If an idle Google account is not used, it may be deleted starting December 1. The company announced in May that it would begin deleting inactive accounts after two years, mentioning that anything stored in Gmail, YouTube, Photos, Docs, Drive, Meet, and Calendar could be deleted. Accounts are considered active if a user logs in and performs certain actions, such as sending an email, watching a YouTube video, or using Google search.
Google stated that the policy is for security reasons, as inactive accounts are more susceptible to compromise and are less likely to have two-factor verification. Exemptions from deletion include accounts with gift card balances and active paid subscriptions. While deletion may begin on Dec. 1, it may not happen immediately as the company plans to start with accounts that have never been used.
Before deletion, Google will warn users in multiple emails to the inactive account and another email if it has been saved to a user’s account. To prevent deletion, users can make their inactive account active by signing into a Google service. Additionally, specifically signing into Google Photos is important as the company’s policy states that content may be deleted if a user is inactive for two years or more.