Google has announced that if an account hasn’t been used or signed in for at least two years, it will be destroyed along with all of its contents. The email address associated with the account will no longer be accessible, and all associated Gmail messages, calendar events, Drive files, Workspace files such as documents, and Google Photos backups will be deleted. Google currently has no plans to remove accounts that contain YouTube content.
Using a “phased” approach, Google claims it will start implementing the policy in December 2023 (at the earliest), starting with accounts that have been “created and never used.” “We will do this process carefully and slowly,” Google said it will send many emails to the user’s primary email address and secondary email (if provided) in the first few months before deleting the account.
In addition, this policy does not apply to corporate or educational accounts, only free Google accounts.
How can I continue to use my account?
In addition to always logging in, perform basic tasks such as։
- Read or write emails
- Use Google Drive
- Watch a video on YouTube
- Get the application from the Google Play Store
- Search on Google
- To sign in to third-party applications or services, use Sign In with Google.
Google added that using an Android device that is signed in is also considered an activity. In addition, Google Photos already has a two-year active sign-in and usage limit. Accounts with Play Store subscriptions, such as Google One, or accounts with third-party apps will also be taken into account.
Google cited security as a reason for the move, noting that dormant accounts often use “old or reused passwords that may have been compromised” and are, therefore, more vulnerable to attack. Google said: ” Our internal analysis shows abandoned accounts are at least 10x less likely than active accounts to have 2-step verification set up. Meaning, these accounts are often vulnerable, and once an account is compromised, it can be used for anything from identity theft to a vector for unwanted or even malicious content, like spam.”