Google Implements Account Cleanup: Inactive Accounts to Be Deleted After Two Years

Google has announced an update to its inactivity policy for dormant Google accounts. If an account hasn’t been used or signed into for two years, Google may delete it and its contents. This includes Gmail, Calendar, YouTube, and Google Photos associated with the account. Google’s aim is to protect users from cybersecurity threats. Their internal analysis revealed that inactive accounts are more likely to be compromised due to the use of older or reused passwords and lack of two-step verification. Dormant accounts also receive fewer security checks, making them vulnerable to misuse by bad actors for activities like identity theft and spreading malicious content.

The new policy change will impact personal Google Accounts but not accounts for organizations like schools or businesses. The policy is being rolled out now and will take effect today, but accounts with inactivity will be given until December 2023 before deletion begins. To prevent an account from being deleted, simply sign into it at least once every two years to keep it considered active by Google. Additionally, there are other actions you can take while signing in or while signed into your Google account to ensure its activity status, such as:

  • Sending or receiving emails in Gmail
  • Creating or saving files in Google Drive
  • Engaging with content on YouTube
  • Uploading or sharing photos on Google Photos
  • Adding events to your Calendar.
  • Making purchases or subscriptions using your Google account.

To keep your Google account active and prevent deletion, you can engage in various activities such as reading or sending emails, using Google Drive, watching YouTube videos, downloading apps from the Google Play Store, using Google Search, signing in to third-party apps or services with Google, and having existing subscriptions through your Google Account. However, for Google Photos, you need to sign in every two years to keep it active and avoid deleting your photos and other content. Google will send multiple notifications before deleting anything. It’s recommended to have a backup plan for your account, which includes setting up a recovery email and using Google’s Takeout feature to download and export your data when needed.



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