I've been using Google Photos backup and sync for years without problem until yesterday. It is stuck on "Getting ready to back up" for a day instead of "Backup complete". Any suggestions how to resolve? I can't tell which photo it's stuck trying to sync, I don't see the "circular arrows" on any of the photos.

I've already tried:

  • Restarting the phone
  • Force stop the app
  • Clear app cache
  • Clear app data
  • Free up space (delete device photos that are already in the cloud)
  • Remove active Google account from Google Photos and re-adding it.
  • Verified that I am running latest version of Google Photos app.
  • Verified that I still have 16 GB left in my Google storage.

I am using:

  • Google Nexus 6P
  • Android 7.1.2
  • Google Photos v (updated on Sep 1, 2017)
  • Upload size: Original
  • Wifi only (does not have SIM card)
  • Do you see the latest/all of your photos if you visit Google Photos from another device (i.e., desktop/laptop) ?
    – CzarMatt
    Sep 5, 2017 at 20:56
  • Hmm, actually, there are ~50 photos/videos on my Nexus 6P that are not uploaded Google Photos cloud. I did a "Free Up Space", then browsed the Android's "Device Folders > Camera" to see the unsynced photos.
    – wisbucky
    Sep 5, 2017 at 21:40

1 Answer 1


First, try all of the steps listed in the original question. If that doesn't resolve the problem, then the issue could be that your device and cloud Google Photos are out of sync in an unrecoverable way, and you will essentially have to do a manual sync.

Confirm that your device is out of sync with cloud:

  • In Android Google Photos, do Free Up Space. This will delete all the local photos on your device that have already been synced to cloud Google Photos.
  • Now go to Android Google Photos > Device Folders > Camera to look at your local photos remaining. If Google Photos is synced, there should be no photos here. If you still see photos, that means it is out of sync.

If you have determined that your device is out of sync with cloud, then you need to manually sync your device's photos.

  • Open cloud Google Photos on a desktop browser: https://photos.google.com/
  • Compare the Android device's local photos with those on photos.google.com
  • Connect your Android device to your computer via USB cable (you may need to enable MTP transfer mode)
  • Copy the photos/videos from DCIM/Camera to your computer.
  • On the computer, upload the photos/videos to photos.google.com
  • Confirm that all the Android device photos show up in photos.google.com
  • On Android device, delete all the photos in Android Google Photos > Device Folders > Camera

Now the Android device and cloud Google Photos should be synced up, and you should not see the "Getting ready to back up" message.

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