Google will delete inactive accounts faster. The company is changing the policy so it can delete accounts that haven’t logged in for more than two years. It also involves associated data such as that in Drive. The accounts do get warnings.
Google writes in a blog post that it adjusts the policy around inactive accounts. Previously, accounts were only deleted if they were ‘inactive’, but what exactly constituted inactivity was determined by a number of different factors. Now there will be a hard limit of two years; if an account hasn’t been used for that long or hasn’t been logged in with it, Google may delete that account and its associated data.
This does not directly apply to all accounts. Google says it starts with accounts that were once created and then never used again. Accounts will also receive “several notifications over months” before their data is permanently deleted. That will not happen until December of this year at the earliest.
When an account logs in, it is considered activity. Other forms of activity are when users send emails, use Google Drive, watch something on YouTube, download an app from the Play Store, look something up or log in with Google’s single sign-on.
The policy only applies to personal Google accounts. Accounts that fall within a Workspace or Education package will not be deleted. Paying One users will also always keep their account.
When deleting accounts, Google also deletes all associated data. The company specifically mentions data from Gmail, Drive, Meet, Calendar, YouTube and Photos. Google Photos generally has a policy of requiring users to log in once every two years, regardless of what else they do with their Google account.