Did you know that Google automatically destroys the data on your Android device if it lies inactive for more than 60 days? Reddit user Tanglebrook found this out the hard way: by losing all his data.

Android backup
ElisaRiva / Pixabay

No warning before deleting Android backup

Google’s 60-day delete policy was discovered by Tanglebrook when he could not find the backed-up data on his Nexus 6P. Due to a battery issue, he was not able to use the device for months. When he finally got a replacement device, he found that about 50 apps, his Android settings, and his Wi-Fi passwords had been deleted from the Android backup.

Tanglebrook says that losing data is not fun, especially when someone is switching to a new device. He added that a user has to “manually save your SMS’s if you want to keep them.”

After inquiring about this issue, he learned that Google starts tracking the unused data after the phone is left idle for two weeks. Thereafter, the company puts a countdown on your data. If you use the device before the countdown ends, the data is saved. However, after two months pass and the Android device is still not used, the user will not even get a warning message before Google deletes the data.

According to the Google Drive help document, “Your backup will remain as long as you use your device. If you don’t use your device for 2 weeks, you may see an expiration date below your backup. For instance: “Expires in 54 days.”

Moreover, there is no way for a user to recover the data once it is deleted. Worst of all, even the paid version of Google Drive’s 100 GB of storage does not keep the data, and it is lost once deleted.

According to the Google’s official policy, a user’s Android backup is marked for “expiration” if its servers detect that it has not been used for two weeks. If a user imports data from an old Android phone to a new one, that data’s status is considered active. Further, if the user adds any new data on the new device, it will be synced with all the user’s other devices.

This simply means that Google keeps track of your Android backup data and regularly checks the status of your devices. So the only way to retain your Android backup data is to keep your device active by connecting it to Google’s servers through the Internet.

Fighting malware

Google has also been taking initiative to keep its Android system malware-free. Recently, Google deleted as many as 50 apps in the Play Store that contained malware, according to researchers at Check Point. These apps had already been downloaded 1 million to 4.2 million times before being removed from the app store.

The malware dubbed “ExpensiveWall” disguises itself as free wallpaper, video and photo editing apps, according to CNET. Once a user downloads the app, the malware will automatically register them for paid services without any intimation about the payments.