Tuesday , June 5 2018

Your online Android Backups expire after 2 months and Google deletes them

The data backup situation in Android is far from perfect, but it is improving. But how long can you refer to those backups of app data and more that Google keeps on their servers? Well, it turns out it’s around 2 months.

The issue was raised by users on reddit who noticed the expiry on their backups in Google Drive when attempting to move back to Android from iOS after an extended time away. The backups show that the data isn’t kept indefinitely and according to Google’s support page on the subject your backups start to expire after just 2 weeks:

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.

Example: “Expires in 54 days.”

If you still have your old phone you can of course simply turn it back on and connect it to the internet once a month or so, but in the case of the reddit user they had returned their phone and were unaware of the expiry of backups.

As Android Police point out, a courtesy email advising of impending backup deletion would be a polite inclusion, but it appears that definitely doesn’t happen. Still, forewarned is forearmed so keep those backups live if you’re able to.

Source: Google Support.
Via: Android Police.

Daniel Tyson   Editor

Dan is a die-hard Android fan. Some might even call him a lunatic. He's been an Android user since Android was a thing, and if there's a phone that's run Android, chances are he owns it (his Nexus collection is second-to-none) or has used it.

Dan's dedication to Ausdroid is without question, and he has represented us at some of the biggest international events in our industry including Google I/O, Mobile World Congress, CES and IFA.


  1. This is another head slapping idea from Google. They release a phone that has no sdcard expansion forcing everyone to upload to the cloud. Then they reduce backups to two months. Very backward thinking from them!

  2. Is wordpress comments new? I’ve never has as much trouble entering comments before…

    • They’ve been around for a fairly long time since Disqus started forcing ‘content’ style ads on us. We didn’t like the ‘Burn Belly Fat’ etc. posts so we went with WP comments.

  3. Calling what these are a “backup” was always a major exaggeration and most apps don’t “backup” anyway and there is no control over what gets backed up or restored.

    Maybe there will be enough feedback from users now that Google will create a proper full or partial backup and restore process (which I believe iPhones have) which includes revisions. If I have a backup on my computer then I can make as many time-stamped copies as I wish.

    I can live with an unrooted phone if there is a proper backup mechanism.
    I would be happy to pay something for it to be on Google Drive

    • Most backups are good when the dev of an app has implemented the features correctly. Unfortunately Google is limited in being able to force developers to adopt the backups.

Leave a Reply

Check Also

Google’s Smart Lock seems to have lost Trusted Places, and now got it back again

Google’s Smart Unlock feature (which you’ll find in most modern Androids regardless of which company …