I wasn’t aware of this as it isn’t openly documented. And I’m sure many of you out there are caught unaware too. Let it be known that Google will automatically schedule to delete your Android device backups if it is inactive for more than two months.
A Reddit user discovered this shocker after his Nexus 6P was sent for a refund claim. While waiting to find an Android replacement device, he was using an old iPhone.
He later freaked out when he randomly glanced at his Google Drive Backup folder and found his Nexus 6P backup missing.
He stumbled upon this Google Drive help document regarding backup expiry.
The document briefly details about finding, managing, and deleting backups. Right at the end, Google explains what happens when your backup expires:
Your backup will remain as long as you use your device. If you don’t use your device for 2 weeks, you may see an expiration date below your backup. For instance: “Expires in 54 days.”
Note that once a backup is deleted, there is zero chance for recovery.
Here’s what Google backs up:
- Call History
- Device Settings
- SMS (Pixel phones only)
- Photos & videos (Pixel phones only)
For those who use their devices every day or at least log in to Google services every once in a while, you have nothing to worry about.
However, it becomes tricky if, for example, you have a device that is sent for a warranty claim, and it exceeds two months. You may inevitably find your backup data being deleted.
NO prior warning
The Reddit user lamented that he did not get any warning from Google, hence he posted the PSA on Reddit to warn others. He added that he was flabbergasted since he’s also a paying customer.
It’s shocking that there isn’t a prior warning from Google before deletions, and it would be helpful if Google made it clear to users about its backup policy.
Are you a Google Drive user? How do you feel about this?