Android App 3.24.2: Synced Files Deleted From Phone After Short While

On a Samsung Galaxy A52 with Android 13, synchronized files somehow seem to get deleted after a short while.

I try to use the Nextcloud app version 3.24.2 to sync documents and especially photos between several Android phones and laptop computers - the current behaviour causes the affected phone to never have any photos available, which renders the whole approach unusable. :frowning:

I don’t observe the same issues on a Nokia 8 Sirocco with Android 10 (Android One) with the same Nextcloud App version.

Does anyone have any idea how to solve this? Is it the Nextcloud app randomly deleting synced files, or is it some special Samsung “cleanup magic” randomly deleting my files, or is it a new “feature” in Android 13 compared to Android 10 which lets Google decide which data I need, instead of me deciding myself what I want to have available locally?

Is it just some storage management setting somewhere?

I already went through basically all system settings on the Samsung phone, but could not find any which seems I considered to be related to Android randomly deleting some app data. (I’d understand if it may do it with contents in the “cache” directories, but actual app data? How can it know which can be restored again and which would be lost for good?)

Googling found references to some Samsung “Storage Manager” in the settings, but there is no such thing in the Android 13 settings on this phone.

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When you say “synced” are you referring to the Auto Upload feature under Settings (that’s what is most often associated with photos)?

Also, are the photos actually not on the server too (I.e. just not on the phone any longer?

I’m assuming you’ve already checked the Original file will be... settings for each of the various folders involved within the Android Nextcloud client. The other that immediately comes to mind is to make sure Google Photos isn’t installed because it’ll also try to manage locally stored photos, deleting them as needed to manage space after uploading them.

For documents, are you using the Sync parameter in the file browser for a specific folder or attempting to use the Auto upload feature under settings?

No, I didn’t mean the auto-upload feature - I never tested this and never used it.

Google Fotos is installed, but is not logged in to any account and does not sync anything. That’s what I’m using Nextcloud for (or at least trying to do).

Also, yes, the photos are (fortunately!) still on the server, they are “only” deleted locally.

However this doesn’t help if you want to browse them on the phone, share them and / or show them. That’s just not conveniently possible with fotos only available remotely, they don’t show up in the Samsung Gallery app, they don’t show up in Google Fotos, and accessing them through the Nextcloud app is really slow.

With “sync” I meant that I selected the folder in the Nextcloud app and chose “Synchronize” from the folder’s “…” menu.

Nextcloud will happily download the fotos and documents in this folder hierarchy then, and they will temporarily be available locally, before they are somehow removed again and “lose” their green checkmark overlay, disappear from the Gallery app and Google Fotos app, etc.

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I have the exact same issue described here on the Nextcloud Android app.

How to replicate the issue:

  • In NextCloud Android app go to All Files
  • Click 3 dots menu button for a folder
  • Click Sync

NextCloud will now sync all the files locally. I notice that the folder is choose to sync does not have the synced green check next to it after completion, but the files in the folder do have the green check.

After some time, somewhere between a few minutes and some hours, not sure exactly, the files will be deleted from my phone and no longer be synced in the NextCloud app.

One extra piece of info, this issue seems to go away when I turn on Power saving mode, I assume because this means the NextCloud app now isn’t doing anything in the background.

Version Details:

Device: Samsung Note 20 Ultra
Android Version: 13
NextCloud Android App Version: 3.26.0

@A_nextcloud_user: Thanks for your input.

Meanwhile, we seem to have found a workaround - there were several settings in Android (or maybe Samsung extensions?) regarding “saving storage space for incative apps”. Not sure how they were called in detail, but it was two or three different settings, some related to the app cache, some to application data.

We disabled all of these for the Nextcloud client and now the synced files stay. We’re not sure which one of these settings actually did the trick, but didn’t invest any further time either - we wasted enough of it on the issue already. :frowning:

So it seems to be some Android cleanup feature, but it would be really good if the Nextcloud app could warn prominently about it and provide instructions on how and where to disable this stuff…

(Edit: I just added a bug report regarding this: Synced Files Deleted From Phone After Short While · Issue #12122 · nextcloud/android · GitHub )