Google to begin deleting inactive Gmail accounts this week

Maintaining your previous Google accounts is simple — all you have to do is log in once every two years

By Web Desk
November 28, 2023
This picture shows the Gmail window displayed on a laptop screen. — Unsplash/File

Google, earlier this year, announced it was taking a step towards improving the security of its users by deleting inactive Gmail accounts in December of this year.

The company’s cleanup comes after it observed that forgotten or unmanaged accounts are more vulnerable to hijacking due to the lack of security checks and two-step verification.

According to Axios, the likelihood of two-step verification being enabled on abandoned accounts is at least 10 times lower than that of active accounts.

In light of this, Google has revised its account policy and stated that "once an account is compromised, it can be used for anything from identity theft to a vector for unwanted or even malicious content, like spam."

Starting from December 1, accounts that have not been used within a two-year period, along with their content and data, may be deleted.

However, this policy does not apply to accounts set up through an employer or school. Google will send notifications to both the account's email address and a recovery email if one was provided, before deleting an account.

You can still continue to use your accounts and avoid Google's attempt to purge the internet community of potential malicious users. Here's how to do that.

It is not difficult to preserve your older Google accounts because all you need to do is sign in at least once every two years, so if you cannot remember doing that already, now is the time.

Other activities like reading or sending an email, using Google Drive, watching a YouTube video, downloading an app on the Google Play Store, using Google Search or using Google to sign in to a third-party app or service will keep your account active.

Additionally, it counts as an activity if you have a subscription to Google One, a news source, or an app set up through your Google account.