Android phone users' data can be deleted if phone not used for two months

Reddit user Tanglebrook, who believed like most users, that Google keeps a backup of everything they link it to, was shocked to find his backup data erased from Google. Tanglebrook switched to an iPhone for two months, which is the exact period Google keeps a backup of your Android phone before it considers it inactive and deletes it from its servers. He had to start using his Nexus 6P again as a completely new Android phone user after switching back.

The report from Android Headlines also said that that the concerned person was not notified of any of this background activity in any way. Tanglebrook was told by a Google representative that there is no way to keep the backup on his Google Drive or any other place.

According to Google's official policy, a backup for a particular user is marked for expiration if the servers find the data unused for two weeks or 'inactive'. When users import data from an old Android phone to a new Android phone, the new device is treated as the active device by the servers and the account is active. Further, if any Android device registered to a particular account gets additional data such as new contacts or any other new settings, it gets automatically synchronised with other devices as well.

According to commentators, Titanium Backup is easily the most popular solution to backup app data, SMS messages, and other stuff on a rooted device. If users are willing to go so far as to unlock their bootloader and flash a custom recovery, the TWRP recovery comes with a built-in backup option that can back up app data, system settings, and other things as a user chooses, or even back up the full system image in case of a catastrophe.

Encryption is perfectly optional with the solution, and it can also be used to restore some types of data to other devices by storing the backup on a MicroSD card, though doing that can cause issues.

Google's default backup will best serve the average users' needs, but there are caveats to it, just like with any other backup solution, according to experts.