This isn’t just for our Google Pixel readers, but it applies to everyone else using Gmail or owns a Google Account.

On December 1, 2023, Google will begin to delete Gmail accounts that have been inactive for 2 years. This gives you about 3 weeks or risk permanently losing your Google Account. Google changed to the new policy earlier this year, requiring every Gmail owner to at least sign in to their account at least once every 24 months to keep it active. Prior to this change, the old policy only warned about wiping data stored in inactive accounts for at least two years.

But it’s not all about just signing in to your Google account, there are several other things you need to do to keep your Gmail account active. If you take any of the actions below after signing in or when signed in, Google will consider your Gmail account active:

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

These conditions apply even to those with multiple Gmail accounts, so make sure each account is used within a 2-year period so that Google doesn’t think it’s inactive. But of course, there are some exceptions since not everyone uses their Google Account in the same way.

According to Google, using your Google account to purchase a Google product, app, service, a digital item (a book or movie) or current/ongoing subscription shows your account is active. Having a gift card with a monetary balance or owning a published app or game with ongoing/active subscriptions or active financial transactions also shows your Google Account is active. Those whose accounts are managing a Family Link account are also an exception.

Family-link-exception-for-Google-account-and-Gmail-delete-on-December-1

So, if none of these applies to your dormant Google Account, you might want to ensure that you sign in to notify Google that you still use it. Otherwise, you might be out of luck as early as December 1.

Hillary Keverenge
2141 Posts

Tech has been my playground for over a decade. While the Android journey began early, it truly took flight with the revolutionary Lollipop update. Since then, it's been a parade of Android devices (with a sprinkle of iOS), culminating in a mostly happy marriage with Google's smart home ecosystem. Expect insightful articles and explorations of the ever-evolving world of Android and Google products coupled with occasional rants on the Nest smart home ecosystem.

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