Afew weeks ago, Google announced a significant update to its inactive account policies. The tech giant announced that it will start deleting Google accounts that have not been used or signed into for at least two years. Reportedly, Google is now notifying users about this change so that they can prevent their accounts from auto-deletion.
Google’s new policy comes as an effort to prioritize user security and reduce the risks associated with maintaining inactive accounts. In one of the blog posts, Google noted that the new policy will take effect starting from December 2023. The company will be sending out warning emails, starting 8 months in advance, to alert users whose accounts are at risk of deletion. Notably, the deletion will also impact all content stored in the inactive accounts, including Gmail, Docs, Drive, Meet, Calendar, YouTube, and Google Photos. .
“We will take a phased approach, starting with accounts that were created and never used again. Before deleting an account, we will send multiple notifications over the months leading up to deletion, to both the account email address and the recovery email (if one has been provided),” says Google.
Reason why Google is deleting inactive accounts
Google is planning to delete accounts that have been inactive for two years in order to improve security. The company says that abandoned accounts are at least 10 times less likely than active accounts to have two-factor authentication set up, which makes them more vulnerable to hacking.
Once an account is compromised, it can be used for anything from identity theft to sending spam. Google says that deleting inactive accounts will help reduce the risk of these types of attacks. “This is because forgotten or unattended accounts often rely on old or re-used passwords that may have been compromised, haven’t had two-factor authentication set up, and receive fewer security checks by the user,” reads the official blog post.
Notably, Google assures that the new policy will only apply to personal Google Accounts and will not impact accounts for organizations like schools or businesses. “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,” the company further added.
How to keep your Google account active
While Google will be sending warning emails to users to reactivate their accounts, if you also have a Google account that has not been used for months, here is how you can prevent it from deletion. First and foremost, log into the account which you have abandoned for around 2 years. Next, here are certain actions that will help you keep your accounts active.
- 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
Even if you have not used your Google Account for two years, Google will not delete your account if you have an existing subscription set up through your account.