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Use your Gmail account or lose it!

Google has announced that accounts that have been inactive for two or more years will be deleted to help avoid security risks.  This will help remove old or repeated passwords and login information that does not have two-step authentication enabled.

The deleted accounts will not only be Gmail but also Google Drive and Google Docs, Meet, Google Photos, Google Calendar and possibly from YouTube.  Google updated the blog post later, stating that “we do not have plans to delete accounts with YouTube videos at this time.”

This will begin as soon as December, and Google reports that they will start with the accounts “that were created and never used again” and that “several notices to inactive accounts” have already been sent.

It has also been reported that “deleted Gmail addresses will not be made available for reuse.”

The new updated policy applies to personal Google accounts, not business or school-associated ones.

What do you do if you want to keep your Google account active?

If you want to keep your account active, all you have to do is log in.  According to Ruth Kricheli, vice president of product management, “if you have signed into your Google Account or any of our services recently, your account is considered active and will not be deleted.”  One of the simplest ways to keep your account live is to at least sign in at least once every two years.

Remember, if you have signed into your Google Account or used their services, your account is considered active and will not be deleted.  Things like reading or sending an email, using Google Drive, watching a YouTube video under that account, using Google One, downloading at the Google Play Store, Google Search, or even signing in with Google to a third-party app or service.

If you do not remember your password, you can go here for your Google account and here for Gmail and start the account recovery process.

What if you no longer want your account but want to keep your data?

Google says that before your account is deleted, use Google Takeout to download the data for safekeeping.  You can also use the Inactive Account Manager so the account can stay accessible.

Google released an email in August saying, “There are some exceptions to this policy. Examples include: a Google Account with YouTube channels, videos or comments; an account that has a gift card with a monetary balance; or an account that has a published application, for example, one that hosts an app on the Google Play store. Other exceptions to this policy are available here.”

Learn more

Inactive Google Account Policy
How Google retains data we collect
Updating our inactive account policies (only available in English)

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