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Gmail fans must take action now to stop emails being deleted

Google’s new rules about Gmail accounts finally come into force this month and it could mean some find their precious files, photos and emails are suddenly deleted. The US technology giant announced earlier this year that it would begin purging accounts if they haven’t been used for a period of time with December 2023 the date set for the update to begin.

It’s being initiated to cut down on wasted data and reduce the risk of cyber security issues.

“Starting later this year, if a Google Account has not been used or signed into for at least 2 years, we may delete the account and its contents – including content within Google Workspace (Gmail, Docs, Drive, Meet, Calendar) and Google Photos,” Google confirmed in a blog post.

Clearly, the changes will only affect those who rarely log in with Google promising that users will be given plenty of noticed before things are deleted for good.

However, even if you check your Gmail every day it still might be a good idea to back up your data to another service as well to make sure things stay safe.

“If you have a lightbulb moment and realise that you may have precious data on an old Google account, now is the time to take action and back it up somewhere else,” Explained Alex Tofts, broadband expert at Broadband Genie.

“You can do this by using another cloud storage solution, such as iCloud or Dropbox, or by doing it the old-fashioned way and saving files and photos on an external hard drive. Logging into an old account before Friday should also prevent it from being part of the purge.

“Make sure you do any archiving over your home Wi-Fi to ensure a consistent connection and – if you’re on your mobile – to avoid any unexpected data costs.”

Having dual back-ups should mean you’ll never lose any digital files and remember, if you’ve got Google accounts that haven’t been used in a while, log in to make sure they stay active.

How to keep your account active

The simplest way to keep a Google Account active is to sign-in at least once every 2 years. If you have signed into your Google Account or any of our services recently, your account is considered active and will not be deleted. Activity might include these types of actions you take when you sign in or while you’re signed in to your Google Account:

• Reading or sending an email

• Using Google Drive

• Watching a YouTube video

• Downloading an app on the Google Play Store

• Using Google Search

• Using Sign in with Google to sign in to a third-party app or service

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