Google is Deleting Old Accounts – Here’s How You Can Keep Yours
Google is set to start removing “inactive” accounts starting this month, December 2023. You may want to keep all of your Google accounts, so this is a quick guide on what you need to do to save your profiles.
Why is Google doing this?
Google’s stated reason for tightening its “inactivity policy” is security. They say accounts that are unused for an extended amount of time are more likely to be compromised. They cite internal data showing that abandoned accounts are 10x less likely to have 2-step verification and thus are more vulnerable to identity theft, malicious content, etc.
When is an account at risk for removal?
According to Google, they are set to remove any Google account that “has not been used for signed into for at least 2 years”. These accounts will lose access to Gmail emails, Google Docs, Drive folders, Calendar information, etc.
Things you can do to tell Google “Yes, I want to keep my account”
All of the following items come from an official Safety & Security blog post from Google on May 16, 2023.
Read or send an email
Send an email or open an unread email in your Gmail inbox.
Use Google Drive
Open a new document, read an old document, upload a new file, etc.
Watch a YouTube Video
Go to youtube.com and watch a video under the account you want to keep.
Download a Google Play Store app
Go to the Google Play store and download an app under your account.
Use Google Search
Log into your inactive account and perform a Google search for anything.
If you have a subscription set up through a Google account, they may consider this as account activity and prevent your profile from being deleted.
If you sign in with Google to a third-party app or service, they consider this as account activity.
You can read the full blog post from Google here: https://blog.google/technology/safety-security/updating-our-inactive-account-policies/. Keeping a tab on all of your accounts and account activity is generally good advice, for any platform. Log in to profiles, check the account history, and make sure everything is in order is a good rule of thumb. Digital security comes down to good practices and not getting lazy with your logins. Use complex passwords and keep your login information updated!