Google Will Delete Old Gmail Accounts Next Week, Here’s How to Keep Yours Safe

Google will permanently delete accounts if found inactive for two years

Highlights
  • Google will start deleting Gmail accounts with no activities in the last two years.
  • The company will start enforcing this new policy in December 2023.
  • Inactive Gmail accounts with YouTube videos will not be deleted for now.
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A few months back, Google updated its inactive accounts policy stating that the company will start deleting older Gmail accounts. Google says that unused accounts are more susceptible to getting compromised, and the company wants to ensure privacy and security for all of its users.

As per Google’s announcement, inactive Gmail accounts will be deleted starting next week. This will also delete all the data associated with the account including emails, Drive, Photos, Contacts, and any other documents.

Google Will Delete Inactive Gmail Accounts From December 1

In May 2023, Google officially declared its plans to delete older inactive accounts. As per internal data, inactive accounts are ten times less likely to have two-factor authentication enabled as compared to active accounts. This leaves older accounts vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Furthermore, any external services linked to that particular account also risk getting compromised if the Gmail account is misplaced. Hence, Google has decided to delete accounts that have not been used in the last 2 years. Gmail accounts with zero activity in the last 24 months will be considered inactive.

Google mentions that not all inactive accounts will be deleted directly. The company will start to remove such accounts as early as December 2023 in small batches.

However, once an account gets deleted, Google will delete every single piece of information linked with it, including Google Drive storage, emails, documents, meetings, and any other files. This will be an irreversible process.

Save Your Inactive Google Account From Getting Deleted

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Google also says that users can take simple measures to keep their account active and prevent it from getting deleted. Users will have to sign in to their account at least once every 2 years to keep their Gmail account active.

Users can also do certain activities which will keep their account active in Google’s records These can be:

  • 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

Another important thing to note is that Google says that the company does not have plans to delete inactive accounts with YouTube videos. This means that if your old unused account is linked to YouTube and has a public video on it, Google will not delete that account despite of inactivity.

However, the company may soon update this policy. So it’s a good idea to keep using your old Gmail account at least once every 2 years to keep it active.

Google Reconsidering Its Free Services

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It looks like Google is now trying to convert some of its free users to paying subscribers. To recall, Google recently announced that it will discontinue its free unlimited WhatsApp backups. In the future, these backups will count against the 15GB free storage quota of your Gmail account.

A couple of years back, Google also stopped its unlimited Google Photos backups. Earlier, users were allowed to store images and videos on Google Photos without any storage limits. The company even used to advertise this feature to store your memories on the cloud. As more users started using it, Google pulled the plug on its unlimited photos backup policy.

If users fill up their 15GB of free storage, they will not be able to send or receive any new emails. As more and more Google services end their free unlimited storage policy, a big set of Gmail users may have to purchase extra Google Drive storage.

Google’s new policy to delete older accounts will not just help them reduce security concerns, it will also free up a lot of storage space on its servers. So if you have an old inactive account that you stopped using because of your embarrassing choice of username during your teenage, it’s a good idea to set up reminders to keep that account active else Google may delete your nostalgia.