If you’ve got old photos, files or emails that you can’t afford to lose on an old Google account, you need to take action before Google deletes them.
Google has announced an update to its inactive accounts policy that sounds ruthless. “If a Google Account has not been used or signed into for at least 2 years, we may delete the account and its contents.” this includes not just Gmail, but any Google docs and photos stored in Google Drive. No one wants to lose their precious holiday photos.
Why is Google doing this? The answer is for the sake of security. Google believes that older inactive accounts represent a risk, they often use compromised passwords known to hackers and are less likely to have two-factor authentication (2FA) enabled. It may be annoying to have to get a text to sign in to Google, but it really does boost your account’s security.
Google has clarified some exceptions to this new policy. It will not apply to business or school accounts nor any with “an existing subscription set up through your Google Account, for example to Google One, a news publication or an app”. Users will be provided with ample warning time as well. The earliest Google will start deleting accounts is December 2023.
If you regularly use your Google account, you need not worry, but if you are a less-than-regular user Google has advised that you simply need to sign in once every two years. From there simply do a Google search (for T3.com perhaps), read or send an email or watch a YouTube video and your account will now be considered ‘active’.
For those stressing about old login details, Google suggests making sure that you keep the recovery account setting on your account up to date and easily accessible in case you do ever forget the password.