your important files to/from your Google Drive!

Backup and Sync from Google is a Windows utility that automatically synchronizes the files on your Google Drive with a folder on your PC. It's free, stable and easy to use but needs someone to sign on to kick it off. This guide will show you how to run Backup and Sync as a Windows Service to ensure that it starts as soon as your computer boots.

To setup Backup and Sync as a Windows Service:

  1. If necessary, download and install Backup and Sync. Be sure to enter your Google Drive credentials and confirm that synchronization is working well!

  2. Download and install AlwaysUp, if necessary.

  3. Start AlwaysUp.

  4. Select Application > Add to open the Add Application window:

    Add Application

  5. On the General tab:

    • In the Application field, enter the full path to the Backup and Sync executable, googledrivesync.exe. Since we have installed the program in the default location, we will enter:

      C:\Program Files\Google\Drive\googledrivesync.exe

    • In the Name field, enter the name that you will call the application in AlwaysUp. We have stuck with the default of Googledrivesync for this tutorial but you can specify a friendlier name you like.

    Backup and Sync Windows Service: General Tab

  6. Click over to the Logon tab, check the box at the top and enter the username and password of the Windows account where you installed Backup and Sync. This is very important: The software will not work properly as a service if it runs in the default system account!

    Backup and Sync Windows Service: Logon Tab

  7. Switch to the Startup tab and check the Ensure that the Windows Networking components have started box. This tells AlwaysUp that Backup and Sync needs the TCP/IP stack to operate.

    We also recommend checking both the Stop all copies of the application running on this computer and Also whenever the application is restarted boxes, to ensure that only a single copy of Backup and Sync is active at any time.

    Backup and Sync Windows Service: Startup Tab

  8. We are done configuring Backup and Sync so click the Save >> button to record our settings. In a couple of seconds, an entry for Googledrivesync (or whatever you called it) will show up in the AlwaysUp window. It is not yet running though and the state will be "Stopped".

    Backup and Sync Windows Service: Created

  9. But before we launch Backup and Sync as a service, let's adjust the settings to avoid starting a second copy when you log in (which is now unnecessary). To do that:

    1. Launch Backup and Sync. You should be able to find it on your Start menu:

      Backup and Sync Start Menu

    2. Right-click on the Backup and Sync tray icon (), click the Settings icon (three vertical dots) and select Preferences... from the menu.

    3. Select Settings on the left of the Preferences window. On the right, un-check the Open Backup and Sync on system startup box.

      And since Backup and Sync will be running invisibly in the background, you might as well un-check the Show warning when I remove items from a shared folder box too. We don't want synchronization to hang up waiting for you to click OK on a silly confirmation window!

      Backup and Sync Preferences

    4. Click OK to save your settings.

    5. Exit Backup and Sync. Right-click on the tray icon, click Settings (three vertical dots) and select Quit Backup and Sync.

  10. Now back to AlwaysUp. To start Backup and Sync as a service, choose Application > Start "Googledrivesync". After a few seconds the entry's state should change to "Running". Click the green circle icon to see a few properties of the underlying process:

    Backup and Sync Windows Service: Started

    Note that on Windows 10/8/7/Vista and Server 2022/2019/2016/2012/2008, Backup and Sync will be running in the background on the isolated Session 0. Its tray icon will not be visible on your desktop. You should still see the overlay icons in the File Explorer though.

    If you wish to see the Backup and Sync tray icon — maybe to change some settings or check that it is working OK — select Application > Restart "Googledrivesync" in this session:

    Restart Backup and Sync in this Session

    In a few seconds, the Backup and Sync icon will appear in the task tray area allowing you to interact with the software as normal.

  11. That's it! Next time your computer boots, Backup and Sync will start immediately, before anyone logs on. We encourage you to edit the service in AlwaysUp and check out the many other settings that may be appropriate for your environment. For example, restart synchronization if it uses too much memory, send an email if the program fails, and much more.

Google Backup and Sync not working properly as a Windows Service?

  • Visit the AlwaysUp Troubleshooter - our online tool that can help you resolve the most common problems encountered when running an application as a windows service.
  • From AlwaysUp, select Application > Report Activity > Today... to bring up a HTML report detailing the interaction between AlwaysUp and Backup and Sync. The AlwaysUp Event Log Messages page explains the more obscure messages.
  • Review the AlwaysUp FAQ for answers to commonly asked questions and troubleshooting tips.
  • Contact us and we will be happy to help!

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