`Good News: non-business legacy Google G Suite customers may keep their accounts after all
Google revealed plans to shut down the G Suite legacy free edition in January 2022. The company gave customers only two options at the time: sign-up for a paid plan to continue using Google services and their custom emails, or migrate to another service.
Customers who used the account to make purchases using Google services, e.g., Android apps, music or media, would lose access to their purchases if they would not migrate to Google Workspaces.
It appears that Google has had a change of heart so that many customers of the legacy service may continue using it after all. In short: non-business customers may opt-out of the migration to Google Workspaces to continue using the legacy account. Customers who did migrate already need to contact support to reverse the change.
Google notes on a support page:
If you’re using the G Suite legacy free edition for non-commercial purposes, you can opt out of the transition to Google Workspace by clicking here (requires a super administrator account) or going to the Google Admin console. You can continue using your custom domain with Gmail, retain access to no-cost Google services such as Google Drive and Google Meet, and keep your purchases and data.
There is one caveat: legacy customers need to become active to block Google from migrating the account or terminating it. The deadline for the opt-out is June 27, 2022.
Customers who have not migrated to Google Workspaces yet may click on this link to opt-out of the migration to Google Workspaces. A super admin account is required for the opting-out. The option is also available in the Google Admin Console.
Customers who migrated already may also go back to the legacy G Suite version, but it is required to contact support in this case. Some users reported that they could only do so if they had a user limit of 5 or less, but this has not been confirmed by Google.
Customers who opt-out or manage to restore the legacy account will keep their data and custom email addresses according to Google.
G Suite legacy was a free offering from 2006 to 2012. Google did advertise it to individuals and families alike as a way to get use Google services with a custom email address and other perks. During that time, Google never hinted at the chance that these accounts could become paid accounts in the future.
The announcement in January 2022 shocked customers, as Google put them in a tough spot. Either pay business rates for Google Workspaces to keep the account and data, or export the data until August 1, 2022 or lose access to all the data.
Google Workspaces plans start at $6 for a single user license, and while that does not sound like much, many G Suite customers did create accounts for their entire family using the service, which can quickly add to the overall expenses. Google offers a 50% discount on the price to customers coming from G Suite legacy.
Google did not reveal why it changed its position on the migration. It is possible that the gain in paid subscribers was not as large as expected, that the negative publicity was not worth the monetary gain, or that a higher than expected percentage of customers migrated to other services.
Now You: are you a Google G Suite legacy customers? What is your take on the development?Advertisement