If you possess a Google account that has remained inactive or unsigned for at least two years, it is advisable to log in promptly. Google has declared that commencing December 1, 2023, it will initiate the deletion of inactive accounts as part of a new policy aimed at safeguarding users from security threats, including spam, phishing, and account hijacking.
According to Google, an inactive account is one that has not been utilized across its product spectrum—such as Gmail, YouTube, Google Drive, Google Photos, and Google Search—for a minimum of two years. Activities encompass reading or sending an email, watching a video, sharing a photo, downloading an app, using Google Search, or signing in with Google to a third-party app or service.
Prior to deletion, Google will dispatch multiple warning notifications to the affected accounts and their recovery emails, if available. Users will have an eight-month window to take action and prevent the deletion of their accounts. This action can include signing in, downloading their data, or opting to delete their accounts themselves.
Certain exceptions exist within this policy. Google will refrain from deleting accounts that have made recent purchases of Google products, apps, services, or subscriptions, or possess a gift card with a monetary balance.
Furthermore, Google will not delete accounts that actively subscribe to or engage in financial transactions for a published app or game, or those that oversee a minor account through Family Link. Additionally, accounts that have acquired digital items, such as books or movies, will also be exempt from deletion.
Google’s policy to delete inactive accounts aims to enhance security and privacy for users and free up storage space. With 15 GB of free storage per account, shared across Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Photos, users can manage space by deleting unnecessary files or choosing a paid plan like Google One for additional storage.
It’s noteworthy that Google is not the sole company implementing such measures. Other platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, also adopt policies to remove inactive accounts. This practice aids in maintaining their user base, reducing spam, and ensuring compliance with data protection laws.