Google To Remove Inactive Accounts

Google’s new policy aims to remove inactive accounts that have been dormant for two years. Starting from December 2023, personal Google accounts that have not been engaged with for an extended period will be deleted. This policy update has implications for businesses, particularly those that rely on personal Google accounts for integration with third-party tools. To keep an account active, regular engagement is required, such as reading or sending emails, using Google Drive, or signing into third-party apps through Google. It is crucial for businesses to understand the new policy and take necessary measures.

Under this updated policy, any account that remains unused or unlogged-in for two years will be considered “inactive.” Google has the authority to delete these inactive accounts and their associated content, including Gmail, Docs, Drive, Meet, Calendar, YouTube, and Google Photos. However, it’s important to note that this policy change applies only to personal Google accounts and does not affect accounts used for businesses or organizations. Although the policy is effective immediately, Google will not delete inactive accounts until December 2023, starting with accounts that were created but never used.

Google has announced that it will send multiple email notifications to both the account email address and the recovery email before deleting any inactive accounts. The motive behind this change is to enhance online security, as inactive accounts are more susceptible to compromise or hijacking. Google acknowledges that accounts with outdated or reused passwords, lacking two-factor authentication, and fewer security checks by the account owner are at higher risk. By deleting inactive accounts, Google aims to reduce the chances of account compromise and limit the amount of personal information it retains, thus ensuring better security for individuals.

To maintain an active Google account, actions such as reading or sending emails through Gmail, using Google Drive, watching YouTube videos, downloading apps from the Google Play Store, conducting Google searches while logged in, or signing into third-party apps using “Sign in with Google” are considered sufficient activity. This clarification helps users understand the criteria for keeping their accounts active.

For businesses, this policy update holds significance, especially for marketers who link third-party tools to their Google accounts. It is essential to review and document any shared Google accounts, set up two-factor authentication, note the dedicated recovery email for each account, and ensure all account settings are up-to-date. These steps enable the long-term use of accounts and minimize the need to create new ones due to a lack of shared internal information, particularly during turnover periods at businesses or agencies.

In summary, establishing standardized processes and documentation for accounts is crucial for both personal and workplace security. To mitigate the risk of dealing with inactive or compromised accounts, it is recommended to implement the aforementioned actions and ensure the continued activity and security of relevant Google accounts.