Google Will Start Deleting Non-active Free Accounts Quickly. What You Need to Know and Steps to Take


Log in to your seldom used free Google accounts occasionally to keep them active; otherwise, Google may erase them, starting December 2023.

If you have not utilized your complimentary Google account within the past two years, Google might delete it, according to updated policies announced in May 2023. Per the policies, inactive Google account deletions begin in December 2023. As soon as deleted, there’s no other way to recuperate images, e-mails, files, contact details or purchases such as apps, music, movies or books obtained with your Google account.

Nevertheless, you have several methods to keep access to Google accounts and their content. Google even lets you select people who might access your account must you no longer be able to do so. Typical concerns and associated actions associated to Google’s inactive account removal policies are covered below.

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Does the non-active account deletion policy apply to my Google account?

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Any totally free Google account you haven’t signed into within the previous two years that also does not have any associated memberships would be qualified to be deleted.

Google’s non-active account removal policy doesn’t apply to paid Google Work area accounts, such as accounts you might use for work or school. Those accounts are handled by a Google Work area administrator. If you’re concerned about long-term account access in an organizational setting, describe your company’s policies and procedures.

Google’s non-active account removal policy likewise doesn’t use to any account with an active membership. If you sign up for Google One, for instance, your account will be considered active even if you do not frequently check in. Likewise, if you maintain any paid subscription within an app through Google Play, that likewise certifies as activity.

What can I do to keep my Google account active?

The most basic way to guarantee your Google account is thought about active is to sign in (Figure A) at least as soon as every 2 years. After you check in, do a Google search, see a YouTube video, check Gmail or use Google Drive; any of those actions register as activity for your account. (If you struggle to sign in, read How to Recuperate a Google account.)

Figure A

Google account sign in. Sign into your complimentary Google account at least when every 2 years

to keep access. Image: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic Additionally, once signed in to your Google account, you may add a subscription to your account since that likewise counts as activity. For instance, a subscription to Google One Standard for around $ 20 each year ensures your count is thought about active as long as you keep the subscription. With this technique, you would no longer require to sign in to your account every two years; simply keep the subscription. Unless you expect long periods of being offline, this choice may not be essential for many people.

Do I need to check in to Google Photos?

Yes, if you use Google Photos and dream to preserve access to those photos from your totally free account, you’ll need to sign in to Photos at least once every 2 years (Figure B). You might sign in to Google Photos online or in the Google Photos app on a mobile phone.

Figure B

Google Photos sign in. Check in to Google Photos a minimum of when every 2 years to keep access. Image

: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic How can I discover my rarely utilized Google accounts? Google will send an e-mail to let an account holder know that an account is at danger of being classified as non-active. While this notice can be useful, if you haven’t checked in to the Google account in more than a year approximately, it’s not likely you’ll check out that message.

In addition, Google will send an inactive account notification to any recovery email or contact number you’ve set up. So, the best thing you can do to ensure that you get alerts for a Google account you rarely utilize is to Set up a healing contact number or e-mail address for the account (Figure C). Once total, notices would be received not just by the potentially non-active account, however likewise by an account you access frequently.

Figure C

Google recovery setup for email and phone. To ensure you receive essential account notices, include an actively utilized email address and phone number as recovery alternatives to your complimentary Google account. Image: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic

Beyond that, if you can’t remember the email address for an account, you might browse your other e-mail accounts, your documents and your web browser history. If you occur to have any other gadgets, sometimes those keep old data in app or system accounts.

Can I select what happens to my Google account if it becomes inactive?

Usage Google’s Inactive Account Manager (Figure D) to pick what will take place to your information as soon as you no longer gain access to the account; this likewise uses when you pass away or in the event you end up being incapacitated. With the Inactive Account Manager, you may select either to have the system delete your data after a period of inactivity or determine several individuals to receive access to your account.

Figure D

Google inactive account manager. Select what you want Google to do with your information if your account becomes inactive. Image: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic For every personal Google account you utilize, I recommend configuring the Inactive Account Supervisor while you are able. Google uses a procedure to acquire account access when this hasn’t been set up, however that needs more effort and documentation than when the Inactive Account Supervisor has been proactively configured by an account holder.

What if I no longer want or require a Google account?

If you no longer want or require a particular Google account, you may erase it or permit it to eventually be deleted after a period of disuse. In either case, consider using Google Takeout to export and conserve any information from the account you desire to keep.

To erase a Google account, ensure you’re checked in with a personal Google account, go to the Data & Personal privacy page and then scroll to the bottom and select Delete Your Google account. (If you use a Workspace account, this alternative won’t be readily available because only a Workspace administrator will be able to erase your account.) Follow the triggers to confirm and verify that you want to delete the account.


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