Google Cleaning House: Inactive Accounts on the Chopping Block

Got an old Google account collecting dust for ages? Well, heads up—it might vanish soon if you haven’t touched it in a couple of years.

Starting this Friday, Google’s rolling out its plan to boot inactive accounts under their inactive account policy.

Bye-Bye Inactive Accounts

Google’s taking a phased approach, starting with those accounts that were created but never used again. All it takes to keep your account alive is a simple sign-in or shooting off an email.

Security as the Driving Force

Google’s making this move because of security concerns. They’ve highlighted that forgotten or unused accounts are like easy targets for hackers.

What’s at Stake?

These Google accounts give you access to a bunch of their services, like Gmail and YouTube, using the same username and password combo.

According to Google’s May blog post, the reason old accounts are sitting ducks is that they often rely on old or reused passwords and usually skip setting up two-factor authentication.

Once someone gets into an abandoned account, it’s open season—anything from identity theft to spreading nasty spam can happen.

Saving Your Account

For most cases, just signing in should buy you another two years of life for your Google account. Plus, using Google Drive to send or read an email or watching a YouTube video might also do the trick.

Make sure you’ve got an accessible recovery email linked to your account. It’s a good safety net in case you forget your password—you’ll get notifications there.

Google’s already sent warnings to both the inactive accounts and their recovery email addresses about the impending account purge.

Special Attention for Google Photos

Heads up for Google Photos users! To keep your photos and content safe from deletion, make sure to sign in every two years. Google’s sending warnings for this too.

Who’s Safe from the Purge?

Accounts linked to work or school won’t get the boot. Also, if you’ve bought a Google service or subscription or you manage a child’s account using Family Link, your account might get a pass.

No Panic if You’ve Logged In Recently

If you’ve recently signed in, your account’s considered active and safe from deletion.

So, if you’ve got an old Google account you haven’t touched in a while, it’s time to give it a little love—sign in, check your emails, or watch a funny cat video on YouTube to keep it kicking.