Google to delete unused Gmail accounts in system clean-up from December 1

Have a Google account you haven’t used in a while? If you want to keep it from disappearing, you should sign in before the end of the week.

The tech giant will begin deleting thousands of Gmail accounts from Friday, as it tightens security with an account policy change it announced in May.

Under the updated policy, accounts that have been inactive for two years will be deleted as early as December 1, 2023.

Accounts deemed inactive will be erased in a phased-approach, which users would have received multiple notices about.

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Why is Google deleting inactive accounts?

Google announced the move in a blog post in May, citing security issues for the decision.

“This is because forgotten or unattended accounts often rely on old or re-used passwords that may have been compromised, haven’t had two-factor authentication set up, and receive fewer security checks,” Google said at the time.

The tech giant said accounts that have not been used for a long time are 10 times less likely to have two-step-verification set up.

“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.

The policy change only applies to personal accounts, so businesses and schools will not be affected by the mass erasure.

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