Tools and requirements
● A desktop browser
● A Google account
● Internet connection
Starting December 1, Google will begin deleting accounts that have been inactive or without any logins for at least two years.
This decision was first announced in May 2023 as part of an effort to mitigate threats to users such as spam, phishing scams, and account hijacking. Inactive accounts lack the same level of protection as regularly used profiles. For security purposes, Google has decided to remove dormant and inactive profiles.
Google has clarified that the mass deletion will not occur all at once. It will commence with accounts that were created but never accessed thereafter. The company will notify users in the months leading up to the deletion before taking any action.
It is important to note that this deletion will result in the loss of all data, including photographs, emails, and documents. You can preserve your files simply by logging into the old profile. However, going forward, you will need to sign in every two years to prevent deletion. Alternatively, there is a way to transfer your files to another location for permanent safekeeping, allowing Google to delete your old account at a later time.
Quick steps for how to save your files from deletion
- Go to Google Takeout
- Choose the files you want to save
- Export the selected files
- Download all the files onto your computer
Step by step guide detailing how to save your Google files from deletion
- Scroll down to the bottom and click Next Step
- Click the Transfer to drop-down menu and select Send Download Link via Email
- Under Frequency, choose Export Once and .zip as the file type. You can also adjust the file size to facilitate easier file management.
- Once finished, click the Create Export button below. Please note that the process could take a significant amount of time, possibly hours or even days, depending on the amount of data being saved.
- Upon completion, Google will send you an email containing a link to download the files onto your computer. You can then unzip the folder.
The option provided above is the most straightforward method. However, Google allows users to export their content to alternative storage spaces such as another Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive for easier transfer. We suggest integrating your main Google account with any of these services to simplify the transfer. You can find instructions on how to do this on the respective help pages of Microsoft and Dropbox. You can also refer to our How-to guide on Google Drive for instructions on how to perform the same process on their native service.
Once you have completed the process, you can choose to leave the account as it is, and Google will delete it at a later time. Alternatively, you can expedite the process by using the Inactive Account Manager to inform the company.
If you are seeking alternatives, TechRadar has curated a list of the best photo storage sites for 2023.