Google Account
image: Unsplash/Justin Morgan

Google plans to commence the deletion of inactive Google Accounts starting in December. Initially announced in May, the company updated it’s policy regarding inactive accounts, outlining the intention to eliminate them by the end of this year. Accounts remaining unused within a specified timeframe will be marked inactive and permanently removed from Google’s servers. Moreover, the company clarified that any deleted accounts will be irrecoverable through any means.

All associated data, including emails, documents, contacts, files, pictures, and videos, will be permanently erased from these inactive accounts. To warn users, Google will send out advance notification emails indicating the account’s inactive status and it’s impending deletion in December. This warning aims to prompt users to access their accounts; failure to do so will result in removing all data along with the account itself.

In it’s May announcement, the company specified that accounts inactive for two years would be marked inactive. This policy applies strictly to reports showing no activity during these two years. The company’s Inactive Account Policy states that the account is kept active if it performs the following actions: conducting Google searches while signed in, sending and reading emails, storing and accessing files on Google Drive, watching signed-in YouTube videos, sharing content via Google Photos, and downloading apps from the Play Store. The Android maker cautioned that “all of it’s content and data may be deleted once an account is inactive”.

There are more than two billion Gmail accounts users mainly because of the Android operating system and Gmail. All the Google accounts contain a lot of user information and all this information will be deleted. These users’ information includes a contact list, photos, and video backed up on Google Drive, the user’s location and search history, emails, files, and documents stored on Google Drive, chat messages, call logs, Android backup, WhatsApp backup, Google Play data, Google Play content, YouTube history, YouTube Music playlist and data, and Google Play purchase history.

Exceptions have been made for specific accounts, allowing them to remain despite their two-year dormancy. Accounts associated with active subscriptions or purchases of apps, products, services, or digital items such as movies or e-books will be exempted from deletion.

The company emphasises that it will notify inactive account holders well in advance, allowing them to reclaim their accounts before the deletion process commences. Users will receive notifications via inactive accounts and the associated recovery email addresses. Upon receiving an email indicating an account’s inactive status, users should promptly log in or sign in via YouTube using the inactive account to avoid deletion.

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