Google is set to initiate the deletion of dormant Gmail accounts starting December 1, 2023. This decision encompasses accounts that have exhibited inactivity over the past two years, leading to the removal of all associated content, including emails, Drive files, photos, and contacts.
The primary motivation driving this measure is the increased susceptibility of older accounts to cyber threats.
Google’s internal data reveals that inactive accounts are ten times less likely to have two-factor authentication enabled compared to their active counterparts, making them more prone to hacking attempts.
Furthermore, there is a potential risk to external services connected to inactive Gmail accounts. To address these security concerns and ensure the protection of user data, Google has chosen to eliminate accounts that have remained inactive for a duration of two years.
However, the deletion process will not occur abruptly. Google will adopt a gradual approach, commencing the removal process in small batches in December 2023. This phased strategy provides users with the opportunity to reactivate their accounts should they wish to retain access.
Once an account undergoes deletion, all associated data, including emails, Drive files, documents, meetings, and other files, will be permanently erased. This process is irreversible, and users will be unable to recover their data.
For users looking to safeguard their Google accounts from deletion, a simple sign-in to their Gmail accounts at least once every two years is sufficient. This minimal activity ensures that their accounts remain active and are exempt from removal.
In addition to regular sign-ins, users can undertake various activities to maintain account activity and prevent deletion.
These activities encompass using Google Drive, watching YouTube videos, downloading apps from the Google Play Store, conducting Google searches, and utilizing Sign-in with Google for third-party apps or services.
It is crucial to highlight that, as of now, Google has no intentions to delete inactive accounts with associated YouTube videos.
If an old, unused account is linked to YouTube and contains a public video, Google will refrain from deleting that account despite its inactivity. However, it’s essential to stay informed, as this policy may undergo updates in the future.
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