Google is implementing a revised inactivity policy for Gmail users starting December 2023. Millions of Gmail accounts that have been inactive for at least two years will be deactivated.
The primary goal of this move is to improve security. Dormant accounts are more vulnerable to breaches due to outdated or reused passwords, lack of two-factor authentication, and reduced security checks. Google’s internal analysis shows that inactive accounts are at least 10 times less likely to have two-step verification set up than active accounts, making them prime targets for identity theft or malicious activities.
The new policy applies only to personal Google accounts, not those associated with organizations such as schools or businesses. To prevent account deletion, users must sign in at least once every two years. Sign-in activities include reading or sending emails, using Google Drive, watching YouTube videos, downloading apps from the Google Play Store, conducting Google searches, and using Google Sign-in for third-party apps or services.
Users with active subscriptions linked to their Google Accounts, such as Google One, news publications, or apps, will also have ongoing account activity considered, ensuring their accounts remain active. Google has clarified that accounts associated with YouTube videos will not be subject to deletion under the current plans.