Google will be deleting Gmail and Photos accounts which have no activity for 2 years. This is following the updated inactivity policy of Google. The process will start December 2023 onwards.
After the deletion – not only the email address will be inaccessible but associated Gmail messages, Calendar events, Drive, Docs, and other Workspace files, will be deleted as well as Google Photos backups.
However, Google is not planning to delete accounts with YouTube videos at this time.
Before deleting an account, Google will send multiple notifications over the months leading up to deletion to both the account email address and the recovery email (if one has been provided).
This policy applies only to free Google Accounts, not those managed by a business or school.
How to keep your account active
- An account remains active by signing in periodically, being logged in, and performing basic actions such as reading or sending an email,
- using Google Drive, watching a YouTube video,
- downloading an app on the Google Play Store, using Google Search, or using Sign in with Google to sign in to a third-party app or service.
- Google has clarified that using a signed-in Android device is considered activity.
- Moreover, accounts with active Play Store subscriptions, like Google One or third-party apps, are considered active.
Google also recommends users assign a recovery email, and points them towards the Inactive Account Manager to decide what happens to their account and data when it becomes inactive for a period of up to 18 months.
Why is Google deleting the inactive accounts
Primary reason cited By Google is the security concern. It notes that inactive accounts are often more likely to be compromised, and that deleting these accounts limits the amount of time Google retains unused personal information.
Google lately has been focusing on security and privacy. It also introduced privacy sandbox in Feb this year.
However, even with this policy, Google will not free up Gmail addresses to reclaim with deletions. So your dream of owning Gmail accounts [email protected] remains dream only.