Google will start deleting ‘inactive’ accounts in…


  • Google users need to sign in to all Google accounts to avoid mass data purge
  • Google account holders can use Google Takeout to download their files
  • Read more: Google announced it will delete inactive Gmail accounts in May

Millions of Gmail users will lose access to their inactive accounts in what Google says is an attempt to deter fraudsters from accessing user data.

Gmail accounts that haven’t been used in the past two years will disappear starting Friday, along with all content in the associated Google Drive, Docs, Calendar, Meet, and Google Photos apps.

The company said it will send users multiple notifications that their Gmail account is scheduled to be deleted, giving them time to log in and interact with their content to avoid losing it forever.

However, Gmail login alone is not enough if you want to protect your saved photos and other documents. To do this, users will need to access their Google Photos accounts to avoid losing their memories.

Google Announce It shifted the policy in May, claiming it was working on ways to protect users’ information from potential scammers.

Google will start deleting “inactive” accounts in December. Under Google’s updated inactive accounts policy, which the tech giant announced in May, accounts that haven’t been used in at least two years can be deleted. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Google’s policy update states: “If an account has not been used for a long period of time, it is likely to have been compromised.” This is because forgotten or unmonitored accounts often rely on old or reused passwords that may have been compromised, do not have two-factor authentication set up, and receive fewer security checks by the user.’

As a result, these accounts can be hacked and used for spam or other malicious content, as well as identity theft.

Ruth Critchley, Google’s vice president of product management, told earlier this month that the change was necessary “to protect our users from security threats, such as spam, phishing, and account hijacking.”

“These accounts are often vulnerable, and once an account is compromised, it can be used for anything from identity theft to transmitting unwanted or even malicious content, such as spam,” she added.

AP users with accounts on YouTube, which is owned by Google, won’t have to worry about the company deleting their videos for now, a Google spokesperson told AP.

YouTube requires users to use their Gmail account to sign in to the app. The connection usually means that if a user deletes their Gmail account, they will delete their YouTube account as well as all data associated with the account including all videos, comments and subscriptions.

The spokesperson added that people who have Google accounts through a school, organization or company will also not be affected.

If users want to protect themselves from losing access to old accounts, they can take steps to meet Google’s requirements including sending or clicking on emails, using the Google search tool, or watching YouTube videos from their linked accounts.

Google said in its initial press release that the purge process will begin with accounts that were created but never used, meaning old users who have been inactive recently may have more time to save their accounts or files associated with them.

In the meantime, users must download Google Takeout to export their account data if they want to save their files but not their accounts. Google Takeout provides a quick and easy way to download all your data and move it outside of Google at any time.

Likewise, users can access Google’s Inactive Account Manager to determine what happens to their account and data if it becomes inactive, including sending specific files to trusted contacts, setting up an automatic reply or deleting the account entirely.

The easiest way to keep your Google Account active — and prevent it from being deleted — is to sign in at least once every two years.

(tags for translation)dailymail