Google Update on Inactive Accounts: Everything You Should Know

June 01, 2023
Written by
Denis O'Sullivan
Opinions expressed by Twilio contributors are their own
Reviewed by
Ayanna Julien
Opinions expressed by Twilio contributors are their own

Google Update on Inactive Accounts: Everything You Should Know

Do you have any old Gmail accounts you stopped logging into a while back? These might soon be gone, according to a news release from Google

In short, by the end of 2023, Google will change how it handles inactive accounts. So if you have an account you haven’t used or logged into for 2 years, Google will delete the account and its contents. 

This will involve the entire Google Workspace, not just Gmail. That means you could lose access to any associated Google apps, including Docs, Drive, Meet, Calendar, and Photos if you’ve been inactive for 2 years.

Now that you know the who, when, and where, let’s look at the why and how surrounding this Google update.

Why is Google making this change? 

It’s all about security.

Old, inactive accounts are more susceptible to compromise. Not to mention, most inactive accounts use old or reused passwords, making them a likely threat for a cyberattack compared to accounts with frequently changed passwords. 

Inactive accounts also tend to not have 2-step verification set up. According to Google:
Our internal analysis shows abandoned accounts are at least 10x less likely than active accounts to have 2-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.

How will this Google update impact senders? 

It’s time to sunset.

For senders with strict sunset policies, you shouldn’t see any impact. However, if you send mail to subscribers that haven’t opened your emails in over 2 years, it’s time for a change. 

It’s no secret that inbox providers like Gmail don’t like to see mail sent to their customers who haven’t even logged into their account in several months. So if you send reengagement campaigns to older subscribers, you’ll likely see higher bounce rates at Gmail for those subscribers who haven’t logged into that Gmail account in over 2 years. 

At Twilio SendGrid, our team of deliverability consultants works closely with customers on special campaigns, such as reengagement, to send mail in a manner that will limit any damage to your sender reputation. For example, if your team needs assistance with planning reengagement campaigns or repairing your sending reputation after a reengagement campaign, contact us to explore how you can work with one of our experts

When will Google start deleting inactive accounts? 

It’s a slow and careful rollout.

Google won’t just delete all inactive accounts at once. This change will occur in a few stages. 

Beginning in December 2023, Google will start deleting accounts created over 2 years ago and never used. However, before deleting any accounts, Google will send multiple notifications to that customer to inform them of the upcoming deletion. So if the user logs in, their account will stay active. 

Send effective reengagement campaigns with Twilio SendGrid

The world of email deliverability is ever-changing. And with Google updates like the 2 big ones in the past few weeks—deleting inactive accounts and implementing a new blue checkmark—it’s crucial to stay vigilant in your sending to limit damage to your reputation. Twilio SendGrid can help. 

Our team of deliverability experts can help you plan reengagement campaigns for inactive users, repair your sending reputation after a reengagement campaign, and more. Connect with our Expert Services to get started today!

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