Google may delete your Android backups without warning

Yolanda Curtis
September 17, 2017

Learn how to restore your backup and which devices you can use.

What led Google to such a step is another story but the pain of this was experienced first-hand by a Reddit user.

Google's default backup will best serve the average users' needs, but there are caveats to it, just like with any other backup solution, according to experts.


A little-known Google policy on Android backups in Drive has sent one poor and now very angry Android user back to square one. When you consider how much we all use our phones these days, our handsets contain a wealth of data - and it make sense to back it up.

People who rely on Android's built-in Drive-based backup system should keep an eye out on the Backups folder. "There's apparently an expiration date that shows up under the backup if I had checked the Backup folder sooner, but there was no notification, no email, no proactive notice at all, and most importantly, no option to use the 100gb of my Drive storage to keep my f* backup", Tanglebrook said in his post on Reddit. "If you don't use your device for 2 weeks, you may see an expiration date below your backup", Google support page states.

This may not be new information, but it's not well-known information: Google will automatically schedule to delete backups of your Android device if the device is inactive for more than two months.


Example: "Expires in 54 days". The user, Tanglebrook had his backup data deleted by Google after his device wasn't used for two months.

Moreover, there is no way for a user to recover the data once it is deleted. But it's not uncommon to have to switch gadgets temporarily and that last thing you'd expect to have happen is for your device backups to get nuked without warning. On contacting the Drive Support, Tanglebrook discovered that there is no option for recovery despite the fact that user was paying for the company's service. If a user imports data from an old Android phone to a new one, that data's status is considered active.


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