Yesterday morning, I was greeted by this after logging into my Windows PC:

Google Drive was asking me to sign in

This was the fourth time this had happened in the last couple of months. Each time, I’d right-clicked on the Start button, gone into Apps and Features, typed ‘drive’ in the search box, and uninstalled Google Drive. And yet, it kept coming back.

So, what was going on? The fourth time I went to uninstall Google Drive, instead of searching for ‘drive’, I just searched for ‘google’:

The catchy Backup and Sync from Google name doesn't contain the word ‘drive’, and it doesn’t appear alongside other Google software as it doesn’t start with Google

With a bit more of a careful look, I noticed there were two Google Drive clients installed – Backup and Sync from Google, and Google Drive.

Now, I used to use Google Drive on this PC. But that was years ago – it wasn’t listed in Windows Explorer nor was it in the Windows notification area, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, I wasn’t particularly au fait with what Google are doing with their desktop Google Drive clients.

As it turns out, there is a blog post from the Google Workspace team explaining how the client named Backup and Sync from Google is being axed in favour of the Google Drive client (somewhat ironic, as Backup and Sync from Google was a replacement for the Google Drive client that came before it).

I’m not a Google Workspace customer, and that blog post says nothing about forced installations of the new Google Drive client on PCs (only that users need to ‘transition’ to it). Alas, forced installations appear to be what’s happening, managing to leave both clients installed and people like me somewhat bewildered.

Am I alone in suffering from these problems? A quick search, on Google, suggests I’m probably not:

And here are a couple of tweets for good measure:

I’ve now uninstalled both clients and am hoping that’s the end of it. But all in all, there’s plenty of room for improvement here.

(I should also mention that when uninstalling the new Google Drive client, it refuses to proceed, because the client is running...)