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What to know about Google's plans to delete 'inactive' accounts

Google says it will be deleting unused accounts to minimize security risks. As long as you've logged in recently, your account should be safe.
What to know about Google's plans to delete 'inactive' accounts
Posted at 3:42 PM, Nov 27, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-27 17:42:33-05

Starting on Friday, Dec. 1, Google says it will start deleting accounts that haven't been accessed in two years or more.

If you have an account that's been dormant for a while, don't worry — there are ways to make sure its data doesn't go anywhere.

Starting on Friday, Dec. 1, Google says it will start the gradual process of removing old personal Google accounts, starting with those that were created and then never used again. Accounts for businesses or organizations won't be affected.

Google said when it announced the plan in May that the deletions are to help improve security.

"If an account hasn’t been used for an extended period of time, it is more likely to be compromised," Google wrote. "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."

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Google says before it deletes accounts, it will send users multiple warnings to the account's email inbox and to any recovery email accounts associated with it.

There are plenty of ways to keep your account active in Google's eyes, and thus safe from deletion.

Merely logging in counts as activity, as does reading email, searching on Google or watching YouTube while logged in.

Google also offers services like Takeout, to export any data you want to save from a Google account, and Inactive Account Manager, which lets you dictate what to do with your account data if it becomes inactive.

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