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.
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 Outlook.com, 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:
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.
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