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Google Sets December to Delete Inactive Accounts: How to Safeguard Yours

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By Erika John - - 5 Mins Read
A person set to sign in to a Google Gmail account
Featured Photo | Shutterstock

In a significant announcement, Google declared that it will commence deleting "inactive" accounts starting on December 1st.


As a precautionary measure, this action aims to enhance the platform's security. If you wish to retain access to a Google account that has been dormant for a while, now is the time to take action.


Google's wide range of services, including Gmail, Drive, Docs, Meet, Calendar, Photos, and YouTube, are associated with Google accounts.


However, this change puts all content stored within these inactive accounts at risk of permanent deletion.


Prevent Deletion by Sign-in


To safeguard your account from deletion, signing in to your Google account before the impending deadline is crucial.


Moreover, Google has clarified that if you have recently accessed your Google account or any other services it offers, your account will be considered active and, hence, safe from deletion.


Following the deletion process, Google will send multiple notifications to the associated account email address and the recovery email (if provided).


The phased approach will initially target created but never utilized accounts, so if you get no email from Google regarding this, it means your account is active.


Exceptions for Work or School Accounts


Accounts associated with work, school, or other organizations will not be subject to automatic deletion. Meanwhile, this policy exclusively applies to personal accounts.


To retain content from specific products within your Google account, such as photos in Google Drive, it is advisable to sign in to that particular service.

A smartphone showing Google search results
Photo | Unsplash

Google reserves the right to delete data from inactive products after two years, adhering to each product's inactivity policies.


YouTube Videos Remain Safe

The current policy does not include plans to delete accounts hosting YouTube videos. Therefore, videos on retired YouTube channels are safe for now.


If you do not require an inactive account but still wish to save your content, Google provides an option for data backup.


You can easily download and export your data, including folders, documents, media, and more via the Google Takeout page. It is recommended to decide the fate of your account and data in case of inactivity that lasts up to 18 months to avoid any unforeseen consequences.


Google's motivation for deleting inactive accounts is primarily to heighten security measures. Thus, abandoned accounts are more susceptible to malicious threats like spam, phishing scams, and account hijacking.


Prioritizing the security of its users, Google has instituted a policy to eliminate inactive accounts. By taking prompt action and signing in to your Google account before the specified deadline, you can prevent the risk of permanent deletion.


Make sure to secure your account by enabling two-factor authentication and regularly managing your data.


It's advisable to sign in to your inactive accounts so you don't lose your data, as Google will eliminate inactive accounts to keep the platform safe and secure.