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Inactive Gmail Account? Google Plans To Delete It

Google has announced that starting December 2023, it will begin content deletions for Gmail and Google Photos. This policy change is part of Google’s efforts to simplify and unify its storage policies across all of its services, and provide a more secure platform against phishing, spam, and other security threats. 

So why the push for deletions? The longer an account hasn’t been used, the more likely it is to be compromised. Forgotten or seldom used accounts typically have older and compromised passwords, making them more vulnerable to security threats. In order to reduce the risk, Google is purging these accounts. 

Google Accounts that have been inactive for 2 or more years are at risk. In other words, if you have not signed into or used the account, be aware. All services associated with Google Workspace such as Gmail, Docs, Meet, Drive, Photos, and Calendar will be deactivated, and you will lose anything that was placed in these spaces. Now the deletions only apply to personal accounts and not business or organization accounts (i.e. schools). 

Thankfully, this won’t all happen at once and you still have time to save your account, if you want. Google will phase their plan in sections, starting with accounts that were created, but never used afterwards. Before complete deletion, you will receive several notifications in the next several months via the account email and recovery address, if one was provided. 

But the best way to keep your account active is to simply sign in. As long as you have signed in, your account is considered active. Activity within your account such as reading or sending an email, Google search, watching a YouTube video, downloading an app, a subscription set up through your Google account or even signing into a third party site with your Google account credentials, will all keep your account active. Complete one of these tasks at least once every 2 years to continue your account. 

Google recommends these things to make sure your email

  • Set up a recovery email or confirm the email address on file is up-to-date,
  • Use their free tools to help manage your account
    • Takeout- helps you download and export your data to other platforms
    • Inactive Account Manager- allows you to decide what happens to your account and data once it is inactive for up to 18 months.
    • Consider using a secure password manager application 

If you can’t remember if you’ve created an account, use Google’s account recovery system which allows you to enter either the telephone number associated with the account. 

Be on the lookout for any emails about your account or take action prior to December to keep your account in active standing.

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