Google Automatically Removes Your Android Backup If Inactive For 60 Days

Isaac Cain
September 17, 2017

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

Of course, if Google take the trouble to give users notice and present them with an option to extend the backup period.

And even if you've been paying for Google Drive storage, you will not be able to retrieve any of the information you stored for that particular device or account. However, upon checking the Google Drive backup folder, this user discovered their old Android phone's back up was gone, and that's because it was deleted due to lack of activity on the backed up device. Even if you are a paid Google Drive user, it's not going to make things different.

Apple's policy reads deletion will include "device settings, device characteristics, photos and videos, documents, messages (iMessage, SMS, and MMS), ringtones, app data (including Health app data), location settings (such as location-based reminders that you have set up), and Home screen and app organization". Considering the user was also forking over for 100GB of Google Drive storage (which can't be used for Android backups) the blow must've hit doubly hard.

Your backup will remain as long as you use your device. There's no option to store the Android backups in Google Drive space the user has/pays for, meaning you must keep in mind to use your device every couple of weeks or risk having an expiration date applied.

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Example: "Expires in 54 days". Apparently, the policy only displays an expiration date for a given backup on the backup itself, once Google decides to wipe it.

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

According to Google, support for Google Drive on the PC and/or Mac will be ending on the 11th of December.

What is particularly worrying about the process is that Android users are not informed about this.

The backup to Google Drive feature was added with Android 6.0 Marshmallow and users can save data in Google Drive folders since then.

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