Warning, Google will delete inactive accounts (and photos too)

Warning, Google will delete inactive accounts (and photos too). If you haven’t used your Google account for some time, it could soon be permanently deleted. Google has changed its policy on inactive accounts, with a new time limit after which these accounts will be permanently deleted.

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In an effort to bring even more safety and security to its digital offerings, Google has announced that its previous policy regarding inactive accounts has been slightly changed. In the release, Google says older, inactive accounts are more prone to being compromised for a variety of different reasons, including password reuse and not having two-factor authentication enabled.

The company says that if a Google Account hasn’t been used or if the user hasn’t logged in for at least 2 years, the account, along with all its data, could be deleted. That data extends beyond just Gmail to include Calendar, Meet, Docs, Drive, YouTube, and Google Photos.

However, the company says this new policy only affects personal accounts. Accounts associated with schools or businesses will not be affected.

Google also says there will be some notice, with the company sending multiple notification emails to the account before it is deleted. Furthermore, the first inactive accounts will only start to be canceled from December of this year.

The entire process will also follow a step-by-step approach. Google will start with accounts that have been set up and then never used.

To reactivate or keep your Google Account active:

  • Use Google Drive
  • Download an app with that account via the Google Play Store
  • Use Google Search with that account
  • Use Google’s “Sign in with Google” feature to sign in to a third-party app or service
  • Watch a video on YouTube with that account
  • Read or send an email through Gmail

If you have a subscription set up with that account (e.g. to Google One), the company will assume that account is active and will remain so.

Unfortunately, the announcement doesn’t confirm whether or not setting up an alias via Gmail, which you can also do with Apple’s Mail app, forwarding emails to another account is reason enough to identify an account as active.

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