Google has started sending email reminders to Google users with inactive accounts, notifying them that their accounts will be deleted for security reasons.
Google To Start Deleting Inactive User Accounts From December
Affected users are receiving an email from Google saying that this move is being implemented “to protect your private information and prevent any unauthorized access to your account even if you’re no longer using our services”.
For those unaware, in May this year, Google announced that it had updated its inactive account policies for Google accounts that have been inactive for more than two years.
According to this policy, starting December 2023, the search giant would begin deleting Google accounts and their contents – including content within Google Workspace (Gmail, Docs, Drive, Meet, Calendar) and Google Photos – that has not been used or signed into for at least two years to protect users from security threats, like spam, phishing scams, and account hijacking.
“We are updating our inactivity policy for Google Accounts to two years across our products,” Ruth Kricheli, Google’s Vice President of Product Management, wrote in a blog post in May.
“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.”
Google also added that the policy only applies to personal Google Accounts and will not affect accounts for organizations like schools or businesses.
Before deleting an account, Google will send multiple notifications to both the account email address and the recovery email (if the user has provided one).
Deleting inactive Gmail accounts could be challenging for those who have used specific email addresses to sign up to websites previously, as they may lose access to other online platforms and services with that email address, even if they are not linked to Google.
How To Keep Your Google Account Active
To keep your Google Account active, you need to sign in to your Google Account or any of its services at least once every two years. Activity can include reading or sending an email, using Google Drive, watching a YouTube video, downloading an app on the Google Play Store, using Google Search, or using Sign in with Google to sign in to a third-party app or service.
If you are impacted by the inactive policy, you can carry out any of the above activities to avoid your account from being deleted in December 2023.
Further, any account that has uploaded a video to YouTube will not be affected, regardless of when it was last active.