This information circulating today is nothing new. As Google will automatically schedule to delete backups of your Android device if it is inactive for 60 days or more. The countdown begins after two weeks of inactivity?
The aforementioned line “Google deletes Android backups if your phone is not in use for two months” without prior notification makes sense. Thanks to a series of incremental improvements to its backup and restore failure. Google also made it easy and simple to migrate from one Android to another. Setting up your handset all new – that is, unless you leave your phone idle for too long.
Here’s what a miffed user PSA has taken to Reddit to complain the Big G automatically deleted his backup without any intimation. Well, the incident took place after he apparently parted with his Nexus 6P handset a few months back. And then replaced it with an older iPhone while he was looking for a more viable Android replacement.
That dissatisfied user said:
“Last week I randomly glanced at my Google Drive Backup folder, and the Android backup for my 6P was missing.” “Contacting Drive support confirms that there’s no recovery to restore.”
The user found this page where he spotted a disclaimer that backups automatically get assigned an expiration date once you stop using your phone for two weeks or longer. This means, your backup will remain as long as you’re active with your device. If you don’t use it for 2 weeks, you may eventually see an expiration date below your backup, the warning reads.
Unfortunately, there is no mention of a standard expiration period. It turns out Google gave no indication that the backup was due for removal: “[N]o notification, no email, no proactive notice at all, and most importantly, no option to use the 100gb of my Drive storage to keep my fucking backup.”
At this point, if your backup gets deleted, there’s no alternative way to restore it. All your settings and data could just vanish. As long as you have one Android device checking in to the Google servers every couple months, your backups will be in a safe side. To be fair, getting rid of unused accounts and data is something many storage companies do. Say like DropBox, but it generally comes with a clear warning. In this case, the user got no such warning from Google. Also not given an option to use the Drive storage he pays for as an option for keeping his backup.
Starting with Android 6.0 Marshmallow, the search giant made it possible to backup not only contacts and calendar, but also apps, call history and device settings (like WiFi passwords). Backups would last for about 10 before they expire.
In order to classify, we have to know precisely how long backups are stored prior to deletion. We’ll update this post with more details as we get soon.
Meanwhile, better keep an eye out on your backups. These automatic deletions aren’t advertised well by Google. So use this opportunity. As a reminder to check in every once in a while on those backups if you plan to save. What do you say?
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