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Google to start deleting inactive accounts starting December 1: How to prevent it

Google will start deleting inactive accounts from December 1. The accounts that will be deleted first are those that were created but never used.

Edited By: Om Gupta

Published: Nov 30, 2023, 10:21 AM IST

Google Account
Google Account

Story Highlights

  • Google is set to delete inactive personal accounts.
  • It applies to accounts that are inactive for two years.
  • Google will start deleting inactive accounts from December 1.

Google is set to delete personal accounts that have been inactive for two years starting December 1. If you have an old Gmail or Google account that you haven’t used in a while, you need to log in soon to prevent it from being deleted. This also applies to associated services like Google Docs, Drive, Calendar, and Photos.

Google announced its plan to delete unused accounts in May, with the deletions set to start in December, beginning with accounts that were created but never used.

Before an account is deleted, Google will send multiple warnings over several months leading up to the deletion date, through both the registered email address and any recovery email provided.

How to prevent your inactive Google Account?

To prevent Google from deleting your account, simply log in at least once every two years. Any account or connected service that has seen recent activity is considered active and will not be deleted. Activities that count include reading or sending email, using Drive or YouTube, downloading an Android app, web searches, signing into a linked third-party app, or having a paid subscription like Google One or a news site through your account.

Google also provides an Inactive Account Manager that allows you to decide what happens to your account and files if there’s no activity for 18 months. Options include auto-forwarding content to a trusted account, setting an auto-reply, or immediate deletion.

Interestingly, uploading a video on YouTube can also keep your account from being deleted, even if it’s unused. Such accounts are currently safe.

Why Google is deleting inactive accounts?

Google’s decision to delete inactive accounts is part of an effort to protect users from hackers. Abandoned accounts often use old or recycled passwords that may have been compromised, lack two-factor authentication, and rarely undergo security checks by the owner. Google’s internal analysis showed that abandoned accounts are at least 10 times less likely to have extra login protection compared to active ones, making them prime targets for identity theft, spamming, and other misuses.

This digital cleanup only applies to personal accounts, not those belonging to organizations like schools or businesses.

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Author Name | Om Gupta

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Google

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