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Google issue warning to Drive users after many reported missing months of files

Google issue warning to Drive users after many reported missing months of files

There are growing concerns over missing data.

Digital storage has become the standard way for people to store all of their virtual 'stuff'.

From preserving years of photos to archiving important documents, most of us generally put our trust in cloud storage.

But what if your files disappear into thin air? That’s what some Google Drive users have experienced, according to reports.

SOPA Images / Contributor / Getty Images
SOPA Images / Contributor / Getty Images

In what could be a concerning development for digital storage, Google has confirmed it’s looking into reports from its Drive users about the sudden disappearance of personal files from the company’s cloud service.

The tech giant acknowledged the issue in a recent Google community support thread, identifying it as a sync problem affecting a "limited subset" of users of the Google Drive for desktop app, specifically versions to

The problem reportedly came to light when one user, who had lost all their Google Drive data dating back to May, shared their ordeal last week on Google's community support site.

The incident, first reported by The Register, shines a light on the potential vulnerability of digital data storage. Despite attempts by Google’s support team to guide the user through a data recovery process, including efforts to backup and restore a DriveFS folder, the data remained inaccessible.

The support thread has since become a hub of concern, with 288 other users to date selecting the option 'I have the same question', and many commenting under the post that they're going through something similar.

So what can you do if you find yourself in this situation?

A Google Drive team member named Saitej posted a warning telling users not to click “disconnect account” within the Google Drive for desktop. They also warned against deleting or moving the app data folder, which is located in:

  • Windows: %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Google\DriveFS
  • macOS: ~/Library/Application Support/Google/DriveFS

As a precautionary measure, Saitej has also recommended that users make a backup copy of the app data folder in a separate location.

Chesnot / Contributor / Getty Images
Chesnot / Contributor / Getty Images

The advice merely highlights the importance of making backups, especially when dealing with cloud-based storage solutions where data can be vulnerable to sync issues or other technical problems.

Earlier this month, Google announced it would soon start deleting the Google accounts of users who who don’t log on often enough.

The new policy means that millions of accounts across Gmail, Google Drive and Google Photos could be purged.

However, there's no need to freak out too much over your emails and documents.

The policy will only affect accounts that haven't been touched for over two years - so it's more than likely going to affect the accounts you set up and forgot about, or the embarrassing email address you had when you were a kid.

Featured Image Credit: SOPA Images / Contributor / Catherine Falls Commercial / Getty Images