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Google will delete accounts that haven't been active for 2 years – here's what you need to do
Got an old Gmail account that you haven't used for a while? You may want to log in
Google has announced that it will begin deleting dormant Gmail and Photos accounts if they’ve been unused for two years.
The search giant said it will send multiple warnings before accounts are deleted starting in December this year. Google hopes that removing these inactive accounts will reduce the amount of scammers as accounts that haven’t been used for an extended period of time are more likely to be compromised.
Old accounts often rely on re-used passwords and don’t have two-factor authentication set up, with Google’s own research showing that abandoned accounts are “at least 10x less likely than active accounts to have 2-step verification set up”.
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Google account deletion
👋 Google has said it will begin deleting inactive accounts in December 2023
📆 Accounts that have been inactive for two years will be affected
✋ Google says it will stop scammers and bad actors as old accounts aren’t as secure
👉 There are several steps you can take to tell Google your account is active
If a Google Account hasn’t been used for two years across the company’s products, Google may move to delete the account and its content within Google Workspace, YouTube and Google Photo.
The inactive account policy update only affects personal accounts, and won’t impact organizations like schools or businesses. Google has stressed it will provide plenty of notice and the earliest it will begin deleting accounts is December 2023.
Users will receive multiple notifications over the months leading up to deletion to both the account and recovery email (if you’ve set one up), but here’s how to keep your account active and avoid it being deleted forever.
Sign into your Google Account and do either of the following:
Read or send an email
Use Google Drive
Watch a YouTube video
Download an app from the Google Play Store
Use Google Search
Sign in with Google to a third-party app or service
For Google Photos, you will need to specifically sign in to the service to ensure your account remains untouched.
Google’s decision to delete inactive accounts follows Twitter’s announcement that it’s set to purge dormant handles. Accounts that haven’t tweeted for several years may be deleted, freeing up usernames for others to use.
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