PSA: Google will delete data backups on inactive Android phones

Data backups of Android phones on Google Drive are deleted after two months of device activity, it has emerged this week.

Redditor Tanglebrook found out the hard way recently, when he learned data stored from an old Nexus 6P handset had been eradicated by the Mountain View firm.

The user had returned his Nexus 6P smartphone and had started using an iPhone instead.

However, he’d backed up app data and Wi-Fi passwords, in the hope of returning to Android and picking up where he left off.

Unfortunately, when that time came, his backup was gone. 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.

“Switching between Android installs is already a pain in the ass,” he wrote in a Reddit thread (via Zdnet)

“You have to manually save your SMSs if you want to keep them, many apps still don’t use Android backup and their settings wipe every time…but the apps that do back up are restored painlessly, which is always a relief during the process. Unless Google themselves deletes your backup first. Along with the dozens of Wi-Fi passwords I had stored, which is probably the worst part for me.”

Not a new policy

While little known among the user base, this doesn’t appear to be a new policy. However, it will be of concern for some Android users who’ve stored back-ups on old devices and switched to iOS.

The company tends to show an expiration date for a back up folder within Drive, but users don’t get notifications informing them a back up is about to be removed.

Before we lay the blame at Google’s door. It should also be noted that Apple also says it reserves the right to delete iCloud backups after 6 months.

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.”

Have you lost data backups to Google’s swift deletion policy? Tweet us @TrustedReviews