Google will begin deleting “inactive” accounts in December. Here's what you need to know:

  • Post by: Admin
  • Nov 28 2023

You have a Google Account that you haven't used in a while

If you have an account that is at risk of being deleted, you should receive multiple notifications from Google to the email address associated with that account and to the recovery address (if one is deleted). However, if you're still familiar with this new policy and want to ensure your content is saved to Google Drive, Docs, Gmail, and more, here's what you need to know.


In the May announcement, Google attributed the inactive account update to security issues.

Accounts that have not been used for a long time are more likely to be at risk, the company said, noting that "forgotten or unattended accounts" typically have old passwords, often lack two-factor authentication and receive fewer security reviews. As a result, these accounts could be hijacked and used for spam or other malicious content, as well as identity theft.

How can I prevent my account from being deleted?

The easiest way to keep your Google account active (and prevent it from being deleted) is to log in at least every two years.

Other actions that meet account activity requirements include sending or scrolling email, using Google Search, and watching YouTube videos (YouTube is owned by Google) while logged into your Google account are. Existing subscriptions set up through your Google Account, including profiles for third-party apps and publications, may also take activity into account.

A special login is required to store content on Google Photos. As already announced by Google, Photos content can also be deleted after two years of inactivity. This means that you should open the application from time to time to prevent images from going to the trash.

Are there any exceptions to this policy?

This inactive account update only affects personal Google accounts that haven't been used for two years or more. Accounts created for organizations such as schools or businesses are not affected, according to Google.

Other exceptions, according to Google's online policy, include Google Accounts that manage active secondary accounts, accounts with a gift card balance, and accounts that have been used to purchase Google products, apps, or ongoing subscriptions.

There are also no current plans to delete accounts with YouTube videos, a Google spokesman confirmed to The Associated Press on Monday.


Aside from keeping your Google account active, there are some tools to help you manage and secure your data.

For example, Google Takeout allows users to download and export account data outside of Google at any time. And with Inactive Account Manager, you can choose what happens to your account and data when it becomes inactive - including options to send select files to trusted contacts or delete the account entirely. Google's online guidelines also state that the company may, on a case-by-case basis, work with immediate family members to close a deceased loved one's account and/or provide some account content - without sharing login information.

Google requires users to provide and update a recovery email for their account - which is also helpful in sending inactive account notifications and other communications.