Google Drive for desktop users is reporting cases of their files mysteriously disappearing from the cloud-based storage system. Some users went on the tech goliath’s community support forum claiming they had lost over six months or more of data stored on the Drive.
The issue was first pointed out by a user named “Yeonjoong”, who noticed that all their Google Drive data going back to May 2023 had disappeared. Yeonjoong’s Drive seemed to have reverted to its status from six months ago even though they hadn’t made any changes.
Users Claim They Have Lost Over Six Months Worth of Drive Data
The user took their complaint to Google’s community support site, where they explained that no files had been deleted manually, so there was no data in the ‘Trash’. Adding that they use the drive locally and never sync or share data and drive with anyone.
Yeonjoong said the Google support team worked with them to recover the missing files, including attempting to back up and restore a DriveFS folder, but to no avail.
As of writing, the complaint thread has over 200 users who clicked the “I have the same question” button.
Another user reported that their “IT guy” couldn’t find any traces of the missing files, while others noted that Google asked them for an export of their drive diagnostic data. Many users complained they were missing critical, work-related data.
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Google Says The Issue Was Related To Data Sync, Also Warning Users Not To Delete App Data Folder
One user managed to get a reply from Google in which the company acknowledged that the issue affected multiple customers and was being investigated by product engineers. Meanwhile, Google Drive team member Saitej posted a warning on the community forum asking users not to disconnect their Google account from Drive for desktop.
He also warned against deleting or moving the app data folder from their respective location on Mac and PC.
MacOS: ~/Library/Application Support/Google/DriveFS
The team also recommended users make a copy of the app data folder on the computer if there is space available on their hard drive or elsewhere, just in case. Google explained that the issue was related to data synchronization and was affecting a “limited subset” of users of Google Drive for desktop versions 22.214.171.124 through 126.96.36.199.
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Users’ Speculate Issue May Have Been Caused By the Spontaneous Deletion of Inactive Accounts
Few users were able to claw back some of their information by playing around with cached files. However, they were asked to leave things as it is until Google engineers came up with a solution. Others speculate that the issue could have been caused by inactive accounts being removed spontaneously.
From December 1 onwards Google will erase personal accounts that have not been signed in to by users for at least two years. This would mean all data associated with the inactive account, from Gmail, Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Photos will be deleted, with no chance of recovery.
Earlier in 2023, the tech behemoth’s Google Cloud data center in Paris was flooded due to heavy rains, causing an outage in services provided by the 88 Google Compute Engines in the Europe-west9 region.
The latest issue is a reminder that there is no guarantee that files stored in the cloud will be safe. Therefore it is important to fully understand the implications of the cloud service provider’s terms of conditions before trusting them with your valuable data.