Some Google Drive users have apparently lost months' worth of files

While Google's cloud storage option is regarded as one of the most secure, some users are panicking as their recent work has vanished.
Written by Artie Beaty, Contributing Writer
Google Drive app
Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Google Drive is the default cloud storage option for many people, and it's long been regarded as one of the most secure methods. But in recent days, numerous reports of trouble have surfaced -- with some users claiming to have lost months' worth of files.

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The issue seems to have first been reported a little less than a week ago on Google's official support forum, with a user writing that many of their Drive files have disappeared, and their Drive structure reverted to how it looked in May of this year. The user said that no files were deleted manually, and that the missing files weren't showing up anywhere, even in the trash. Searching through audit logs showed no activity, and the files had simply vanished. 

Even going through the recovery process recommended by Google support didn't help, the user wrote, calling it a "horrible problem" that had no answer. 

Soon other users chimed in with similar stories – that the past six months of files were gone. "I am in a total panic," wrote one affected user, with another adding: "There is a serious issue here that needs to escalate urgently." One even reported receiving this unsettling reponse from Google: "If the file recovery tool did not restore your files, I am afraid that we do not have an option to restore the files anymore."

About a week after the complaint, a Google community manager did respond to the original poster saying that Google was investigating an issue that impacted "a limited subset of Drive for desktop users" and would follow up with more information once the issue was sorted out. 

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In the meantime, Google suggested not deleting or moving the app data folder, and not clicking "Disconnect account." While the Google representative did specifically reference desktop users, it's not clear if this issue is limited just to people using the desktop version.

If you have room on your hard drive, Google additionally recommended making a copy of the app data folder. 

A Google Community user response to the original complaint did post an unofficial workaround that they claim worked for their files, but it involves diving into the user data folder, which Google specifically recommended not to do. 

For now, Google hasn't made any statement on whether or not the missing files will be able to be recovered, but the fact that there's a user-made answer is encouraging.

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