How to retrieve photos from Google Photos in Catalina

After updating my iMac to Catalina, I realized I needed to download a large number of photos from my Google Photos account, but learned that Backup & Sync from Google is not supported under the new operating system. Searching for help I’ve found only complaints about this same problem. Google had plenty of advance notice that the app needed updating, but there’s no word I can find about when it might finally happen.

Does anyone have a workaround that would allow me to batch-download a bunch of photos from Google Photos to my iMac?

I’m not entirely sure this is related (since I don’t use Google Photos), but Backup & Sync is compatible with Catalina as of October 4th.

I’ve downloaded Backup and Sync from Google 3.47 three times and I can’t even launch it. The icon briefly seems launch and then immediately quits.

Curious. I don’t have an explanation, but it is working on my Catalina-running MacBook Air.


Any suggestions where I could get help?

Can you try downloading in another browser, in another account, or on another Mac to see if any of those change anything?

The installer seems to run OK.

I think it may be a permissions problem—Catalina blocking non-Apple downloaded software in default settings.

Can you Control-click the Backup & Sync app and choose Open from the contextual menu to get it past the Gatekeeper restrictions?

Thanks for the suggestion. I just tried that. Same problem. The launch animation makes it look like it’s going to open but it doesn’t.


Best I can suggest is to keep trying to isolate variables, such as downloading in another browser, trying in a different user account, and seeing if it’s different on a different Mac.

I finally got the problem resolved after multiple calls to Apple and Google phone support each saying it was the other’s fault. Finally got a Google person to tell me to use Go to Folder and enter ~/Library/Application Support/Google. He had me delete Google Drive and erase it, then re-download Backup & Sync and this time it installed properly and is now running OK.

Interesting that the erase and reinstall was the solution—thanks for closing the loop on this problem!