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Starting from December 2023, Google has implemented a policy update whereby personal accounts that remain inactive for a period of two years will be subject to deletion.
Google accounts that have not been used or signed into for at least two years will be subject to removal. This policy aims to improve data privacy, security, and account management. If you have an unused Google account or know someone who does, it’s important to understand the implications and take necessary actions to ensure data retention and access to Google services.
Account Removal Process:
Google’s account removal process for inactive accounts will be initiated as follows:
Notification: Prior to removing an account, Google will send multiple notifications to the account holder. Multiple warnings will be sent to the account email address and the recovery email (if provided) in the months leading up to deletion, before proceeding with the account removal process.
Inactivity Period: The account removal process will begin after a continuous period of inactivity lasting two years. Inactivity refers to no sign-ins or usage of Google services associated with the account.
Data Removal: Once an account is deemed inactive, Google will initiate the data removal process. This means that all data associated with the inactive account, including emails, documents, photos, and other files stored in Google services such as Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Photos, may be permanently deleted.
Actions to Retain Data:
To prevent the removal of an inactive Google account and retain the associated data, users can take the following actions:
1. Sign-in: Simply signing into the account using the associated email address and password will reset the inactivity period and prevent the account from being flagged for removal.
2. Account Activity: Regularly accessing and using Google services, such as Gmail, Google Drive, or Google Photos, will ensure the account remains active and exempt from removal.
3. Data Backup: It is always recommended to create backups of important data stored within Google services. Users can download and store copies of their emails, documents, photos, and other files locally or using alternative cloud storage platforms.
Google’s decision to remove inactive accounts after a two-year period underscores its commitment to data privacy, security, and effective account management. By proactively signing into your Google account and regularly using their services, you can ensure the retention of your data and uninterrupted access to Google’s suite of offerings. Take the necessary steps to safeguard your account and avoid permanently losing valuable information stored within it.
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