Gmail Account Inactive For More Than 2 Years? Google Might Delete It Altogether

Time to recall those dusty old login details!

Tech News
3 min read

Hey, remember those old Google accounts you haven't touched in ages? Well, you might want to dust them off and log in once in a blue moon because Google has some news for you. They've just rolled out a fresh policy for inactive accounts, and it's a doozy. Back in 2020, when they put an end to the free unlimited storage for Google Photos, they warned us that they might wipe the data from accounts that remained untouched for a solid two years. But now, they're taking it up a notch. Yep, they could delete the whole shebang, your entire Google account, no questions asked.

This newfangled policy won't kick in until December of this year, so you've got some breathing room. You can either try to resurrect your rusty memory and dig up those long-forgotten login details, or you can sit back and wait with bated breath until we unravel the mysteries of how this grand deletion scheme will actually work. Word on the (virtual) street is that those deleted Gmail addresses won't be up for grabs again, so no chance of snagging that cool username someone forgot about.

But wait, there's more! Some folks were worried sick that this account massacre might also affect those YouTube channels created by dear departed souls or folks who just left the digital realm behind. Thankfully, YouTube creator liaison Rene Ritchie stepped in to calm our collective nerves. He took to Twitter to reassure us that no accounts with uploaded YouTube videos will be obliterated.

Google even updated its blog post to make it crystal clear, stating that they ain't got no plans to delete accounts with YouTube videos for now. So, rest easy, YouTubers, your precious creations are safe and sound. For now.

Now, let's talk about how Google measures account activity, shall we? Apparently, they keep tabs on actions like reading or sending emails, using Google Drive, binge-watching YouTube videos, downloading apps from the Google Play Store, Googling your heart out, or signing in to third-party apps and services using that fancy "Sign in with Google" feature.

But hold on just a minute! What about those clever uses of Google accounts, like setting up aliases that forward emails to your main address? Well, that's the million-dollar question. Google's activity measurements don't explicitly cover those nifty tricks. So, we're left scratching our heads, unsure if those accounts are on the chopping block or if they'll get a pass. Google does mention that maintaining a subscription to something like Google One is a surefire way to show some activity. But let's be honest, who subscribes to that for their alternate accounts? Not many, I reckon.

When the big day arrives, and Google starts flexing its deletion muscles, they'll begin with those accounts that were created but left to gather digital dust. To add a sprinkle of drama, they'll even send out multiple notifications in the months leading up to the ultimate demise. So, keep an eye on that inbox and any associated recovery email, or else your account might vanish into the digital abyss.

So, dear reader, if you've got any old Google accounts lurking in the shadows, heed this warning. Give 'em some love, some sign of life, or risk waking up one morning to find them erased from existence. And that, my friends, is a digital fate no one wants to face.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Member
Read More