Google deletes all inactive accounts

If you have a Google account and haven't signed in for a while, you should do a quick check-in. Google plans to start deleting inactive accounts later in 2023.

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In a post on her blog, the Mountain View company announced a change to its inactive account policy. In 2020, the company said it would remove content stored on inactive accounts, but would not tamper with the accounts. According to its blog, Google now says it will delete accounts along with content if the account has been inactive for two years or more.

It seems that this move is based on the security of user data. The company claims that unused accounts are more likely to be compromised due to various factors. Some examples given include the lack of two-factor authentication and security controls.

The policy takes effect today, but deletions won't begin until December 2023. If your account has exceeded the two-year mark, Google says your account and its content may be deleted, including services Gmail, Docs, Drive, Meet, Calendar, YouTube, and Google Photos.

Before that happens, the company says it will send several notifications "in the months leading up to the deletion, both to the account email address and to the recovery email." It will also use a phased approach, "starting with accounts that were created and never used again."

To keep your account, all you have to do is activate it. This can be done by logging in and using any of the Google services. For example, these actions would change your account to active:

  • Reading an email
  • Using Google Drive
  • Watch videos on YouTube
  • Use of Google Search
  • Using your Google Account to sign in to a third-party service

 

If you have a business account, you won't need to worry about this policy change. Google says it will only apply to free personal accounts. Google One subscriptions are also safe from this new policy.

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Written by giorgos

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