By, Arizona New Times
If you have a Gmail or Drive account that you haven’t used for a long time, you might want to log in soon. Google will begin deleting millions of inactive accounts in December, as part of its updated storage policies. The start of the great account purge is only 3 weeks away…
Google announced in November 2020 that it would change its storage policies for Gmail, Drive, and Photos, starting from June 1, 2021. The change means that any new files created in these services will count towards the user’s 15 GB of free storage, or the additional storage purchased through Google One. Previously, only files in Drive and high-quality photos and videos in Photos counted towards the limit, while Gmail and original quality photos and videos in Photos were exempt.
Google also said that it would delete the content of accounts that are inactive or over the limit for more than two years. The company said that this would affect only a small percentage of users, and that it would notify them multiple times before taking any action. Users can prevent their accounts from being deleted by logging in or managing their storage.
Google said that the reason for the change is to free up space and improve the user experience. The company said that more than 4.3 million GB are added across Gmail, Drive, and Photos every day, and that the demand for storage is growing faster than ever. Google also said that the change would align its storage policies with industry standards and best practices.
However, some users have expressed their dissatisfaction with the change, saying that it is unfair and unnecessary. They argue that Google has enough storage capacity and that deleting inactive accounts would not make a significant difference. They also say that Google is trying to force users to pay for more storage or switch to other services.
If you are one of the users who might be affected by the change, here are some steps you can take to protect your data and avoid losing access to your account:
- Log in to your Gmail or Drive account before December 1, 2023. This will reset the inactivity timer and prevent your account from being deleted.
- Check your storage usage and delete any unwanted or duplicate files. You can also use Google Photos’ free up space feature to remove photos and videos that have been backed up to the cloud.
- If you need more storage, you can upgrade to Google One and get more benefits, such as family sharing, expert support, and extra member benefits. Google One plans start from $1.99 per month for 100 GB of storage.
- If you want to switch to another service, you can use Google Takeout to export and download your data from Google products. You can also use Google Drive’s backup and sync feature to sync your files with your computer or external hard drive.
Google’s storage policy change is a reminder that nothing is truly free on the internet, and that users should always be aware of the terms and conditions of the services they use. While some users may find the change inconvenient or unfair, others may see it as an opportunity to declutter their digital lives and optimize their storage usage. Either way, it is important to act fast and avoid losing your valuable data and account access.