Act quickly if you want to keep your old Google accounts. Starting this week, on December 1, Google will begin removing inactive Google accounts and all their contents. This includes things like Gmail, Photos, Calendar appointments, Contacts records, YouTube videos, and Drive documents.
An inactive Google account could be a Gmail account you created for a newsletter, an online forum, or a shopping site where you prefer not to use your primary email to avoid spam or stay anonymous.
If you want to preserve your old Google accounts, follow these steps to prevent Google from deleting them starting in December. Additionally, you can learn how to log in to Google with a passkey and discover 10 useful Gmail tips and tools.
Why is Google Deleting Inactive Accounts?
According to Google, if an account hasn’t been used in a while, it’s more likely to be at risk of being compromised. This is because inactive accounts often have old or reused passwords, lack two-factor authentication, and receive fewer security checks from the user.
To decrease this risk, Google has announced that starting in December, if an account hasn’t been used or signed into for at least two years, it might delete the account and its contents. So, if you haven’t logged into an account since 2021, Google might remove it.
If you’re concerned about someone taking your old deleted account, Google assures that if it deletes an inactive account, the Gmail address associated with the deleted account cannot be used again when creating a new Google account.
How to Keep Your Google Accounts
Keeping your older Google accounts is easy. You just need to log in at least once every two years, so if you’re unsure whether you’ve done that, it’s a good idea to check now.
Any activity like reading or sending an email, using Google Drive, watching a YouTube video, downloading an app from the Google Play Store, using Google search, or signing in to a third-party app or service through Google all count as actions that will keep your account active. If you have a subscription set up through your Google account, such as Google One, a news publication, or an app, that’s also considered activity.
It’s important to note that this account removal policy applies only to personal Google accounts, not to business or school accounts.
When Will Google Start Deleting Accounts?
This week, beginning December 1, Google will initiate the deletion of accounts. Google has mentioned that it will send reminder emails to both the primary and recovery emails at least eight months before the planned deletion, giving you advance notice about the possible removal.
What if You Forget Your Google Account Username or Password?
If you’re aware of having an old Google account but can’t recall its details, there’s a chance you can retrieve it, depending on the specific information you’ve forgotten. I successfully recovered two old accounts using this method.
For instance, if you’ve forgotten your password, you might be able to regain access through the Google password recovery tool. This involves answering questions to confirm ownership of the account.
If it’s your email address that slipped your memory, you could try using the Google account recovery tool. To do this, you’ll need either a phone number or the recovery email address associated with the account. If you encounter any difficulties, Google provides guidance on what steps to take.
If you want to keep your old Google accounts safe, act fast. Google will start deleting inactive accounts and their contents on December 1. To avoid deletion, make sure you log in or use Google services at least once every two years. This applies only to personal accounts, not business or school ones. If you forget your account details, use Google’s recovery tools promptly.