Google is going to delete all unused accounts in Gmail!

Gmail, one of the most used mail services in the world, might soon undertake the biggest cleanup in its history.

Google is going to delete all unused accounts in Gmail!

Google has recently disclosed its plans to introduce a new policy targeted at enhancing security and optimizing storage use. The policy will see the deletion of old and idle personal Google Accounts that haven't seen activity in a minimum of two years. This policy rollout is slated to commence later this year, but it is important to note that it excludes Google Accounts managed by businesses, educational institutions, and those with YouTube content, in order to safeguard historical archives.

Google has earmarked December 2023 as the earliest possible start date for this deletion process, and the initial phase will focus on Gmail accounts that were established but never used. Google aims to keep its users well informed about this process, intending to send multiple notifications to the account's email address and recovery email, where applicable, in the months leading up to the deletion. This measure is designed to afford users ample time to recover any important data or take necessary action before their accounts are permanently wiped out.

Google has outlined various ways users can keep their accounts active to avoid deletion. These include periodically signing in, engaging in basic activities such as reading or sending emails, using Google Drive, viewing YouTube videos, downloading apps from the Play Store, conducting Google searches, signing in to third-party apps or services using "Sign in with Google", and using a signed-in Android device. On a separate note, Google Photos already maintains a two-year sign-in and usage policy to determine account activity, and accounts with active Play Store subscriptions, such as Google One or third-party apps, are also considered active.

Google is going to delete all unused accounts in Gmail!

The driving force behind this policy change is to enhance security. Idle accounts, particularly those with aged or reused passwords, are prone to breaches. Google's internal data has shown that deserted accounts are at least ten times less likely to have two-step verification enabled compared to active accounts. By eliminating these inactive accounts, Google hopes to reduce risks related to identity theft, spam, and the spread of harmful content.

Additionally, this new policy aids in minimizing the retention of unused personal data, thereby aligning with industry standards. Interestingly, unlike some other services, Google will not recycle Gmail addresses for reuse once an account has been deleted.

Google is encouraging users to assign a recovery email and to consider using the Inactive Account Manager tool to determine suitable actions for when an account becomes inactive. Through this tool, users can opt to send files to trusted contacts, set up a Gmail autoresponder, or initiate account deletion.