If you have a Google account that has been inactive, make sure to sign in before the week ends to prevent it from being deleted.
According to Google’s revised policy for inactive accounts, which was revealed in May, accounts that have not been utilized for a minimum of two years may be removed. The deletion process for inactive accounts will be implemented gradually starting this Friday.
If your account is in danger of being deleted, you will receive several notifications from Google to the email linked to that account and its recovery address (if available). However, if you are not yet aware of this new policy and want to make sure that your content on Google Drive, Docs, Gmail, and other platforms is preserved, here is what you should be aware of.
Google stated in their May announcement that the update to inactive accounts was due to security concerns.
According to the company, accounts that have not been utilized for an extended period of time are at a higher risk of being hacked. They emphasized that accounts that are forgotten or left unattended usually have outdated passwords, are not equipped with two-factor authentication, and do not receive frequent security checks. As a consequence, these accounts may be taken over and utilized for spamming or distributing harmful content, as well as for identity theft purposes.
The most effortless method to maintain the activity of your Google account (and avoid deletion) is to log in at least once every two years.
Other actions that fulfill account activity requirements include sending or scrolling through emails, using Google search and watching YouTube videos (YouTube is owned by Google) all while signed into your Google account. Existing subscriptions set up through your Google account, including profiles for third-party apps and publications, can also account for activity.
Google Photos requires a specific sign-in in order to save your content. As Google has previously stated, any Photos content may be deleted after two years of inactivity. This means that it is important to regularly open the application to prevent your images from being deleted.
According to Google, the recent update regarding inactive accounts will only affect personal Google accounts that have not been used for at least two years. Accounts created for organizations such as schools or companies will not be impacted.
According to Google’s internet guidelines, there are some cases in which exceptions may apply. These include Google accounts that oversee the activities of underage users, accounts with remaining gift card funds, and accounts that have been used to buy ongoing Google products, applications, or subscriptions.
A representative from Google has confirmed to The Associated Press on Monday that there are currently no intentions to delete accounts containing YouTube videos.
Aside from maintaining an active Google account, there are several tools available to assist you in managing and backing up your data.
One option offered by Google is Takeout, which permits users to retrieve and transfer their account information from Google at any given point. Another feature, the Inactive Account Manager, allows you to decide the fate of your account and data if it becomes inactive. This includes the ability to send certain files to trusted contacts or delete the account entirely. Additionally, Google has policies in place for handling the accounts of deceased individuals, such as working with immediate family to close the account and possibly providing some account content upon request. However, this will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and login credentials will not be shared.
Google requests that users supply and maintain a recovery email for their account, which can also be beneficial for receiving notifications about inactive accounts and other correspondence.