May 23, 2024

Millions of Google Accounts to Be Deleted Next Month

Going ahead with the purge plan introduced earlier in May, Google has issued a three-week notice informing users that their accounts could be deleted next month. In an important update to the platform, Google will be deleting all personal accounts that have been inactive for longer than two years.

While the purge will be coming into effect on December 1, Google announced that it would be adopting a phased approach. The dormant accounts will be deleted in several phases rather than all of them disappearing at once.

What Does This Mean for Users, and How Can You Prevent Your Account From Being Deleted?

Users who use their Google accounts regularly will be unaffected by the update unless they have any additional accounts that haven’t been logged on to for over two years.

Along with the inactive accounts being deleted, so will everything stored on them. These include photos and videos, spreadsheets, documents, emails, calendar appointments, and any files saved on Google Drive.

Accounts with active subscriptions will be spared deletion, and the same applies to the ones with videos uploaded on YouTube, regardless of how long they have been dormant.

Additionally, this also means that once a Google account is deleted for dormancy, the user might not be able to use it to log in to any other online service or platform linked to the account. This also applies to services that aren’t related to Google since the account simply won’t exist any longer.

While you may still be able to use your deleted Google account to log in to services that aren’t actively linked, account recovery might not be possible in case you’re asked to verify your account or forget your password.

Google had initially revealed its plan to delete accounts inactive for at least two years back in May. However, users can easily prevent their accounts from being deleted by signing in every two years.

Activities like reading or sending emails, watching videos on YouTube, using Google Drive, using Google search, downloading apps from Google Play Store, or signing in with Google for third-party apps or services can keep your account active.

This update aligns our policy with industry standards around retention and account deletion and also limits the amount of time Google retains your unused personal information.Ruth Kricheli, Google’s vice president of product management

Google will be sending out plenty of reminders to ensure that no one feels that their accounts were deleted out of the blue. Besides the accounts that are at risk of being deleted, any associated recovery email addresses will also receive notifications about the change.

Google Calls the Purge a Security Measure

According to the emails sent out by Google to notify affected users, the measure is aimed at protecting their private information and preventing unauthorized access to their accounts. Old accounts that have been dormant for a long time are typically more vulnerable as they often have the same login credentials that were already compromised in other security breaches.

These accounts may end up being hijacked by hackers and eventually used for phishing and other similar activities. According to Google, getting rid of such accounts will help protect active users better.

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