Google will begin deleting inactive accounts this week.

Internet giant Google is set to begin deleting user accounts that have been inactive for a prolonged period of time starting this week. The company says that accounts that have shown no sign of activity for a period of two years will be considered for closure under the new policy.

Google stores user data and activity on its various services, such as Gmail, YouTube, Drive, and Photos. This personal information and data includes emails, documents, videos, photos, and other files that are stored on Google’s servers associated with individual user accounts. While Google aims to provide secure and permanent storage for user data, it has now decided that accounts that have been completely inactive for two years or more will be flagged for potential deletion.


The new policy is aimed at cleaning up unused and abandoned accounts from Google’s systems. This helps Google manage server space efficiently as well as reduce the security and privacy risks associated with inactive accounts. Some of the key reasons cited by Google for introducing mandatory account deletion after extended inactivity include:

Security Risks
Google says that inactive accounts pose certain security risks even if they are not being used regularly. Hackers could potentially gain access to inactive accounts and use them for malicious purposes, such as phishing or spreading malware. By closing down accounts that have seen no activity for two years, Google aims to reduce such security vulnerabilities.


Server storage optimisation
Google has to maintain massive server farms to store user data from billions of active accounts across its services. Inactive accounts consume server space needlessly, and the stored data serves no purpose if the accounts remain dormant. Deleting inactive accounts helps optimise storage usage.

User privacy protection
User data in inactive accounts is still subject to Google’s privacy policies. However, leaving accounts open indefinitely even after years of inactivity could potentially compromise privacy over time due to policy changes or security loopholes. Closing inactive accounts helps protect user privacy permanently after an extended period of non-use.

Unused data purging
Personal emails, documents, photos, and files remain stored on Google servers even if accounts have not been used for years. Most users do not intend to retain such data permanently if they are no longer actively using their Google accounts. Deleting dormant accounts ensures the timely purging of unused personal data.

Some key aspects of Google’s new inactive account deletion policy include:


Accounts marked for deletion will first be notified via email sent to the registered ID 90 days before closure. This gives users a chance to sign in and reactivate the account to avoid deletion.

The email notice will come from and direct users to to either sign in or request data download before the closure deadline.

Accounts showing no sign of activity like login, email access, or use of Google services for a consecutive period of 24 months will be flagged for deletion.

Periodic logins to services like YouTube or passive syncing of emails will not be considered activity, and the accounts will still qualify for closure if no proactive steps are taken in the account for 2 years.

Users can download their data using Google Takeout to backup emails, files, and other information before deletion. Data download will not be possible once the account is closed.

Deleted accounts may not be recoverable. Google recommends users use an account they actively use as their primary ID to avoid permanent data loss due to account activity lapses.

Deactivation of account services Individually, disabling email access will not exempt accounts from the new policy, as it tracks the overall inactivity period on all Google services associated with the ID.

Google will still retain email address aliases associated with deleted accounts to maintain email delivery as per its policies, but user data storage and services will no longer be accessible once accounts are closed.

Accounts of deceased users will also be evaluated as per the new policy and could be deleted if not claimed by legal heirs using Google’s Inactive Account Manager tool within the deadline.

While many may consider two years to be a long inactivity period for deletion, Google argues it is a reasonable timeframe to determine the permanent dormancy of an account. The policy balances data protection needs with user convenience and helps optimise Google’s infrastructure. It also ensures user privacy is respected over inactive accounts after extended abandonment. However, some users argue that Google should provide options to archive or lock inactive accounts permanently instead of mandatory deletion. Overall, the policy aims to purge unused accounts and resources in a responsible manner.

Starting this week, Google will begin systematically evaluating accounts based on activity history as per the new policy. Inactive accounts will be notified via email before closure. Users are advised to login to dormant IDs or initiate data downloads to retain access and information in such cases. Google’s latest changes are aimed at improving security, privacy, and infrastructure efficiency but could lead to unintended data losses if inactive users do not respond to deletion warnings on time. With strict adherence and user communication, the policy revisions are expected to streamline Google services over the long run.

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