Google to Delete Inactive Accounts Starting December: What You Need to Know

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Do you have a dormant Google account? To prevent it from being deleted, it’s crucial to sign in before the week concludes.

As per Google’s updated policy on inactive accounts, which was announced in May, accounts unused for a minimum of two years may face deletion, and this process could commence starting this Friday.

If you possess an account labeled “inactive” and is at risk of deletion, Google will send notifications to the associated email and recovery address (if available). For those catching up on this policy change and wishing to safeguard content on Google Drive, Docs, Gmail, and more, here’s what you should know.

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Google emphasizes that long-unused accounts are more susceptible to compromise, often having outdated passwords, lacking two-factor authentication, and undergoing fewer security checks. Consequently, such accounts might be exploited for spam, malicious content, or identity theft.

To keep your Google account active and prevent deletion, the simplest method is to sign in at least once every two years. Other activities fulfilling account activity requirements include sending or reading emails, using Google search, and watching YouTube videos (since YouTube is owned by Google) while signed into your account. Existing subscriptions through your Google account, including third-party app and publication profiles, also contribute to account activity.

Preserving content on Google Photos requires a specific sign-in. As previously announced, Google may delete Photos content after two years of inactivity, so regular usage is essential to retain your images.

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This inactive account update solely impacts personal Google accounts unused for two or more years; accounts for organizations like schools or companies remain unaffected. Exceptions, as per Google’s online policy, include accounts managing active minor accounts, those with a gift card balance, and those used for ongoing Google product, app, or subscription purchases.

Apart from keeping your account active, Google provides tools to manage and back up data. Google Takeout allows users to download and export account data, and the Inactive Account Manager lets you decide the fate of your account and data if it becomes inactive.

Google’s online policy also outlines procedures for managing a deceased user’s account, collaborating with immediate family without sharing login credentials, and the importance of providing and updating a recovery email for communication purposes, including inactive account notices.

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