Google is proceeding with its plan to delete accounts that have been inactive for a minimum of two years, a move aimed at bolstering security. The company will begin sending notifications to affected users, and the deletion process will commence on 1 December. Google will issue multiple warning notifications to impacted accounts and backup emails, granting users an eight-month window before the accounts are permanently deleted.

The initiative was initially announced in May as a measure to mitigate security risks. Google’s internal research indicated that older accounts were more prone to using recycled passwords and less likely to employ updated security measures like two-step verification, rendering them susceptible to threats like hacking, phishing, and spam.

The first accounts to be deleted will be those that were created but never revisited by the user. The policy aims to safeguard private information and prevent unauthorized access to dormant accounts, even if users have discontinued using Google’s services.

There are exceptions to the policy, including accounts linked to YouTube channels, those with remaining balances on gift cards, those used to purchase digital items, and those with active published apps on platforms like the Google Play store.

This deletion approach represents an advancement over a previous policy. In 2020, Google had announced that content from inactive accounts would be wiped from services, but the accounts themselves would be retained.

To retain an account, users need to log in to their Google account or any associated Google service at least once every two years. This simple engagement, such as reading an email, watching a video, or conducting a search, will suffice to keep the account active and unaffected by the deletion policy.