Google is investigating a Drive issue that causes files to go missing

Users have noticed that months or even years of files have disappeared.

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Google Drive users have recently been reporting that files and folders have gone missing, with some saying that months worth of data has disappeared from their accounts. Now, Google has acknowledged the issue, saying that it appears to be caused by the Drive for Desktop app, 9to5Google has reported.

The issue is pretty alarming, obviously. One user on Google's support forums said that an expense spreadsheet they regularly updated has lost all data from nearly the last five years, with the version history showing the latest version as January 2019. "I'm really mad as this had all the important data which I do not have any local copy for. I need this data retrieved at any cost." Another poster said the drive reverted to May 2023, with all subsequent data disappearing, and others report similar issues.

In a post from yesterday, Google said that "we’re investigating reports of an issue impacting a limited subset of Drive for desktop users and will follow up with more updates." It noted the problem affects Drive for desktop v84.0.0.0 - It advised users not to click "disconnect account" within Drive for desktop, and to not delete or move a specific app folder called DriveFS as detailed here. It even recommends making a copy of the app data folder if you have room on your hard drive.

Google offers several ways to recover (or at least check) deleted files. That includes checking the trash, which is now automatically emptied after 30 days. It's also a good idea to check the activity panel, which shows any files deleted or moved along with the relevant date. For this latest issue, however, the activity panel doesn't appear to show that the files have gone missing, according to Google's support forum users.