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Google will delete millions of Gmail accounts next month

Google has begun warning users that it will delete millions of Gmail accounts next month as part of a major update to the platform.

This will affect all personal Google accounts that have been dormant for at least two years, with emails, documents, spreadsheets, calendar appointments, photos, and videos permanently deleted.
The policy was introduced earlier this year but is scheduled to come into effect in December 2023.
The move aims to protect active Google users from security threats such as phishing scams and account hijacking.
Old accounts that have not been used for years are usually at risk from hackers, as they may use the same passwords that have been compromised in other security breaches, which are readily available on the dark web.
Google said any account at risk of deletion will receive "multiple notifications" before any action is taken, including any designated recovery email addresses.
The tech giant has already begun sending emails to those affected, telling users that this is "to protect your private information and prevent any unauthorized access to your account even if you no longer use our services."
Losing access to your Gmail account may also prevent people from using other online platforms and services associated with that email address, even if they are not associated with Google.

How to maintain a Google account and avoid deleting it

In order to keep the account active and avoid deletion, Google users are advised to open or send an email, use Google Drive, download an app on the Google Play Store, or simply perform a Google search while signed in to the account.
Any account that has posted a video to YouTube will also not be affected, regardless of when it was last active.