Want to keep a Google account you haven’t used in a while? Log in soon before it’s deleted. Google will delete inactive accounts after two years on Friday, December 1, 2023. It’s likely to free up server space and protect privacy, according to the company.
Google warned in May 2023 that “if an account hasn’t been used for an extended period of time, it is more likely to be compromised.” “This is because forgotten or unattended accounts often rely on old or re-used passwords that may have been compromised, haven’t had two-factor authentication set up, and receive fewer security checks by the user.” It said abandoned accounts are “at least 10 times less likely than active accounts to have a 2-step verification setup.”
Google will send emails to the inactive account and another email, if set up, before deletion. Google said the policy only applies to personal accounts, not business or education. YouTube accounts with active subscriptions, gift cards, or uploaded videos will not be deleted. It was said in May that never-used accounts would be deleted first.
Sign into the inactive account and use some services (email, Google Drive, YouTube, etc.) to stop deletion. You’ll need to access Google Photos content separately due to its policy. “If you’ve been inactive in Google Photos for two years or more, all of your content may be deleted,” she says.
Microsoft has deleted Outlook (or Hotmail) accounts that have been inactive for two years since 2019. Always use Google’s Takeout feature to backup your accounts, and have a backup email for important accounts.