November 28, 2023
In a move set to commence on December 1, Google is poised to delete inactive accounts that have not been utilized for at least two years. Account holders are urged to take action promptly to protect their data, including emails, videos, photos, and documents associated with dormant Google accounts.
Google accounts provide access to a range of the company’s products, such as Gmail, Drive, Docs, Meet, Calendar, Photos, and YouTube. With the imminent deletion of inactive accounts, users risk losing valuable content stored in these services.
To retain your account and its associated data, it is essential to sign in before the impending deadline. According to Google’s policy outlined in a May blog post, an account is considered active and safe from deletion if the user has signed in recently. The company assures users that they will receive multiple notifications via both the account email address and the recovery email in the months leading up to the deletion process.
The account purge will be executed in phases, starting with accounts that were created but never used again. Notably, accounts set up through work, school, or other organizations will not be automatically deleted; the policy exclusively applies to personal accounts.
For users seeking to preserve content from specific products within their inactive accounts, an extra step is required. Logging in to a particular service, such as Google Drive for photos, is advised, as Google maintains the right to delete data from inactive products after two years.
The company is reassuring users that videos from retired YouTube channels are currently safe from deletion. There are no plans to delete accounts with YouTube videos at this time, according to Google.
To address potential concerns, Google offers a solution for users who wish to retain their data but have no further use for their inactive accounts. The Google Takeout page allows users to download and export their data, including folders, documents, and media, providing a comprehensive backup option.
Google cites security as the primary reason for deleting inactive accounts. Abandoned accounts pose a higher risk of security threats, including spam, phishing scams, and account hijacking. The policy update emphasizes that inactive accounts, left unattended for an extended period, are more likely to be compromised due to outdated or reused passwords and the absence of two-factor authentication.
As the deadline approaches, users are urged to act promptly to ensure the preservation of their Google accounts and associated data. Taking preventive measures now can mitigate the risk of losing access to valuable information stored within inactive accounts.