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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Google to Purge ‘Inactive’ Accounts in December – What You Should Know


NEW YORK — Have a Google account you haven’t used ‌in a while? If you want to keep it from ​disappearing, you should ‌sign in before the end⁤ of the ​week.

Under Google’s ⁤updated inactive-account policy,⁤ which ⁢the tech giant announced back in May, accounts that haven’t been⁤ used in at least two ​years could be deleted. Accounts ⁤deemed inactive will be erased in a phased-approach beginning Friday.

If you have an account that’s at risk for ‌deletion, you ⁤should receive‍ multiple notices from Google sent to the email affiliated with that account and its recovery‌ address⁣ (if one exits). But if you’re still catching up on this new ​policy — and want to ensure that your content ⁢on Google Drive, Docs, ⁤Gmail and⁢ more ⁢is saved — here’s what you need to‍ know.

In May’s announcement, Google attributed its inactive-account update to security issues.

Accounts that haven’t been used for a long time ‍are more likely‍ to‌ be compromised, the company said, noting that “forgotten or unattended accounts” typically have old passwords, ⁣often lack‍ two-factor authentication and receive ‌fewer security ‍checks. As a‍ result, these accounts could be hijacked⁣ and used for spam or other malicious content, as ⁢well as identity theft.

The easiest way to keep ⁢your Google account active (and thus prevent ‍it from being deleted) is to sign in at least​ once⁤ every two years.

Other actions that fulfill account⁣ activity requirements include sending‍ or scrolling through emails, using Google search and watching YouTube videos⁢ (YouTube ⁤is owned‌ by Google) all ⁣while signed into your Google account. Existing subscriptions set up through your ​Google account, including profiles for third-party apps and publications, can also account for activity.

Preserving‌ content on Google Photos requires a specific sign-in. As previously announced by Google, Photos ‍content may be ⁣similarly deleted after two years of inactivity — meaning you should open the application every so often⁤ to​ keep ‍images from going‌ into the trash.

Only personal Google accounts that haven’t been used for two years or more will be impacted under this inactive-account ⁤update.​ Accounts made for‍ organizations, like schools or companies, will not be ⁤affected, Google ‍says.

Per Google’s online policy,‍ other exceptions ⁤include Google accounts that manage active minor ​accounts, accounts‍ containing a gift card balance as well as those that have been used to purchase Google products, apps or subscriptions that are ongoing.

There are also no plans to delete accounts ⁢with ⁣YouTube⁣ videos at this ‍time, a⁢ Google spokesperson confirmed to the Associated Press Monday.

Beyond keeping⁢ your ‍Google account active,​ there’s‍ a few tools to help manage and‌ backup your data.

Google Takeout, for example, allows users to download and ​export account data outside of Google ‌at any time. And its Inactive Account Manager⁤ lets you choose what would happen to your ⁤account‍ and data if it becomes inactive — including options to send select files to trusted‌ contacts or delete the ⁤account entirely. Google’s online⁢ policy ⁢also says the company can ​work with ‍immediate family to close the account of a deceased loved one and/or provide some ​account content — without sharing login credentials —‌ on ‍a case-by-case basis.

Google asks ⁣users to provide and update a ‍recovery email for⁤ their⁣ account⁣ —‍ which is also helpful for sending‌ inactive account notices and other communications.

Truth Media Network
Truth Media Network
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  1. Disagree with this decision by Google! Many have inactive accounts for several reasons, not just because they’ve lost interest. It’s crucial to consider this before mass purging!


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