In an ever-changing digital world, ensuring the safety and privacy of your personal information is paramount. Google is a major player in the tech world. They work hard to prevent unauthorized access to your Google Account by building strong security measures. But how long is too long for your personal data to be stored?
Let’s delve into Inactive Google Account Policy that’s going into effect December 1, 2023.
Deletion of dormant Google Accounts
Google has announced a significant shift in its inactivity policy for Google Accounts. They have redefined the dormant period to two years across all products and services. This policy is for users that don’t use or access Google Accounts in a specific timeframe. What does this mean for accounts that have been gathering digital dust? Starting from December 1, 2023, these accounts and any accompanying content will be eligible for deletion.
What Does This Mean for You?
If your Google Account hasn’t seen action for two years or hasn’t been used to sign in to any Google service during this time-span, these changes will impact you. However, the earliest account deletion enforcement won’t occur until December 2023.
Google will send you multiple reminder emails before taking any action. They will send these reminders to both your primary email and recovery email (if provided). These reminders will start rolling out at least 8 months prior to any account changes.
Once Google deletes an account, its corresponding Gmail address retires permanently as well. The address won’t be available for creating a new Google Account.
How to Keep Your Google Account Active
The easiest way to keep your Google Account from falling into inactivity is by signing in at least once every two years. If you’ve logged into your account within the past two years, consider it safe from deletion.
Other methods of maintaining account activity include:
- Send or read an email
- Use Google Drive
- Watch a YouTube video
- Share a photo
- Download an app
- Conduct a search on Google
- Use “Sign in with Google” for third-party apps or services
Certain exceptions exist to this policy. Some Google Accounts are exempt from this policy. These include accounts that have active YouTube channels, videos, or comments. Also, accounts that have gift cards with money on them and those that host apps on the Google Play store are also exempt. You can find the complete list of exceptions here.
Tools for Managing Your Data
Google provides several tools that enable you to manage your account and back up your data. Google Takeout allows you to download your data. The Inactive Account Manager helps you plan what happens to your data if you become inactive for an extended period.
Google aims to make it effortless for you to keep your account active and will provide ample notice before this change impacts an account. So make sure your recovery email is up to date!