It wasn’t a feature Google advertised all that well, but your Drive has been dutifully keeping backups of the data on your devices since Marshmallow introduced Auto Backup for Apps. Now it is making it easier to find them.
A new update to the Google Drive app adds a handy Backups section to the sidebar. Open it and you can see which of your devices have backups and which apps are being stored within them. From there you’ll be able to delete any unwanted or outdated backups, and keep an eye on how much data is being kept. The update also delivers easier previews of Excel and other spreadsheet files.
If you’re not seeing anything in the folder, you’ll need to turn on backups. Head over to your phone's Settings, tap Backup and reset, then Backup, and toggle the Back up to Google Drive switch (your interface might be a bit different depending on your phone model). The update is currently rolling out to devices, so go check the Play Store for the latest version. And as usual, if you’re not seeing the update on your device, you can sideload the Google-signed APK using APKMirror.
The impact on you on home: Backups on Android are a perennial work in progress, and while this is a subtle change for sure, it keeps hope alive that Google is committed to developing a clear, simple backup system for Android. And maybe one day we’ll be able to restore our entire Android system when we switch to a new device.