How to Fix: Disable Google Drive / Backup and Sync Popups when Inserting USB, DVD, or Smartphone

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Infopackets Reader Jenna R. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I installed Google Drive on my system a while ago but it stopped working; I reinstalled the program only to find that Google Drive has been replaced with 'Google Backup and Sync'. Now when I plug in a USB thumb drive to my computer, I see this annoying popup message in the lower right hand corner of my screen asking if I want to backup my photos. This also happens when I plug in my smartphone. Despite clicking 'Remember my choice for this device' and 'Not now' (pic), it never remembers that I don't want to use this feature. It's incredibly frustrating I have to see this every time I plug something into my computer! I have looked in the preferences but I cannot find how to disable the popup notifications. Can you help? "

My response:

I also have Google Backup and Sync installed on my system - I installed it a while ago on my system but haven't used it in quite some time. At any rate I tried plugging in my phone and low and behold, I received a notification asking me to backup my photos.

How to Fix: Disable Google Drive / Backup and Sync Popups when Inserting USB, DVD, or Smartphone

After a bit of research I discovered how to disable the Backup and Sync (formerly Google Drive) from popping up every time you insert a USB device, smartphone or CD / DVD ROM.

Here are the steps:

  1. In the lower right hand corner of the screen (near the clock), expand your task bar to reveal programs running in the background. To do so, click the 'up arrow' (pic) if Windows hides certain icons from the task bar.
  2. Look for the Google Backup and Sync icon in the tray bar (denoted by white cloud icon with an up arrow), and right click it. This will bring up a menu; next, click the "Settings" button (the 3 dots on the top right of the window), then select "Preferences".
  3. A new window will appear; you should see three menus on the right: My Computer, Google Drive, and Settings. Make sure "My Computer" is selected (which should be the default), then at the very bottom of the window, you should see "USB Devices and SD Cards" written in blue - click it. Another window will appear with the title "USB Devices and SD Cards"; un-check mark all options on the screen and click OK. On the proceeding screen, click OK to close the main Google Backup and Sync window.
  4. Test your settings by plugging in a USB thumb stick or smartphone into the computer and Google Backup and Sync should not popup with a notification asking if you want to backup the files.

I hope that helps!

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About the author: Dennis Faas is the owner and operator of With over 30 years of computing experience, Dennis' areas of expertise are a broad range and include PC hardware, Microsoft Windows, Linux, network administration, and virtualization. Dennis holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science (1999) and has authored 6 books on the topics of MS Windows and PC Security. If you like the advice you received on this page, please up-vote / Like this page and share it with friends. For technical support inquiries, Dennis can be reached via Live chat online this site using the Zopim Chat service (currently located at the bottom left of the screen); optionally, you can contact Dennis through the website contact form.

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