Google will begin deleting inactive accounts on December 1st

Starting December 1, 2023, Google will begin to follow the new security policy and delete those accounts that have not been used, including for a login attempt, for at least two years. This will also delete all account content, including content in Google Workspace (Gmail, Docs, Drive, Meet, Calendar) and Google Photos. 

The company explained that forgotten accounts often use old or weak passwords that may have been compromised or lack two-factor authentication. Google's internal analysis found that abandoned accounts are at least 10 times less likely than active accounts to use two-step verification. As a result, when compromised, they can be used for a wide range of malicious actions: from stealing personal data to distributing unwanted content.

The new policy only applies to personal Google accounts and does not affect organizations such as schools or businesses.

First, the company will delete those accounts that have never been used after creation. In advance, Google will send notices to owners over a period of several months to both the account email address and a backup email address, if one has been provided.

To keep your account active, the company advises logging into it at least once every two years. An account will be considered active if the user:

  • reads or sends emails;

  • uses Google Drive;

  • watches videos on YouTube;

  • downloads applications from Google Play Store;

  • uses Google search;

  • uses the “Sign in with Google” feature to visit a third-party application or service.

An account is also considered active if there is a subscription configured through it, for example, to Google One, a news publication, or an application.

The company first announced an update to its inactive account policy in May 2023.

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