Microsoft may close accounts after two-years of inactivity, unless..

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 3, 2019
Companies, Microsoft

Microsoft started to send out emails to all Microsoft Account users recently in which it informed its customers about upcoming services agreement changes.

The changes are listed on a special page on the Microsoft website and there is an option to read the entire upcoming services agreement as well. The change takes effect on August 30, 2019.

One of the major changes affects Microsoft Accounts; more precisely, the period of inactivity that may lead to the automatic closure of the account.  Microsoft clarified the account activity policy under KB4511051.

Tip: To protect a Microsoft Account better, enable two-factor authentication or set up a security key for the Microsoft Account.

microsoft account policy

Generally speaking, Microsoft customers need to sign-in to the account at least once every two years to keep it active. Microsoft considers accounts inactive if no sign-in happened in a two year period.

Microsoft reduced the inactivity period from five years to two years in the new services agreement.  Some services, OneDrive and, require once-a-year sign-ins to avoid the inactivity flag and potential termination of the account.

Certain activities may override the two-year limit and the resulting closure of the account:

  • If a purchase has been made that is linked to the account. This does not apply to gift cards, certifications, or subscription-based purchases or services.
  • Accounts with active subscriptions won't be closed during the subscription period.
  • Developers who published to the Microsoft Store won't have their accounts closed. The same goes for accounts used to register for a Microsoft Partner Center account.
  • Customers who earned a certification that is linked to the Microsoft Account won't have the account closed due to inactivity.
  • If the account balance is not Zero, the account will remain active.
  • If Microsoft owes money to an account, that account remains active as well.
  • If the Microsoft Account has "granted consent for an active Microsoft account belonging to a minor", Microsoft won't close the account due to inactivity. The account will be closed if the minor's account is deemed inactivity and closed by Microsoft, is closed by the account owner, or transitioned into a standard Microsoft account.
  • Legal requirements or as otherwise provided by Microsoft.

Microsoft notes that customers may always check the activity status of the account on the Microsoft account management website. I could not find the option there and since you need to sign-in before you can look up the information, you are more or less guaranteed a 2-year extension since doing so counts as a sign-in that resets the inactivity period.

Microsoft accounts are used for a variety of purposes. Windows 10 (digital) licenses may be linked to the accounts.

Now You: Do you use a Microsoft Account?

Microsoft may close accounts after two-years of inactivity, unless..
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Microsoft may close accounts after two-years of inactivity, unless..
Microsoft started to send out emails to all Microsoft Account users recently in which it informed its customers about upcoming services agreement changes.
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  1. The Dark Lady said on July 9, 2023 at 11:19 am

    Martin, I would appreciate that you do not censor this post, as it’s informative writing.

    Onur, there is a misleading statement “[…] GIFs are animated images …”. No, obviously you don’t seem to have take much notice of what you were told back in March regarding; Graphics Interchange Format (GIF).

    For example, (if you had read my replies within that thread, you might have learnt something useful). I even mentioned, “GIF intrinsically supports animated images (GIF89a)”.

    You linked to said article, [Related: …] within this article, but have somehow failed to take onboard what support you were given by several more knowledgeable people.

    If you used AI to help write this article, it has failed miserably.

    1. E. Fromme said on September 29, 2023 at 1:32 pm

      EMRE ÇITAK posts are useless because they are fraught with inaccuracies and are irrelevant.

  2. KeZa said on August 17, 2023 at 5:58 pm

    AI is stupid, and it will not get any better if we really know how this all works. Prove me wrong..

  3. Database failure said on August 18, 2023 at 5:21 pm

    Martin, [#comment-4569908] is only meant to be in: []. Whereas it appears duplicated in several recent random low-quality non relevant articles.

    Obviously it [#comment-4569908] was posted: 9 July 2023. Long before this thread even existed… your database is falling over. Those comments are supposed to have unique ID values. It shouldn’t be possible to duplicate the post ID, if the database had referential integrity.

  4. Howard Pearce said on August 25, 2023 at 12:24 pm

    Don’t tell me!

    Ghacks wants the state to step in for STATE-MANDATED associations to save jobs!!!

    Bring in the dictatorship!!!

    And screw Rreedom of Association – too radical for Ghacks maybe

  5. Howard Allan Pearce said on September 7, 2023 at 9:13 am

    GateKeeper ?

    That’s called “appointing” businesses to do the state’s dirty work!!!!!

    But the article says itself that those appointed were not happy – implying they had not choice!!!!!!

  6. owl said on September 7, 2023 at 9:50 am

    @The Dark Lady,
    @Database failure,
    @Howard Pearce,
    @Howard Allan Pearce,

    Note: I replaced the quoted URI scheme: https:// with “>>” and posted.

    The current is owned by “Softonic International S.A.” (sold by Martin in October 2019), and due to the fate of M&A, has changed in quality.
    Many Authors of bloggers and advertisers certified by Softonic have joined the site, and the site is full of articles aimed at advertising and clickbait.
    As it stands, except for articles by Martin Brinkmann, Mike Turcotte, and Ashwin, they are low quality, unhelpful, and even vicious. It is better not to read those articles.
    How to display only articles by a specific author:
    Added line to My filters in uBlock Origin:,.home-posts,.home-category-post:not(:has-text(/Martin Brinkmann|Mike Turcotte|Ashwin/))

    By the way, if you use an RSS reader, you can track exactly where your comments are (I’m an iPad user, so I use “Feedly Classic”, but for Windows I prefer the desktop app “RSS Guard”).
    RSS Guard: Feed reader which supports RSS/ATOM/JSON and many web-based feed services.

  7. Anonymous said on September 14, 2023 at 6:41 pm

    We all live in digital surveillance glass houses under scrutiny of evil people because of people like Musk. It’s only fair that he takes his turn.

  8. Anonymous said on September 18, 2023 at 1:31 pm

    “Operating systems will be required to let the user choose the browser, virtual assistant and search engine of their choice. Microsoft cannot force users to use Bing or Edge. Apple will have to open up its iOS operating system to allow third-party app stores, aka allow sideloading of apps. Google, on the other hand, will need to provide users with the ability to uninstall preloaded apps (bloatware) from Android devices. Online services will need to allow users to unsubscribe from their platform easily. Gatekeepers need to provide interoperability with third-parties that offer similar services.”

    Wonderful ! Let’s hope they’ll comply with that law more than they are doing with the GDPR.

  9. sean conner said on September 27, 2023 at 6:21 am

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