Google Drive has lost or misplaced some people’s files, according to multiple reports. The affected people say that the contents of their Google Drive have reverted to an earlier state, resulting in months or years of data loss.
This problem was first reported in a Google Support thread on November 21st. One person found that all the files synchronized to their Google Drive after May 2023 had mysteriously vanished. Oddly, the file structure of the user’s Drive also reverted to May 2023, and their account shows no activity or files changes beyond that date.
Other people say that they’ve lost years of important data. There are several ways to recover Google Drive data, but the recovery process doesn’t work in this specific situation. Lost files are not located in Google Drive’s trash and cannot be synchronized from offline cache.
We’re still waiting for an official comment from Google. But, in any case, Google is actively communicating with those who have submitted a support ticket. In one message, a Google Support employee states, “this is now being investigated by our Product Engineers,” and confirms that several Drive customers have experienced data loss.
As for why this is happening—well, it’s anyone’s guess, and plenty of people are making guesses. Some users pin the blame on Google’s inactive account policy, which isn’t supposed to go into effect until December 2023. Others believe that the Google Drive for Desktop v84.0 update is responsible, but the v84.0 update began rolling out a week before users reported data loss.
Cloud storage providers rarely lose track of data. And, even when data is manually deleted from cloud storage, it can usually be recovered. But data loss isn’t unheard of in the world of cloud storage. Earlier this year, a Danish provider called CloudNordic lost all of its customers’ data in a ransomware attack. That’s why important files should always be stored in multiple locations, including your home.
If you are affected by this problem, submit a support ticket and sit tight. We still don’t know if the lost data has been deleted or simply misplaced. In the event that Google successfully recovers your data, any new changes that you make to Drive may be lost in the process.
Source: The Register