Google Backup & Sync Update Returns HEIF Image Viewing to Google Photos

Google Backup & Sync, the desktop app that allows you to sync your Google Drive to your PC or Mac, has a nice update rolling out that brings a lot of fixes, particularly for MacOS users.  The updated version of Backup & Sync is build 3.41.9267.0638 for those keeping score at home and it is the same build for both MacOS and Windows.  The update was released last week so chances are you have been updated to this new build already.

The big news in this update is the fixing of a bug on HEIF and HEIC image files. High Efficiency Image Format, or HEIF, is pretty new and is something iOS 11.x devices use for the most part for image file formats.  When they first started hitting Google Photos and Google Drive, you could view them as you could with any other supported image format.  However a bug introduced at the beginning of the year made HEIF images not visible in Google Photos.  You could view them in Google Drive, but not Photos.  This update to Google Backup & Sync appears to have fixed the issues.

The trick, however, is it will only work going forward.  Any HEIF images that you have uploaded, you will have to re-upload them if you want them visible in Google Photos.

There are a lot of other fixes in this update.  Here are the release notes for it from the Google Support site.

  • Fixed an issue where HEIF and HEIC files (High Efficiency Image Format files) were not visible in Google Photos. Users who previously synced all file types, however, still won’t see their existing HEIF and HEIC files in Google Photos.
  • Fixed an issue where some users were not able to add additional folders to sync.
  • Users can now choose to sync subfolders of ~/Library on macOS and %UserProfile%\AppData on Windows. An exception is that subfolders of ~/Library/Application Support/Google and %UserProfile%\AppData\Local\Google can’t be selected.
  • Fixed an issue where some native applications did not appear in the list of available applications to open files with when browsing Drive on the web.
  • Fixed an issue on macOS High Sierra where users experienced a delay in seeing recently taken screenshots on their desktop.
  • Increased responsiveness when deleting photos that could not be converted to High Quality.
  • Fixed an issue causing sync status icons to not appear for some users on Windows.

Again, chances are you have already received this update if you are using Backup & Sync on your MacBook or Windows PC but you can double check in the settings of the app to make sure.

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