There have been reports from Google Drive users about a peculiar issue where their recently uploaded files have vanished, with the service showing a version of their storage as it was during April-May 2023.
What’s happening with Google Drive?
Google Drive, a cloud storage solution offered by Google, enables users to save and retrieve files from any device connected to the internet using their Google account. This service is popular among individual users and businesses, forming a part of the Google Workspace suite.
This problem first came to light last week through posts on Google’s support forums. Users detailed incidents where their latest data and modifications to folder structures were missing. Verifying this, the activity logs of the affected accounts show no recent alterations, ruling out the possibility of accidental deletions by users.
The issue appears not to stem from user errors but seems to be a glitch in the service’s system. This malfunction likely interfered with the proper syncing of data between users’ local devices and the Google Cloud.
A few users possess offline caches that may contain the lost data. However, as of now, there’s no established method to recover the data from these caches.
Volunteer support representatives on Google forums have shared a statement purportedly from Google’s support engineers, acknowledging the issue and confirming that it is under investigation:
Please accept my sincere apologies if I’m unable to join the Google Meet session. I am continously tracking this case and to be transparent with you we totally agree now that you are not the only customer affected by this behavior.
Aside from the thread link you provided there are other admins now that have reported the same behavior we encounter where after the update there are files that went missing. This is now being investigated by our Product Engineers and we are also waiting for a root cause analysis as well on how we can fix it. Due to the ongoing investigation we are unable to provide an ETA yet.
We don’t recommend as well to make changes on the root/data folder while we wait for instructions from our Engieers. I will continue to monitor the behavior of reported issue from other admins and schedule a callback tommorow same time hoping there are progress within the day that I can deliver before our Google Meet session.
Again we appreaciate your patience and understanding.
Yet, there’s no timeline provided for when a solution might be available.
For those experiencing this issue with Google Drive, the current advice is to avoid any modifications to their main data folders until more information is available and the underlying cause of the issue is identified.
The situation has understandably caused significant distress among users. Many rely on Google Drive for secure storage of vital data, often opting for paid plans to ensure their files are safely hosted in the cloud. The sudden disappearance of such data has led to considerable frustration.
A critical point to note is that Google’s support forums primarily rely on volunteer contributors who may not have in-depth knowledge or access to detailed information about the cloud service. This limitation can exacerbate the situation, as users may not receive the comprehensive assistance needed for issues of this magnitude.
Google Drive users affected by this problem are advised to hold off on making changes to their cloud storage. Altering files or folder structures could potentially hinder the data recovery process. The recommended course of action is to directly contact Google Support, create a new support ticket, and stay updated with any official communications from Google regarding this issue.
In the meantime, as a precautionary measure, users should consider backing up important files locally or using an alternate cloud service to safeguard their data until the problem with Google Drive is fully resolved.
How to save your Google account?
If you have a Google account that hasn’t been used in a while and you’re concerned about its potential deletion, there are straightforward measures you can take to secure the account and its data.
The easiest way to keep your Google account active is by simply logging into it. This action can be done through any Google service linked to the account, such as YouTube or Gmail.
To prevent your account from being considered inactive and potentially deleted, ensure you log in at least once every two years. This regular activity will keep your account in good standing.
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Google emphasizes that this initiative is driven by security concerns. It notes that inactive accounts are significantly more vulnerable, often lacking robust security measures like 2-step verification. This is a critical factor as abandoned accounts are statistically far less likely to have 2-step verification enabled, making them more susceptible to unauthorized access.
In light of this, it’s highly advisable to enable 2-step verification not just on your Google account but on all your online accounts. This added layer of security makes it considerably more challenging for potential intruders to gain access to your accounts.