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Google to begin deleting inactive accounts

Here's what you need to do to avoid losing access to your Gmail, YouTube or Google Photos account.
Google to begin deleting inactive accounts
Posted at 7:33 AM, May 17, 2023

Google announced this week that it will delete accounts that have not been signed into for two years, citing security concerns. 

Starting in December, Google will require users to sign in at least once every two years in order to keep the account active. Google accounts include Gmail, YouTube and Google Photos. 

The new rules only apply to individual accounts and not businesses and organizations. 

Google said abandoned accounts are at least 10 times less likely to have two-step verification set up. Google added that accounts that have not been used in a while are more likely to be compromised. 

“These accounts are often vulnerable, and once an account is compromised, it can be used for anything from identity theft to a vector for unwanted or even malicious content, like spam,” Google said.

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Google said the process of deleting accounts will begin with accounts that were created and never used again. Google will send multiple notifications to both the account being deleted and a recovery email, if one was provided.

Google also is encouraging users to use its inactive account manager, which allows them to decide what to do with their account and data once it becomes inactive for 18 months. 

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