Save your Gmail account before Google deletes it

Kerem Gülen
May 19, 2023
Updated • May 17, 2023

As we have reported earlier this month, Google customers who have not used their accounts for 2 years may have their accounts deleted automatically by the company from December 2023 onward.

If you possess a Gmail address, it automatically corresponds to a Google account, which grants you access to various Google services. These services encompass a wide range of offerings, including YouTube, Maps, Calendar, Photos, and Drive. By utilizing your login credentials, you can seamlessly explore and utilize these services, with Gmail being a popular starting point for many users.

Earlier, Google announced its intention to delete the data of inactive accounts in 2020. However, the company did not explicitly mention that accounts failing to adhere to the specified guidelines would be subject to deletion. Google is now implementing this change. It is crucial to be aware that if your Gmail account remains inactive for a period of two years, Google will proceed to delete it.

In the event that Google deletes your account, you will permanently lose access to all information associated with it. This not only includes your Gmail messages but also extends to any activities performed within apps like Calendar, Photos, and Workspace. Therefore, it is essential to consider the potential consequences and take appropriate measures to avoid losing access to your account and its associated data.

How to keep your Gmail account active?

Currently, Google does not impose any restrictions on the number of Google accounts an individual can have. However, it is important to ensure that each account remains active to prevent Google from initiating the account deletion process. Google provides guidelines on how to keep an account active, which are relatively straightforward.

The easiest method to maintain account activity is to sign in at least once every two years. This is a simple action that can be easily accomplished. Additionally, regularly checking and updating the security and privacy settings of your Gmail account will also help in maintaining account activity.

Image source: Unsplash

Google outlines specific actions within Gmail and other Google apps that are considered signs of activity. These actions contribute to keeping the account active and may include the following:

  • Reading or sending an email
  • Using Google Drive
  • Watching a YouTube video
  • Downloading an app on the Google Play Store
  • Using Google Search
  • Using Sign in with Google to sign in to a third-party app or service

Why Google has made this decision?

Google has made the decision to remove inactive free accounts as part of its commitment to ensuring user safety. These inactive accounts pose a higher risk of abuse and hacking compared to active accounts.

The reason behind this increased vulnerability lies in the fact that forgotten or neglected accounts are more likely to use previously compromised passwords, lack two-factor authentication, and undergo fewer security measures. According to Google's own research, inactive accounts are significantly less likely to have two-factor authentication enabled, making them attractive targets for hacking. If compromised, these accounts can be misused for various purposes, including identity theft, the dissemination of spam, or the distribution of harmful materials.

Image source: Unsplash

Starting from December, Google will begin deleting inactive accounts; however, this new policy only applies to free Gmail addresses. Dormant school or workplace Gmail accounts will not be affected and will remain secure.

In its blog post, Google reassured users that they would be given sufficient warning before their inactive accounts are deleted, emphasizing their commitment to transparency and user communication.


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  1. Frederick Santos said on May 27, 2023 at 12:33 pm

    How does one get Google to send a notification to my gmail address, prior to taking any action, and allow, suggest or otherwise move save , or create another Free account,
    Item 2 I did make a prior request as to how I can control Favourites onGoogle Search, to save the more important favourite answers.

  2. Abdi Jama Muse said on May 26, 2023 at 11:09 pm


  3. Zelda Samuels said on May 25, 2023 at 4:43 pm

    I am try to get into my personal account that sems its hacked so I need to get in there first please stop this of deleting unactive accounts.

  4. Jamilu inuwa said on May 25, 2023 at 3:11 pm

    I have many experience in this Google apps many times at all times. Went I think something if I open Google I will have it. In time without delay. I’m appreciate the Google apps. At all times. Thanks again.

  5. Anonymous said on May 25, 2023 at 12:36 am

    “Google has made the decision to remove inactive free accounts as part of its commitment to ensuring user safety. These inactive accounts pose a higher risk of abuse and hacking compared to active accounts.”

    Please, I beg you, please lose this habit of just trusting a publicly given motivation for a Google decision. I mean, I get that for most of traditional businesses, lie is a common tactics but not systematic, because sometimes they genuinely did something for the reason that they said. Sure they might do lots of shitty things, but they won’t always need to lie to you about it, they’ll just avoid the topic. But Google is something else. Their whole business model relies on manipulation, and is furthermore illegal in lots of jurisdictions. They’re not selling you shoes or vacuum cleaners or a haircut, they’re selling you criminal data rape as their main activity. And that’s without even mentioning the really bad parts about what that data becomes afterwards.

    This being said, here obviously they want to get rid of old accounts that are a charge for them, at the expense of users. And it wasn’t even difficult to guess.

  6. TelV said on May 19, 2023 at 3:49 pm

    A Google account isn’t necessary to login to Google with. I use a third party email called Tutanota and registered that for my Google account. Hasn’t caused any problems so far.

    1. John G. said on May 20, 2023 at 6:11 pm

      Yahoo is allow to access to Google on Android and even to access to Microsoft account. No Gmail nor MSN account are needed since so long.

    2. Kirk said on May 20, 2023 at 5:44 am

      Tutanota is a good alternative for email. I had gotten my first name there without any things or numbers suffixed there as a primary mail address. But then Corona hit, I lost few passwords stored on another device including my Tutanota one. Since Tutanota has six months deactivation policy, I lost my main mail and worst of all, the same username can’t be registered with again. :sigh

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