Google will delete accounts that are inactive for over 2 years

Google will delete accounts that are inactive for over 2 years


17 May 2023

Have you created a Google Account in the past, but no longer use it? If you want to keep it, you'd better log in in the next few weeks, as Google has announced that it will start permanently deleting accounts that have been inactive for more than 2 years from next December.

The company justifies its decision by saying that this is a security issue, as after research and analysis it has noticed that inactive accounts are most likely not protected by 2-factor authentication (2FA), making them vulnerable to hacking and being used to distribute malicious content (e.g. spam).

According to Google, the deletion of accounts will include all files stored on services such as Google Drive, YouTube, Google Photos and Google Workspace, but it clarifies that it is quite easy to show activity on a forgotten account. All it takes is downloading an app from the Google Play Store or watching a video on YouTube or doing a Google Search or reading/sending emails or using Google Drive or even logging into a third-party service with that Google account.

In the coming weeks, notifications will be sent out on a regular basis to inform the holders of such accounts, while the deletion will first catch accounts that were created and never activated. It is also clarified that accounts belonging to companies or educational institutions (e.g. universities and schools) will not be affected by the new policy.

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