Google announced today that it might delete your Google Account by the end of this year. Because I might have freaked you out just now, let me try and cool things down – your account is actually fine, assuming you use it or have within the past few years.
A Google account left dormant is 10x less likely than an active account to contain extra security measures, like 2-step-verification, Google explained in a blog post today. They shared this information because they don’t want an old Gmail account of yours to be compromised and then used for identity theft or other malicious purposes.
Soooooo, they might delete it. But here’s the thing – it would have to have sat inactive for 2 years across a number of services. If you had not used your Google Account to access Gmail, Google Drive, Calendar, YouTube, or Google Photos, then yeah, it might be on the chopping block in December of this year (2023).
To start, Google will focus on “accounts that were created and never used again,” before looking at others. Before they delete one of yours, they will “send multiple notifications over the months leading up to deletion,” so as to give you a chance to keep the account active. Like, they aren’t going to just tell you tomorrow that they deleted your account yesterday. Make sense?
If you have old Google Accounts that you are worried about, you can keep them active in a number of ways that require little work. All you have to do is sign-in and then do any of the following every 2 years:
- Reading or sending an email
- Using Google Drive
- Watching a YouTube video
- Downloading an app on the Google Play Store
- Using Google Search
- Using Sign in with Google to sign in to a third-party app or service
On a related note, Google is treating Google Photos a bit differently. In order to keep your Google Photos library alive, you need to specifically sign-in to it every 2 years. Above, we were simply referring to something like your Gmail account, but to not lose your Photos account, you need to access it as well.
If you have questions, this Help Center article should cover most of it.
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