Users of Google Drive are reporting disappearing files from their account. Some reporting to have lost 6 months of data. Google claims to be looking into it.
Google Drive, also known as GDrive, is among the most used online backup, file cloud storage and synchronization service out there.
To understand the scale of Google Drive, one has to see how many users it has. In 2018, TechCrunch reported that it had hit 1 billion active users. That means about 1 in 7 people in this world uses it. We believe its numbers might have only increased further since then.
The reason for its popularity is simple. GDrive gives 15GB of space for free for every Google account. It’s built-in and integrated with Gmail. It syncs your files on the go, providing an excellent backup service. Not to forget, it comes pre-installed on all Android phones, which contributes to its high usage.
But like every service, Google Drive too can have issues. Looks like it is going through one right now.
Google Drive Users Reporting Disappearing Files
The user reported that the files on his / her Google Drive account have disappeared. Not only that, the folder structure of the account has gone back to what it was in May this year. Even data made after May seems to have disappeared.
The user mentions how it was unlikely for these files to be deleted as there were no files in the trash folder and he / she is the sole user of the account. The user mentions how he / she contacted Google support in South Korea, who tried to help to recover the files, but that didn’t work. Then the user contacted different places at Google and none of them were able to fix it.
In that post, many others too have chipped in. Other users too are reporting the same problems. One user said how they have lost months of data since May. Another user mentioned how a person in their organization too seems to have lost files in their Google Drive desktop since May.
Later, more and more users are coming ahead and reporting the same issue. One user reported that again, their files up till May have disappeared. Another user reported that 3 months of their files, folders and even activity logs have disappeared. Since then, the original post has gotten more and more users reporting the same issue.
Google Responds And A Temporary Fix
Two days ago, one user mentioned that he / she has gotten a reply from Google. The Google representative has acknowledged the issue, understanding that multiple admins are reporting it and Google is currently looking into the root cause of it.
In another reply from the same user, Google support has advised users to not make any changes to the root folder of the Google Drive. Hoping that a solution to this issue will be found soon this week.
Meanwhile, another user has posted a lengthy temporary fix for this issue on desktop. Worth checking out if those files are very important for you. This is while everyone waits for Google to fix this issue from their side.
So far, at the time of writing this article, 179 users on the original post have agreed that they have the same issue. Which might seem small, but not everyone reports or knows the issue until they specifically check it. Nor would everyone know about the post on Google support forums.
Our Opinion – Have More Backups
Honestly, this issue doesn’t seem to be files getting deleted, it seems more about files getting disappeared. In all likelihood, the files are still there, but only disappeared due to some bug.
However, this issue exposes the limitations on relying too much on online services, especially online storage services, without extra backup.
Nothing can replace a good physical storage backup. So we suggest everyone to follow a good backup policy where they have at least two backups of their important files, one online and one on a physical media which is different from the storage found inside their computer.
So backing up important files on external devices is recommended in addition to using online services such as Google Drive and others.
Update: Google has posted an update on it.
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