Gmail was launched back in 2004, and gained popularity extremely quickly. With Android users requiring a Gmail account to get the most out of smartphones and tablets, I’m sure you can imagine the vast number of Gmail accounts are in existence. Add to that the accounts with forgotten passwords and accounts no longer being accessed, it’s understandable why Google have decided to take this seemingly drastic but much needed action.
Back in 2020, Google made the decision to remove content stored in inactive accounts, freeing up storage space on Google’s servers. However, they did not delete the accounts themselves.
Now, Google has updated its inactivity policy and announced the deletion of millions of Google accounts. The aim is to reclaim space on their servers and prevent hackers from accessing redundant accounts for spam and phishing purposes.
The Google account cull is scheduled to begin in December 2023 at the earliest, with accounts that have been inactive for the last 2 years to be the first to go. All aspects of the account will be removed, including Gmail emails, Calendar events, Drive, Docs, Workspace files, and Google Photo back-ups.
Leading up to the start of the cull, Google will be sending out multiple emails to the Gmail accounts and any recovery email address provided during the account setup process. If you receive one of these emails, you may want to access your account, and check if there is anything you want to keep, such as photos and files in Google Photos & Google Drive. Although the sceptic in me can foresee some opportunistic scammers creating fake emails to harvest passwords. Be sure to examine any emails closely, to ensure it is genuinely from Google.
Google have taken the decision not to deleted inactive accounts with YouTube videos at present, due to old videos possibly having historical relevance. However, Google could of course change their mind in the future.
If you are actively using your Google account you won’t need to do anything. But, if you have a Google account from way back when, and you think you may have some photos and files backed-up, you may want to try accessing the account. Because, once Google deletes the account, it and its contents are gone permanently.
If you would like any help, or have any questions please feel free to comment on the blog post below. Or, if you can always give us a ring on 01460 259999, or come and see us in Ilton.