Google will remove dormant accounts soon. Here's how to save your account. (2023)

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Old, unused Google accounts and all associated messages and photos will be quickly deleted.

The company announced plans this weekStart account deletionInactive for at least two years. According to Google, this works for products like Gmail, Google Photos, and Google Drive, but not for YouTube videos or business accounts.

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That's enough time to avoid losing old files before you panic. Deletion won't begin until December 2023, and even then, companies will start with the most obvious candidates, such as accounts created once and never used again. Google said it will send advance notice to any alternate email addresses or phone numbers associated with those accounts.

This message reminds you to plan ahead to ensure your account is not lost.

Sign up now

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The quickest way to avoid deletion is to actually use your account and reset the clock. If your account is getting dusty from the spam spam or you just don't want to use an embarrassing account name, sign up now. This buys you some time to decide what to do next. (More suggestions below.)

Reuse your old Google account

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What if you can't sign in? If you forgot your password or your account was hacked, please go toGoogle account recoverypage and try to reset it. Google might ask you a lot of questionsTips to help you succeed, including using a device you've previously used to sign in to the same account, avoiding misspellings, and sharing your last known password. You can also try the same advice if you're trying to access a deceased person's account, for example to download their photo album.


If your account has been suspended due to Terms of Service violations or other reasons, you can tryto appeal the decisionGo to Google. Try logging into your account and look for the option to "Appeal". Some of these accounts are still allowed to export data, but this depends on why they were initially disabled.

Don't trust a company to own all of your data

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Make sure you have local copies of your most valuable images and documents and also store them with a third party like Google.

Cloud storage has revolutionized the way we keep digital files and memories, allowing us to access our files from any device. However, it is risky to trust a third party to be the sole custodian of email, photos and files for years to come. A company can be bought out or shut down, change their rules, charge for storage, or ban you from your account for any number of reasons, such as violating their terms of service or hacking.


That doesn't mean you shouldn't use cloud services - just make sure you have a backup plan in place and keep your files somewhere you have full control, such as a computer or hard drive, that belongs to you. Even storing a copy in another company's cloud storage is better than nothing.

Now plan for the worst

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You might be thinking, “Hey, I check my Gmail at least every hour; it gets put out of service or breaks down.”

To be prepared for the worst, now go to your existing Google account and make some simple changes. You don't have to go into the settings of every Google product like Gmail and Photos. Instead, do this in the main account, and do this for each Google name you own.


Add a recovery email address:This could be the key in case your email account gets banned or hacked in the future. Go to "Security" and scroll down to "Recovery Email". If you don't have a secondary email address, you can add other people in your area.

Set up your legacy plan:Go to "Data & Privacy" and scroll down to "Plan your digital legacy" to open itinaktiver Account Manager.You can add alternative contact information for yourself. If your account is inactive for a period of your choice (three, six, 12, or 18 months), you can select up to 10 additional contacts to have someone share them with you.

For each person you add, choose the information you want them to have access to. For example, you may want to ensure that your partner or other close relatives have access to your Google Drive account. After inactivity, you have three months to access the data.


Don't want others to see your files and messages? You also have the option to self-destruct (delete) your account after a period of inactivity.

Don't stop at Google - follow our instructions on how to do itSet up legacy contactsWorks with all your other major online accounts including Facebook and Apple.

Back up all your Google data

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Ten years of family vacations in Google Photos? Chatting up with high school friends you haven't seen in years? Make sure you put them somewhere else even if you never open the files.

Using Google Takeout:Google may choose to export your data from its various services. it is knownGoogle takeaway, which offers a huge list of 50 options, from Google Chat and email to your Google Shopping history and calendar. You don't need most of these things, but you can decide what interests you or is worth sharing.


These files can come in a variety of formats, some less user-friendly than others. If your only concern is having a copy of the information and not accessing it, save the file to an external hard drive and keep it in a safe place.

If you want to access these files, save them in a format suitable for other applications that you use. For example, download your entire email inbox as an "MBOX" file that you can open in your local email program on your computer.

Move Google Drive files:If you want to move files from an old Google Drive account, first share them with the account you're switching to. Then, in the main Google Drive view, click Shared, click the drop-down arrow next to its name, and select "transfer of ownership” to log into the other account and accept ownership.

Share your photos:Google Photos is a great tool for merging disparate photo collections, but backups are still required. You can use Takeout to export images and save them to your hard drive, but you have a few other options as well.


You can export your Google Photos library directly to other photo services - Flickr, Microsoft's One Drive or SmugMug.

If you have another Google account, you can use it to share your entire photo library in case something goes wrong with one of your accounts. Google Photos lets you automatically share photos with just one "friend". Go to settings and add a partner. Then choose whether you want to share all your photos with him or just pictures with specific faces and from what date. On the other end, that person — or your other account if you're sharing it with yourself — can set the shared image to auto-save, creating a second copy of your photo.

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