How to restore files in Drive for desktop (v84.0.0.0-84.0.4.0)

If you're among the small subset of Drive for desktop users on version 84 who experienced issues accessing local files that had yet to be synced to Drive, please follow the instructions for one of the following solutions below to recover your files.

Important: If you’ve tried to run the recovery tool and are experiencing issues, submit feedback through the Drive for desktop app with the hashtag “#DFD84” and make sure to check the box to include diagnostic logs. If you continue to have issues, contact Support.

Recover files from backup from the Drive for desktop app

  1. On your computer, download and install the latest version of Drive for desktop (version 85.0.22.0 or higher).
  2. Run the tool.
    1. Open the Drive for desktop app.
    2. In the menu bar or system tray, click the Drive for desktop icon .
    3. Press and hold the Shift key and click Settings .
    4. Click Recover from backups.
  3. When the recovery begins, you’ll see one of the following notifications:
    • Recovery has started
    • No backups found
  4. If a backup was found, after some time you’ll receive one of the following notifications:
    • Recovery is complete
    • Not enough disk space
      • If you don't have enough disk space, you can clear up the required amount of disk space and run the tool again.
      • If you have a volume with more space, you can use the command line interface (see below) to specify a different recovery file path.

Once recovery is complete, you'll see a new folder on your desktop with the unsynced files named Google Drive Recovery.

Important: If you’ve tried to run the recovery tool and are experiencing issues, submit feedback through the Drive for desktop app with the hashtag “#DFD84” and make sure to check the box to include diagnostic logs. If you continue to have issues, contact Support.

Advanced: Recover files from backup using the command line interface

In addition to the recovery option built into Drive for desktop’s UI, you can recover files from Drive for desktop from the command line. This is useful if you have a backup of the Drive for desktop account directory in another location or would like to restore files to a specific location.

Before running the command line tool, on your computer, download the latest version of Drive for desktop (version 85.0.22.0 or higher).

The following command line options have been added to Drive for desktop to help facilitate recovery:

Flag

Format

Notes

--recover_from_account_backups

bool

Runs the account recovery flow.

--recover_output_path

string (path)

The absolute path to which to output the recovered files. By default this is a folder named Google Drive Recovery on the desktop.

This option is useful if the desktop volume does not have enough space to store the recovered files.

--recover_from_app_data_path

string (path)

The absolute path to the DriveFS directory in which to look for account backups. By default, this is a platform specific directory.

This option is useful if a copy of the DriveFS directory is available.

Windows

  1. Quit Drive for desktop.
  2. Open a command prompt.

  3. Run the following command to recover impacted files:
"C:\Program Files\Google\Drive File Stream\launch.bat"
--recover_from_account_backups

Note that the tool will run silently in the background. Execution is complete when GoogleDriveFS.exe is no longer running in Task Manager. You can check the recovery.txt file in the Logs directory of the app data folder (see below) to view progress and errors. A folder will be created on your desktop called Google Drive Recovery which will contain your recovered files.

Important: The tool will not run while the Drive for desktop application is running.

macOS

  1. Quit Drive for desktop.
  2. Open the Terminal application.
  3. Run the following command to recover impacted files:
"/Applications/Google Drive.app/Contents/MacOS/Google Drive"
--recover_from_account_backups

The tool will run in the foreground and provide progress to the terminal. A folder will be created on your desktop called Google Drive Recovery which will contain your recovered files.

Logs

Once you run the tool, you can check the logs in the usual Drive for desktop Logs folder under the name recovery.txt.

  • Windows: %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Google\DriveFS\Logs
  • macOS: ~/Library/Application Support/Google/DriveFS/Logs

Important: If you’ve tried to run the recovery tool and are experiencing issues, submit feedback through the Drive for desktop app with the hashtag “#DFD84” and make sure to check the box to include diagnostic logs. If you continue to have issues, contact Support

Additional troubleshooting options for data recovery 

If you disconnected your account or removed the Drive for desktop cache, see below for how you may recover access to relevant app data. 

Windows

Restore from Windows backup - Use this option if you had configured a Windows backup on your machine.

  1. Open the following directory in Explorer: %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Google
  2. Right click on DriveFS -> Properties -> Previous Versions tab.
  3. If a previous version is available, select the latest version before the Drive for desktop account was disconnected. Then click the dropdown next to the [Restore] button and select [Restore to ...]
  4. Select a destination folder and save the DriveFS directory there.
  5. The restored DriveFS folder can now be used to recover Drive files using the command line interface

MacOS

Restore from Time Machine Backup - Use this option if you had configured Time Machine backups for your machine.

  1. Open a new Finder window.
  2. In the menu bar at the top of the screen open the “Go” menu and click “Go to Folder”. 
  3. Copy and paste the following into the box ~/Library/Application Support/Google/DriveFS
  4. Follow the steps at Restore items backed up with Time Machine on Mac - Apple Support to restore any folders with 21-digit names that have been deleted. 
  5. Proceed with the steps to use the Drive recovery tool to recover your files.

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