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Google will start deleting millions of abandoned Gmail accounts next month

Make sure your old account isn't deleted before the deletion process starts.

Published onNovember 8, 2023

Google Logo as seen at Google Store Mountain View
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority
  • Google has announced it will start deleting accounts that have been inactive for two years or longer in December.
  • The company is taking a phased approach, starting with accounts that were created and never used again.
  • If your account is in danger, you will have already received a notification on the account and its recovery email address.

The great Google account purge is almost here. If you want to keep your unused account and the content connected to it, you might want to take a second to log in.

Back in May, Google announced it would start deleting Google accounts that have remained inactive for two years or longer. Before this policy update, the company would only delete the content stored in the account, not the account itself. The change is reportedly meant to shore up security since unused accounts are more susceptible to being compromised. Google said that deletion would start in December 2023, which is only a month away from now.

If you have an inactive account you want to save, you still have some time to do so. The tech giant is beginning the process in phases, starting with accounts that were created, but never used again. It’s important to note that Google says it has no intentions of deleting accounts with YouTube videos at this time.

To keep your account, all you have to do is make it active. You can do this by signing in and using any of Google’s services. For example, these actions would change your account to active:

  • Reading an email
  • Using Google Drive
  • Watching YouTube
  • Using Google Search
  • Using Google sign-in to log into a third-party service

Keep in mind that this policy only applies to personal accounts. Accounts from organizations like schools and businesses are unaffected by this policy.

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