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Google To Begin Deleting Inactive Accounts in December

Image Source: Diego Thomazini @ Shutterstock

If you have a Google account that hasn’t been active for a long time, you might want to take action to save it from being deleted. Google has announced a new security policy that will lead to the deletion of inactive accounts and all their associated data later this year.

The announcement about deleting inactive accounts was made by Google earlier, before the introduction of the new security policy.

“Starting later this year, if a Google Account has not been used or signed into for at least 2 years, we may delete the account and its contents – including content within Google Workspace (Gmail, Docs, Drive, Meet, Calendar) and Google Photos,” said Google in a blog post in May.

Google believes that inactive accounts are more susceptible to compromise, as they often have old or reused passwords that may have been compromised. They also tend to lack two-factor authentication and receive fewer security checks from the user.

Which Google accounts are subject to potential deletion?

As mentioned earlier, Google accounts that have been unused or not signed into for at least two years are eligible for deletion.

All Google accounts that are deleted under the new policy will lose saved data, such as content in Gmail, Docs, Drive, Meet, Calendar, Google Photos, as well as account data in third-party applications connected to the Google account.

Will school or business accounts be deleted?

No, the current policy explicitly states that only personal accounts will be deleted. School and business accounts are exempt from this deletion policy.

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How can I save a Google account from deletion?

To save your inactive Google account from being deleted, you simply need to perform an activity on the account. This can include:

  • Viewing a YouTube video
  • Using Google Search while logged into your account
  • Sending or reading an email on the account
  • Downloading an app using the Google Play Store
  • Using your Google Drive account
  • Using “Sign in with Google” to log into a third-party app or service

How will the Google account deletion process work?

Starting from December 2023, the process of deleting Google accounts will happen in phases, starting with accounts that were created but never used.

Prior to deleting any account, Google will send multiple notifications to the account holder “over the months leading up to the deletion.”

Image Source: Diego Thomazini @ Shutterstock

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