If you do nothing, inactive Gmail accounts will be erased permanently.
Following Twitter’s decision to remove dormant accounts, Google has announced that it will do the same for old Gmail accounts. Fortunately, it is now quite evident which accounts will be categorised as inactive and when account removals will commence.
Google noted in its blog that the dormant accounts removal reason is to keep users safer from hijacking and fraud. According to Google’s study, compared to active ones abandoned accounts are less likely to have 2-step verification enabled. The change also means that Google Workspace Company will no longer store personal information indefinitely.
Given that Google accounts can be used for more than just checking emails and remembering all of your YouTube subscribers – you can use them as a password manager and to log into a wide range of third-party services – you’re bound to have an old account or two that you don’t want to lose.
The good news is that Google will not implement its new regulations immediately. According to the release, the earliest it will begin deleting accounts is December 2023. So users have until then to check in to preserve the account from Google’s purge.
Furthermore, Google says it will send several reminders in the months preceding an account’s deletion. The reminder will be sent to both the email address and a recovery email address if one has been supplied. It’s unlikely that Google will suddenly turn a switch.
Preventing Google from deleting Gmail accounts?
For Google to consider an account active, you must log in at least once every two years. Moreover, Google will consider an account active if you read or send emails, use Google Drive, or view a YouTube video while signed in.
Furthermore, Google will consider your account active if you have an active subscription set up through your Gmail account. This includes Google One or third-party news app, such as one of the top streaming services.
Finally, if the account is set up for an organisation, it will not be affected by the change. This is because Google will not automatically delete these types of accounts.
If you have several Google accounts, make your most used address the recovery email for accounts you don’t use very often. If you fail to keep an account active, you should see Google’s warning messages reminding you to utilise it before it disappears permanently.