google logo in a trash can

If you have an account with Google cloud services, such as Photos, Drive, or Gmail, your content is subject to being deleted. Inactive accounts will have their data cleaned up after a certain amount of time.

Google’s storage policies are intended to clean up inactive accounts to make the experience better for everyone else. In other words, Google doesn’t want people who aren’t using its services to clog things up for people who are.

RELATED: Google Will Delete Your Photos and Documents if You Aren't Active Enough

The good news is the cutoff time for inactive accounts is pretty generous. So, there’s no reason to worry if you don’t sign in every day, or even every month.

What Counts Toward My Google Storage?

Before we dive into the timelines, you should know what actually counts toward your storage allotment. As always, Google Drive, Google Photos, and Gmail count.

Beginning June 1, 2021, however, the following will also count:

  • New photos or videos uploaded to Google Photos (including those of high quality).
  • New Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms, or Jamboard files.

However, anything uploaded to these services before June 1, 2021, will not count; only files that are modified after that date will.

How Long Until My Data Is Deleted?

Starting June 1, 2021, Google will also implement a few new policies for deleting data on inactive accounts. Google might delete data in the following circumstances:

  • If your account is inactive for two years.
  • If you’re over your storage limit for two years.

The two-year countdown begins on June 1, 2021. So, if you’re inactive, 2023 is the earliest anything would be deleted. Google will also send you multiple alerts before anything is removed.

How Do I Keep My Google Account Active?

You might be wondering what you have to do to keep your account from becoming “inactive.” Well, it’s simple. Just visit Gmail, Google Drive, or Google Photos while signed in to your Google account on the web or mobile. That’s it! You don’t actually have to do anything in the services.

Generally, this isn’t something anyone who even occasionally uses Google services needs to worry about, though. These policies are intended for people who have completely moved on from their Google accounts.

Profile Photo for Joe Fedewa Joe Fedewa
Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has been covering consumer technology for over a decade and previously worked as Managing Editor at XDA-Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
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