If I drop an item in Ingress, will it be there until someone picks it up, or is there a chance of it decaying? I realize the danger of someone unexpected coming along and picking things up, but does anyone know if items will eventually disappear on their own?

2 Answers 2


I have had a feeling they do, but cannot confirm it 100%, but it seems I was wrong, after Christmas I am going to check items dropped in November if still there I would say that dropped items do not decay

Right now I can confirm dropped items stay alive for at least 14 days.

I am dropping keys and media files I don't need at difficult to access locations (high speed train rails) and I am pretty sure they won't be picked up. I will keep testing it.

Update 1: 8 days decay free.

Update 2: checked on a very old dropped media item 2 weeks ago and still there

Update 3: All items dropped before 24.12.2012 decayed - removed or maybe picked up, but this is highly unlikely

  • I honestly forgot I asked this question here. I know they made some changes to items in the last server side update, along with inventory limits, so I'm accepting this answer. Thanks for the updates. I heard rumors they implemented item decay with those changes, but haven't heard details or confirmation.
    – Canuteson
    Commented Dec 27, 2012 at 1:43
  • I'm not sure there is a true way of knowing, someone could see your dropped items and pick them up and it just looks like decay.
    – rwyland
    Commented Jan 7, 2013 at 6:22
  • 1
    I use very difficult to access locations, like high speed train rails, then train is so fast there you can barely see the item and there is no other normal way to get close to the item. Commented Jan 7, 2013 at 11:22

On Jan 9th, Niantic leaked a document suggesting that the next update will make dropped items have a 12 hour lifespan.

Source: http://www.nianticproject.com/?id=sc208b

"Objects dropped out in the world will lose cohesion and disintegrate in approximately 12 hours"

  • 7
    This is now the correct answer. Commented May 21, 2013 at 17:09

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