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Google will automatically delete Android backups if a device is inactive for two months

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The countdown begins after two weeks of inactivity

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This may not be new information, but it’s not well-known information: Google will automatically schedule to delete backups of your Android device if the device is inactive for more than two months.

As pointed out by Android Police (which was alerted to this PSA by a Reddit user), Google allows for backups of your Android mobile device to Drive, but these backups will only be retained “as long as you use your device.” If the device is unused for two weeks, Google Drive will then display an expiration date below the backup, showing a countdown of how much longer you have until it gets automatically wiped. (Presumably, if you use an Android device during this time, that expiration date would go away.) After two months of inactivity, it will delete the backup.

Android Police

If your backup gets deleted, there’s no way to restore it, meaning all your settings and data could just vanish. Android Police says as long as you have one Android device checking in to the Google servers every couple months, your backups should be fine. To be fair, getting rid of unused accounts and data is somethings many storage companies do, but it generally comes with a clear warning. The Reddit user said he got no such warning from Google, and was not given an option to use the Drive storage he pays for as an option for keeping his backup.

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 continue saving them.