How to Stop Google Drive from Duplicating Files

Are you facing duplicate file-related issues in your Google Drive storage? If yes, you have landed on the right webpage. Here, we will share a few methods you can follow to remove duplicate files from your Google Drive storage.

Google Drive is a familiar cloud storage but still, when dealing with a large number of files, there might be a chance of duplicated files in the Drive. After research and development, here I have given a tutorial about how to stop duplicates from getting duplicate files in Google Drive.

So, let’s get started without any delay.

How to Stop Google Drive from Duplicating Files

Duplicate files are a real problem for any user who uses a cloud storage platform to store his data.

Duplicate files consume a lot of space, which reduces the capacity to store more files further and increases the overall cost. Since their location is inconsistent, these duplicate files also make it quite challenging to arrange and access files.

Now, there can be many reasons you are facing duplicate-related problems in Google Drive. However, it mainly happens when you have enabled synchronization across multiple devices, and the duplicate file is available on all those devices.

Moreover, if you have provided multiple people access to your Google Drive folder, there are chances that they might have uploaded copies of the same file.

While there can be numerous reasons why you are facing the problem of these duplicate files, here we have prepared a list of different walkarounds that you can follow to get rid of them.

So, let’s get started.

1. Remove Uploaded Items from the Source Folder

If you are using Google Drive’s synchronization and backup feature, there are chances that due to poor installation of the client or some bugs, Google Drive keeps uploading the same files again and again.

The good thing is, that once the file is uploaded to Google Drive, you can delete it from your device without any issue.

You should also avoid uploading the same files and folders to different devices such as mobile phones, laptops, desktops, and more where Google Drive is installed.

Read How to Get Google Drive Notification when a File is Added to the Folder

2. Reinstall the Google Drive desktop client

Sometimes, the poor installation of the Google Drive client may cause this duplicate file issue. Even though you can try the above-mentioned solution to get rid of it, that method is not that efficient.

In that scenario, you can try reinstalling the Google Drive desktop client to solve this problem.

For Windows Users

On a Windows PC, you can do that by following these simple steps –

  • Press the Windows button on your keyboard type Control Panel, and hit enter. It will open the Control Panel window.
  • Here, you have to click on the Programs and again click Programs and Features option. This will show you the list of applications that are installed on your Windows PC.
Stop Duplicate files in Google Drive
  • Here, you have to find the Google Drive option and right-click on it.
  • It will show you the Uninstall/Change icon. Click on it.
Stop Duplicate files from the Drive
  • After that, it will ask one more time if you want to uninstall Google Drive. Click on the Uninstall button to initiate the uninstallation process.

It will take a couple of minutes to delete all the files from your Windows PC and for the uninstallation process to be completed. Once the Google Drive application is uninstalled, you have to reinstall it.

You can go to Google Download and download the latest version of the Google Drive desktop client and install it. After installing, you have to log in using your Google account credentials.

For Mac Users

However, if you are a Mac user, you can follow these steps to reinstall the Google Drive client from your device.

  • Open Finder on your device and click on the Applications option from the left sidebar.
  • Find the Google Drive application and right-click on it.
  • From the options menu, click on the Move to Trash option.
Stop Google Drive from Duplicate Files
how do i stop google drive from duplicating files
  • It will initiate the uninstallation process. However, if you receive any pop-ups for confirmation or enter your Mac password, you have to accept it and do as it says.
  • Once the uninstallation is finished, you have to go to the Google Drive for Desktop official site and reinstall the Google Drive application on your Mac device. Also, after installation, you must log in using your Google account credentials.
How to Stop Google Drive from Duplicate Files
how to avoid duplicate files in google drive

Doing this will stop Google Drive from duplicating files.

However, if the issue doesn’t get fixed even after reinstalling Google Drive, there is only one thing that you can do. You have to disable the sync function and upload files manually.

Read How to Stop Receiving Shared Files on Google Drive

3. Turn off the sync feature and upload files Manually

If the issue continues even after trying the methods mentioned earlier, the Google Drive client may have some bugs.

In this case, you can uninstall the Google Drive client completely and upload files manually to your Drive, or you can temporarily turn off the sync feature in Google Drive.

For this, you have to follow these simple steps.

  • First of all, open the Google Drive client on your desktop.
  • Now, click on the Gear icon and click on the Pause syncing option.
How to Stop Google Drive from Duplicating Files
how to stop google drive from syncing files

That’s it. This will stop the syncing process temporarily. However, we recommend you remove folders from syncing too.

For that, you have to follow these steps –

  • Open Google Drive desktop client.
  • Click on the Gear icon and select the Preferences option.
  • It will show you a list of folders that are currently syncing with Google Drive. Click on each folder individually and disable the Sync with Google Drive option.

Once you do that, you have to click on the Save button to save the changes that you have made.

That’s it. This will stop the automatic sync process, and now you can delete the duplicate files from Google Drive and upload the files that you want manually.

Read How to Sync Google Drive with Windows 10

Step to upload files and folders to Google Drive manually

Here are the steps mentioned to upload files automatically on your Google Drive.

  • Go to and log in using your Google account credentials.
  • Click on the + New button. Here you can choose to either upload files or folders to your Google Drive.
  • It will open a pop-up box where you have to select the files and folders you want to upload to Google Drive.

That’s it. This is how you can easily upload files to your Google Drive manually.


Here is a detailed article on how to stop Google Drive from duplicating files.

Most commonly, people face file duplication problems in Google Drive due to the poor installation of the Google Drive desktop client or some bugs in the Backup and Sync feature of Google Drive. If you are dealing with any such issue, the above guide will surely help you fix that.

However, note that the file duplication doesn’t only happen due to the Google Drive client or some bugs. Sometimes, when more than one person has access to the Google Drive folder, they can unknowingly upload files already available in that Google Drive folder.

Therefore, we first recommend you see the main thing causing this problem and then take an appropriate solution.

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