Android backups are something that no one really seems to be happy with. Countless threads on Reddit and other forums routinely state that the a more powerful backup system is something people want to see in the next version of Android. Currently, phones with Android 6.0 and above will backup things like Wi-Fi passwords, some app data, call history, device settings and more. But, if you let your phone sit idle, Google is eventually going to blow out your unused backups.
Reddit user Tanglebrook took to the Android subreddit to let others know about his painful situation. Due to a faulty battery, Tanglebrook was unable to use his Nexus 6P for a few months. With only an iPhone to use in the meantime, their backups expired. Now they’re left to start from scratch on their next Android device.
This isn’t a fun situation, but Google does state in its support documents that your backups will be deleted at some point. If you don’t use your device for two weeks, you’ll begin to see a countdown in Google Drive, where your backups are stored. You can reset the timer by powering up your device, but if you can’t, you might be out of luck.
We certainly understand why Google has the policy to delete old backups for unused phones. If we have one suggestion for Google though, give users a little more power over their backups. Not everyone has the ability to run out and replace a broken phone right away so it would be nice to pin a backup and save it from deletion.