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Haven't checked your Gmail account in a while? Google could delete it starting this week.

Google to start deleting inactive accounts
Google to start deleting inactive accounts 03:35

Google will start deleting accounts that have been inactive for at least two years as part of a new security plan starting on Dec. 1.

People won't just lose access to their email, they'll also lose content stored within Google WorkSpace, including Google Docs and Google Photos. Google announced the change in May, but in a later company notice on the updated policy, Google specified the company would start terminating inactive accounts on Dec. 1. The tech giant plans to roll the change out slowly and in phases, a Google spokesperson said. 

The change will only impact personal accounts, and will not impact accounts for organizations such as schools or businesses. Google will start by deleting accounts that were created but then never used again, and the company will send multiple notifications in the months leading up to a deletion. The notifications will go both to the Google email and the recovery email, if one exists for the account. 

People who don't want their accounts to be deleted should make sure to sign into inactive accounts. Google also shared some examples of activity for those already signed in, including reading or sending an email, using Google Drive, using Google Search and watching a YouTube video.

There are also ways to save your data while also letting your old account expire. Users can visit a Google site, which explains how to use its Google Takeout service to save data. Data can also be downloaded to different services, such as Dropbox or Microsoft OneDrive.

The move to delete inactive accounts is a security decision, Google said. Inactive accounts are more likely to be compromised because they're more likely to use old or re-used passwords. They're also 10 times less likely than active accounts to have two-step verification set up. 

"Meaning, these accounts are often vulnerable, and once an account is compromised, it can be used for anything from identity theft to a vector for unwanted or even malicious content, like spam," Google said. 

Google did not specify how many people could be impacted by the new policy.

This is among the latest security moves by Google. The company in May announced it would offer passkeys, which are safer than passwords, as a login option.

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