Google to Begin Deleting ‘Inactive’ Accounts in December – Here’s What You Need to Know

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If you possess a Google account that has been dormant for a while, it’s time to take action. Google is set to implement its updated inactive account policy, which was initially disclosed in May, starting this December. According to the new policy, accounts that have not been utilized for at least two years could face deletion, with the process commencing this week.

Google has emphasized the importance of this move for security reasons. Inactive accounts are more susceptible to compromise, as they often have outdated passwords, lack two-factor authentication, and undergo fewer security checks. Forgotten or neglected accounts pose a risk of being hijacked for spam, malicious content, or identity theft.

To safeguard your account from deletion, it’s crucial to sign in at least once every two years. This action, along with engaging in various account activities such as sending emails, using Google search, and watching YouTube videos while signed in, will fulfill the account activity requirements. Subscriptions, including those set up for third-party apps and publications, also contribute to maintaining account activity.

For Google Photos users, it’s important to note that content may be at risk of deletion after two years of inactivity. Regularly accessing the application is advised to prevent images from being discarded.

Notably, the inactive account update applies only to personal Google accounts that have been unused for two years or more. Accounts associated with organizations, such as schools or companies, will not be affected. Exceptions also include accounts managing active minor accounts, those with gift card balances, and those used for ongoing Google product, app, or subscription purchases.

While Google has not indicated plans to delete accounts with YouTube videos, it’s advisable to stay informed about any potential updates. Additionally, users can utilize tools like Google Takeout to download and export account data outside of Google at any time. The Inactive Account Manager feature allows users to decide the fate of their account and data in case of inactivity, including options to send specific files to trusted contacts or delete the account entirely.

Google encourages users to provide and update a recovery email for their accounts, aiding in the delivery of inactive account notices and other communications. By staying proactive and informed, users can ensure the preservation of their valuable data and prevent the deletion of their Google accounts.

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