Tech

Google deletes Android backup if device unused for two months

Google deletes Android backup if device unused for two months

Reddit user Tanglebrook found this out the hard way: by losing all his data. One would expect Google to give users notice before taking as drastic a step as permanently deleting data from their Drive folders. If users are willing to go so far as to unlock their bootloader and flash a custom recovery, the TWRP recovery comes with a built-in backup option that can back up app data, system settings, and other things as a user chooses, or even back up the full system image in case of a catastrophe. Many users feel content knowing they can easily access this data if needed, but are often unaware of the single big catch: you've got to keep using your device if you want Google to keep that backed up data.

A Reddit user has discovered that Google will automatically delete your Android device backups if your device is inactive for over 2 months.

Example: "Expires in 54 days".

Google may show an expiration date on the folder if a device hasn't been used in two weeks, but it doesn't warn users with a notification or email. Unless, of course, those backups get deleted with nearly no warning, kind of like what Google will do for your Android device if you don't use it for a couple of months.

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It is pertinent to mention that once the backup is deleted, there is no way of recovering it.

Tanglebrook was also paying for 100GB space in Google Drive.

"If you don't back up your iOS device to iCloud for 180 days or more, Apple reserves the right to delete your device's iCloud backups", Apple notes in a support page. When users import data from an old Android phone to a new Android phone, the new device is treated as the active device by the servers and the account is active.

Redditor Tanglebrook recently drew attention to the issue; s/he had been using an old iPhone during their weeks between Android phones, believing the Android backup would be there ready when they bought a new Android handset.