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Google issues warning to Drive users over sudden deletion of files

Months of files have been mysteriously wiped, users say

Andrew Griffin
Thursday 07 December 2023 06:44 GMT
Google to delete inactive accounts starting Dec. 1; what you can do

Google users say their files have been disappearing as one engineer urged them not to press a button that could make the problem even worse.

In recent days, users of Google Drive – which allows people to store their files in the cloud – say that those files appear to have gone missing. Some report that months of files have disappeared, with no obvious way of getting them back.

The files appear to have vanished without a trace, without any sign of why they disappeared or even if they are recoverable.

The problem appears to be with a recent update to Google Drive for desktop, an app that can be installed on Mac or Windows to get access to files stored on Drive.

Hundreds of people are complaining about the problem in recent days, using a Google forum that allows users to request help. The number is likely to be much higher.

Google says that it is not clear what the issue is, with an employee saying that the company is “investigating reports of an issue impacting a limited subset of Drive for desktop users “. The statement indicated that the company would “follow up with more updates”, but it is yet to give any information.

That representative of the Google Drive team did however urge users not to click the “Disconnect account” button on the Drive for Desktop app. That could cause further problems with lost files, the Google employee going by the name Saitej suggested.

Some said however that they had heard that pressing that button could reset the app, and help find the lost files. As such, users voiced fears they had inadvertently contributed to the problem.

Users were also told not to delete the app data folder, and advised to back up that folder onto their hard drive if they had space.

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