Google Drive users beware: do not click this button!

Virgin Radio

28 Nov 2023, 16:58

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Google Drive, a popular cloud service, has recently issued a warning to its users following reports of missing personal files.

The issue has led to the loss of significant data for some users, raising concerns and prompting Google to investigate the matter.

According to a statement released by Google, the problem appears to affect a limited subset of Drive for desktop users.

Users have reported substantial losses, with one individual mentioning the disappearance of six months' worth of business-related data.

The severity of the issue is highlighted by the fact that 268 users have already expressed similar concerns by clicking 'I have the same question' on a thread discussing the problem on Google's community support site.

Though we should point out, that isn't button they shouldn't be pressing, the issue is a little more complicated than that.

In response to the growing number of reports, a Google staffer named Saitej posted on the company's help centre, stating: "We’re investigating reports of an issue impacting a limited subset of Drive for desktop users and will follow up with more updates."

However, the situation takes an ironic turn as one user, Yeonjoong, who initially flagged the issue, found that the Google support team had advised him to click on the 'disconnect account' button within Drive for desktop.

This contradicts the subsequent warning issued by Saitej, who advised all Google Drive users not to click on this button.

Yeonjoong shared his frustration, stating, "The Google support team already asked me to 'Disconnect account' within Drive for desktop after backup DriveFS folder and re-paste it in the same place. Will it be a problem?" Saitej, at the time of the report, had not publicly responded to this query.

Saitej's warning also extended to advising users against deleting or moving the app's data folder. The locations of this folder vary by operating system, and users were instructed to refrain from making any changes to it. The respective locations are:

For Windows: %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Google\DriveFS

For MacOS: ~/Library/Application

Concerning the main issue of lost files, Google specified that it relates to versions to of Google Drive.

In the face of data loss, some users have managed to recover their files through various methods.

One user reported that his partner faced a similar issue but successfully retrieved her files after two days by uninstalling Google Drive and reinstalling an older version.

There has been speculation among users about whether this loss of files is somehow related to Google's upcoming purge of inactive accounts.

Starting from Friday, Google will begin deleting millions of Gmail accounts that haven’t been logged into for at least two years as part of a major security update. However, the exact connection between these two events remains unclear.

As Google continues to investigate the issue, users are strongly advised to avoid clicking the 'disconnect account' button within Drive for desktop and to refrain from making any changes to the app's data folder to prevent further data loss.