ChromeOS 73.0.3680.0 Rolling out to the Dev Channel – Backup your Downloads Folder before Rebooting

Just a FYI, ChromeOS 73.0.3680.0 is currently rolling out to the Dev Channel and carries a nasty surprise. It appears to delete anything stored in your Downloads Folder without warning after installing it. Please backup your Downloads folder to Google Drive or an external flash drive prior to rebooting. This file deletion bug does not seem to impact anything outside of the Downloads folder including Crostini or Android files. It also does not impact any other files stored in folders outside of your Downloads directory.

Update : Method to recover your Downloads Files

Reddit User GabrielMichaelson has pointed out that ChromeOS 73.0.3680.0 seems to enable the “Enable MyFiles as Volume” flag in chrome://flags. This means that you can recover your downloads directory by doing the following

  1. Navigate to chrome://flags/#enable-myfiles-volume and disable the flag
  2. Restart
  3. Open your Downloads and copy everything to an external drive or Google Drive
  4. Navigate to chrome://flags/#enable-myfiles-volume and enable the flag
  5. Restart
  6. Copy everything back (Note, you can now use folders outside of your Downloads Directory)
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