Skip to main content

Haven’t used your Google account recently? It may be deleted

Google has confirmed it will begin deleting inactive accounts on its network in an effort to preserve space and maintain security.

Having first broached the idea in 2020, Google then detailed its plans of removing content from seemingly abandoned accounts while leaving the accounts themselves accessible, 9to5Google noted.

Google services (YouTube, Gmail, Chrome, Duo, Meet, Google Podcasts) icons app on smartphone screen.

Google has since updated its inactive account policy, sharing in a blog post on Tuesday that it will start purging Google accounts that have not been accessed in two years starting in December 2023. Accounts and all personal information and data associated with the accounts are subject to erasure if users fail to log in before the designated time. These include Gmail messages, Calendar events, Drive, Docs, other Workspace files, and Google Photos backups.

This deadline will give users ample time to get in good standing with Google and save their accounts, as the brand plans to send out several warning emails to account holders and any backup emails that are on file. Google also said it is planning a staggered strategy for purging accounts, focusing first on “accounts that were created and never used again.”

Some accounts will be exempt from deletion if they happen to remain inactive, such as those that are connected to YouTube channels. Overall, the brand is focusing on free Google Accounts rather than enterprise or educational accounts.

Google also detailed the many activities you can do that count toward keeping your account.

  • Logging in periodically, being logged in, and performing basic tasks.
  • Reading or sending an email.
  • Using Google Drive.
  • Watching a YouTube video.
  • Downloading an app on the Google Play Store.
  • Using Google Search.
  • Using Sign in with Google to sign in to a third-party app or service.
  • Using a signed-in Android device.
  • Having a paid subscription such as Google One, a news publication, or an app.

Google mentioned that inactive accounts also pose a security risk since many are 10 times less likely to have security measures such as two-step verification. This makes such accounts easier to infiltrate, especially during a time when AI is becoming more popular and can crack passcodes in minutes, if not seconds.

Google noted that adopting this policy aligns “with industry standards around retention and account deletion,” and that it is beneficial to users as it limits the amount of time the company can hold on to unused personal information.

Deleted Gmail addresses will not be available for reuse once they are gone, 9to5Google reports.

Editors' Recommendations

Fionna Agomuoh
Fionna Agomuoh is a technology journalist with over a decade of experience writing about various consumer electronics topics…
Use this trick to make your online accounts super secure
A group of people sitting at a desk looking at 1Password displayed on a screen.

We do just about everything online today, and in the digital age, having good passwords for your accounts isn’t sufficient anymore — and if you’re still using the same login credentials for multiple accounts, then it’s definitely time to upgrade your security setup. An easy way to do that is with a password manager that makes it simple to create and organize secure access codes for all of your accounts, but even that might not be enough to guard your sensitive personal and financial information from prying eyes. Instead, we recommend 1Password, a unique account manager that does more than just organize your logins. It also takes online security to a whole new level by letting you keep all of your accounts completely separate.

Your typical password manager can generate and organize unique credentials for your accounts (sort of like a digital key ring), but 1Password takes things a step further. With 1Password, you get not only a unique, strong passcode for every account, but the app also generates a unique email address as well. When signing up for a new account somewhere or updating some you already have, you simply create a new 1Password-generated email string and password, set up two-factor authentication, and use this new “sock” email and passcode to register. Your real information is kept private, and access codes are securely backed up in your 1Password account, for which you have a master password — the only one you need to remember.

Read more
More than 60% of PC owners haven’t even heard of Windows 11
One of the wallpapers from the Windows 11 sunset theme.

Microsoft has a big change coming soon in the form of Windows 11, but that doesn't mean word has spread to the masses just yet. According to a survey by, 62% of Windows users are unaware of the existence of Windows 11. recently carried out a survey to “gauge awareness and excitement for Windows 11." A total of 1,042 current Windows users were asked about their awarenessof  and eagerness to upgrade to Windows 11.

Read more
How to delete your Skype account
skype build 2016 mobile smartphone ios android

Deleting a Skype account isn't as simple as it was when the service was just a stand-alone VoIP tool. Today, under the Microsoft umbrella, you can't delete your Skype account without deleting its parent Microsoft Account. If you don’t use any other Microsoft service, then move on to the instructions for deleting the account. If you use Microsoft Word or own an Xbox, your only option is to delete the apps.

Looking for a new VoIP or messaging client? Here are our favorite chat apps.
Delete Skype conversations
If you are abandoning Skype for good but don't want to delete your Microsoft account, it's a good idea to delete all saved conversations. This prevents hackers from reading conversations should they somehow gain access.

Read more