This hidden folder named ".tmp.drivedownload" - which seems to be used by Google Drive's Backup and Sync desktop app - is taking up quite a bit of space on my SSD and with files as old as 2001. This is bizzare, as my laptop was bought 6 months ago brand new, so i assume all these files pre-2019 (basicly having files from every year in this folder) have been downloaded from my Google Drive account when installing the app.

Is there a proper way to remove this or can i just delete all the files in this folder?

  • What is your Google app backing up and syncing? Sep 12, 2019 at 20:59
  • Not sure what i'm being asked. Files and folders. But this folder can't be a copy of my G.Drive account, the folder is under 5gb, while my G.Drive quota is at around 50gb.
    – Lucian
    Sep 12, 2019 at 21:01
  • You also have told us that folder is large but haven't told us how large or why you're worried about it. My first suggestion would be to leave it alone. You don't know what it does and what removing it will break. So don't touch it. Sep 12, 2019 at 21:03
  • @music2myear "You don't know what it does and what removing it will break." that's literally the point of their question
    – simpleuser
    Aug 22, 2021 at 22:25

4 Answers 4


Ok guys, here's what I did based on Harry's answer and comments.

  • I first renamed the folder with the app closed, to play this safe and be able to recover if something breaks. Apparently nothing was broken on my actual Google Drive account after restarting the desktop app.
  • Then I went ahead and moved the ".tmp.drivedownload" folder to a different (not-synced) location on my SSD and again nothing was broken.
  • Last step, i deleted the ".tmp.drivedownload" folder, restarted Windows and finally, again nothing was broken, so there we go. It can just be deleted.

More so, a new clean and empty ".tmp.drivedownload" folder was re-created by the app after being removed, so I believe this was ultimately just full of junk files.

I made a test, copied a file to my GD, this file was the duplicated into the newly re-created ".tmp.drivedownload" folder. Manually deleted the file from my GD, the duplicate was automatically deleted from the folder. So i think it really was full of "oh we forgot to delete these at some point" files.


The .tmp.drivedownload folder is from Google Backup and Sync. It is a hidden folder that appears at the root of your Google Drive folder as a temporary download space for new items that need to be synced and moved into place.

If you delete this folder, it will just get recreated again. You need to wait patiently for it to finish, and it will disappear by its own.

Note that a real problem can arrive if the Google Drive folder is also being synced by another cloud backup product such as OneDrive or Dropbox, so this is to be avoided.

If you are interested, the last entry in the post What is file .tmp.drivedownload and can I remove it? does a good job of describing how this deadlock happens.

  • 1
    Thanks. I can certainly just let it go and leave it as it is. But i am getting the impression this will not go away by itself, since i have files in there from 2001, 2002 and every year up to 2019, so logic tells me this had plenty of time to disappear by itself.. I am NOT using OneDrive/Dropbox and i am not syncing files in any other way.
    – Lucian
    Sep 12, 2019 at 21:29
  • What is your antivirus?
    – harrymc
    Sep 13, 2019 at 5:46
  • Actually not using one, certainly you're not suggesting this has anything to do with any kind of malware or?
    – Lucian
    Sep 13, 2019 at 6:23
  • In fact, i believe Windows Defender is turned on, but really not sure if/how/when it runs.
    – Lucian
    Sep 13, 2019 at 6:43
  • Defender is probably not a problem and will not keep Drive from deleting anything. You might try to stop Drive to rename the folder and observe what happens. If they don't come back, then Drive just forgot about them.
    – harrymc
    Sep 13, 2019 at 7:23

SOLUTION FOR MY PC. I tried everything I could find to delete the .tmp.drivedownload folder. The folder had 1022 files and showed each one as over 3GB, totaling over 3TB in the folder. My SSD has only 500GB so the folder could not have been 3TB. What finally fixed the problem was booting into "Windows 10 safe mode" and deleting the folder while in "safe mode". I rebooted my PC into regular Windows 10 mode, and poof the .tmp.drivedownload was finally gone. Search the internet for how to boot into safe mode. After deleting the .tmp.drivedownload folder in safe mode and while still in "safe mode" undo booting into "safe mode" and restart.


In my case, I have seen that around 40GB in the ".tmp.drivedownload" folder, but after exiting "Backup and Sync from Google" and restarting it, the size of that folder went down to about 1KB.

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