Google will start deleting inactive user accounts that haven’t been used in at least two years, starting December 1, 2023, in order to protect users from security threats, such as spam, account hijacking, and phishing scams.
For those unaware, in May this year, Google announced that it had updated its inactive account policy for Google accounts that haven’t been used for more than two years.
“To reduce this risk, we are updating our inactivity policy for Google Accounts to 2 years across our products. 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,” Google had said in its announcement.
“This update aligns our policy with industry standards around retention and account deletion and also limits the amount of time Google retains your unused personal information.”
However, the new policy only applies to personal Google Accounts, and will not affect accounts for organizations like schools or businesses. Also, Google will not remove accounts that have uploaded a video to YouTube, regardless of when it was last active or has active subscriptions to apps or news services.
Since August, Google has been sending multiple email reminders to users with inactive Google accounts to both the account email address and the recovery email (if the user has provided one), informing them that their accounts will be deleted starting December 2023 to protect their private information and prevent any unauthorized access to their account even if they are no longer using Google’s services.
Starting December 1, 2023, Google will begin deleting inactive accounts in a phased manner, beginning with accounts that were created and never used again.
How To Keep Your Google Account Active
To keep your Google Account active, you need to sign into your Google Account or use one of the company’s tools, such as Gmail, Google Drive, Google Photos, and Google Play. By doing this, your account will be considered active and will not be deleted.
According to the company’s account policy, activity might include any of the actions mentioned below when you sign in or while you are signed in to your Google Account:
- Reading or sending an email
- Using Google Drive
- Watching a YouTube video
- Downloading an app on the Google Play Store
- Using Google Search
- Using Sign in with Google to sign in to a third-party app or service