Google Assistant prompt to open Gmail
Corbin Davenport / How-To Geek

Ever created a throwaway Google account and never used it again? Did you leave the Google ecosystem to find greener pastures elsewhere? If you stopped using a Google account for whatever reason, you should know that Google is now planning to delete it sooner than later.

Google has announced a change in its policies regarding inactive accounts. Now, if a Google account has been abandoned (completely unused) for two years, Google will delete it starting in December. The company is planning to take a phased approach with this, first deleting accounts that were created and never used again, before moving on to accounts that were previously in active use, but now aren’t.

Before an account is deleted, Google will be sure to give people plenty of notice, sending emails and notifications to both the abandoned account and, if one was provided, the recovery email. After multiple notices have been sent without action from a user, though, Google will then proceed to delete the account.

There are some exceptions. Namely, this affects only free Google users with personal accounts. Likewise, if an account has YouTube videos uploaded to it, it will not be deleted. Even if your account is completely abandoned and eligible for deletion, it is extremely easy to keep it active. Watching a YouTube video, using Google Drive, or keeping your account logged into an Android phone all count as an activity that will ensure Google doesn’t delete your account. Also, if an account is deleted, its connected Gmail address won’t be available to reclaim.

If you have an account that you think is eligible for deletion, make sure to log into it now.

Source: Google, 9to5Google

Profile Photo for Arol Wright Arol Wright
Arol is a freelance news writer at How-To Geek. He's a Pharmacy student, but more importantly, an enthusiast who nerds out about everything tech-related, most notably PCs, smartphones, and other gadgets. He has also written for Android Police, MakeUseOf, and XDA Developers.
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