How to Stop Google Drive from Duplicating Files | 3 Ways + 4 Tips

You will find 3 solutions to stop Google Drive from duplicating files and the way to remove Google Drive duplicates, and the tip to avoid duplicate Google Drive folders.


by Jonna Lasted Updated April 10, 2024

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The problem of duplicate Google Drive folders


This morning, I logged in and noticed that Google Drive was creating duplicates of everything! In other words, it was uploading the data from my PC to the cloud but creating duplicates of all the folders that were already there! Do you know how to stop Google Drive from duplicating files? Please give me some suggestions. Thanks in advance!

Why does my Google Drive keep duplicating files? This is usually because of Google Drive sync bugs or glitches or things such as sample files that do not need to be changed between versions.

Stop Google Drive from Duplicating Files

Can I stop Google Drive from duplicating files?

As one of the most popular cloud services, Google Drive enables users across the globe to sync their data in an absolutely secure manner. Meanwhile, users can access their data on a desktop, laptop, tablet, and most importantly on their Android-powered smartphone.

However, the file synchronization function brings convenience to users while also bringing some inconvenience to users. Sometimes, Google Drive can’t detect duplicate documents and upload the same file repeatedly, which will not only take up your storage space but also bring much inconvenience to you.

If you find your Google Drive is creating duplicates of files or folders, don’t panic, you can take some measures to stop Google Drive from duplicating files. Please read on to learn more detailed information about how to solve duplicate files and folders issues in Google Drive.

How to stop Google Drive from duplicating files

The following contents will show you how to prevent Google Drive from duplicating files with 3 effective methods and will also introduce two additional tips to remove duplicate items from Google Drive and avoid duplicate files issue with CBackup.

Method 1. Remove uploaded items from the source folder

If Google Drive is uploading certain items that are already uploaded to Google Drive, you can remove already uploaded items from backup source folders. Moreover, you should also take care to avoid uploading the same files or folder via different devices (desktops, laptops, notebooks, or phones).

Method 2. Uninstall and reinstall Google Drive desktop app

Sometimes, there is something wrong with your Google Drive synchronization function so it creates duplicates repeatedly. You can try to solve this problem by uninstalling and reinstalling Google Drive desktop app - Drive for desktop now.

Step 1. Type Control Panel in the Search box of Windows 10 and choose the best-matched one.

Step 2.  In the pop-up window, choose to Uninstall a program under Programs to continue.

Step 3. Then select Google Drive and right-click it. Next, click Uninstall to continue.


Step 4. After that, you can go to and download the Drive for desktop from Google again.

Method 3. Turn off the sync feature and upload files manually

If your Google Drive is duplicating files now, and the first thing is stopping Google Drive sync process:

1. Please DO NOT use the My Computer tab on Backup and Sync (Drive for desktop )and uncheck all the folders on My Computer.

2. Then change the Google Drive My Drive Location to the folder you want to sync, and it will stop Google Drive from duplicating files and folders.

Then delete everything that has duplicates in Google Drive, as well as the Google Drive folder, then upload the files and folders to Google Drive again. And, download directly from the cloud to the local.

Step 1. Go to the Google Drive website and sign in to your Google Account.

Step 2. On the main page of Google Drive, click My Drive and then choose Upload files... or Upload folder... to upload your files manually.

Googledrive Upload Content

Step 3. If you need to download files, you can right-click the file or folder and choose Download in the drop-down menu.

Google Drive Download

However, it’s quite annoying to upload files especially since there are plenty of files and folders to sync.

Bonus tips about duplicate files or folders in Google Drive

Tip 1. How to remove duplicate items from Google Drive

To remove duplicates in Google Drive, you can choose to remove them manually or rely on a third-party duplicate cleaning tool. Actually, many users are unwilling to remove duplicates in Google Drive manually due to time-wasting. So, you can choose a suitable tool on the market. Here is an example:

Please make sure that Google Drive does not perform a sync function from cloud to local. Otherwise, your local source files may be removed at the same time as you delete duplicates from Google Drive.

Step 1. Download the Easy Duplicate Finder tool on your computer. Then, follow the steps to install it on your computer.

Step 2. Once you have the app launched, select “Google Drive” under “Scan Mode.” Then, log into your Google account, and give Easy Duplicate Finder access. When access is granted, the program will start scanning your Google Drive file’s metadata to identify duplicates.

Easy Duplicate Finder

Step 3. When the scan has finished, review the list of duplicate audio, video, and document files identified as duplicates. You can preview the files, select which files you want to keep, and seamlessly remove duplicates from Google Drive in just one click.

Tip 2. How to avoid duplicate files in Google Drive in the feature

Google Drive duplicate files and folders are caused by the Google Drive sync process. Therefore, if you still cannot stop Google Drive from duplicating files and fixing them, it’s strongly recommended to try the free cloud backup service - CBackup to backup files to Google Drive without duplicates.

Download CBackupWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

You can follow the steps below to backup files to Google Drive automatically with CBackup.

Step 1. Please create a new CBackup account and sign in to CBackup desktop app.

Sign In

Step 2. Click the Storage tab on the left side > Choose Google Drive > Authorize Now, then sign in to your Google Drive account and allow CBackup to access your Google Drive files according to the on-screen guide. 

Add Google Drive

Step 3. Select the Backup tab > Backup PC to Public Cloud, choose files from computer to backup, and select Google Drive as the destination. 

Start Backup

Step 4. Hit Settings > Scheduler, check the option: Set a backup schedule for automated backup, then choose One time only, Daily, Weekly, or Monthly (schedule setting is optional), and press Start Backup to backup files to Google Drive automatically and easily.

Tips: There are other features you could set up in Settings:
✍ You could set up Email Notification to alert you with the email after the backup progress especially when you are not in front of the computer.
✍ You could enable File Filter to exclude some file types you don't want to backup.

Schedule Backup

Tip 3. How to protect Google Drive files

Besides, CBackup also allows you to perform cloud to cloud backup to make a backup version of your important data, like transfer Dropbox to Google Drive, transfer files from Google Drive to OneDrive, etc. directly without downloading and uploading. For now, it supports Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, FTP, SFTP, etc. 

Step 1. Open your CBackup and sign in to it. Under the Backup tab, click Backup Public Cloud to Public Cloud.

Backup One Cloud To Another

Step 2. Choose Google Drive as backup source, and choose Dropbox or other cloud storage as the destination, press Start Backup to backup files from Google Drive to Dropbox easily. 

Google Drive To Dropbox Start Backup

Tip 4. How to get more Google Drive backup space for free

In addition, if your Google Drive storage is full, you could increase Google Drive space for free with the cloud storage combination feature of CBackup. With this feature, you can add multiple Google Drive accounts and combine them, then, you could get huge backup space, even unlimited cloud storage.

Step 1. Open your CBackup and sign in to it. Click the Storage tab on the left side, and add as many Google Drive accounts as you have.

Step 2. Click Storage > + Add Combine Cloud and then select all the Google Drive accounts in the list to combine them.

Add Combined Cloud1


How to stop Google Drive from duplicating files has been shown above, you can try the methods one by one to solve your problem. However, Google Drive duplicating files will not only take up your cloud storage space but also waste your time handling it. 

Therefore, to avoid this kind of issue in the feature, you can use the Google Drive alternative CBackup to backup files to Google Drive just in case Google Drive duplicate files, and it will help you deal with Google Drive storage full problems for free.

Besides PC cloud backup feature, CBackup can also sync files to Google Drive, OneDrive, and other clouds without syncing locally. Besides, it can also help you combine cloud storage to manage multiple cloud storage in one interface and take full use of all the cloud storage space, saving both your time, effort and money. Don't hesitate to try it now!

Jonna · Editor
Jonna becomes a professional in the areas of cloud backup and restoration, data protection, etc. after years of learning and researching. She maintains a keen eye for the latest technology trends, ensuring that the information provided is always in step with industry developments.

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