Google's plans to purge inactive accounts in December faces user backlash

Critics of Google's recently announced plans to purge accounts that have been inactive for two years say the messaging has been too vague.

Image via Google

Google has found itself on the receiving end of major criticism this week as it began messaging users to let them know of plans to purge inactive accounts and free up the handles associated with them. Not only was this an unpopular decision to many, but critics have also take umbrage with Google’s messaging on the matter, claiming Google has been vague in emails warning of the potentially massive change.

Google’s plans to purge accounts were discovered in emails recently sent out to users via Gmail, as reported by CNBC. We also obtained a copy of the email, which lays out Google’s plans and what it means for Gmail and Google account users. The wording regarding inactive accounts can be found below:

We are updating the inactivity period for a Google Account to two years across all our products and services. This change starts rolling out today and will apply to any Google Account that’s been inactive, meaning it has not been signed into or used within a two-year period. An inactive account and any content in it will be eligible for deletion from December 1, 2023.

Sabrina Meherally's LinkedIn response to Google's inactive account purge.
Pause and Effect firm CEO Sabrina Meherally was one of a few vocal critics who felt Google's messaging on purging inactive accounts has been too vague.
Source: LinkedIn

While two years is quite a stretch, critics have also taken umbrage with the messaging from Google on its purge plans. CEO of Canadian design firm Pause and Effect Sabrina Meherally shared her thoughts on the matter via LinkedIn, criticizing the vagueness of Google’s messaging in its email headlines.

Meherally goes on to say that she feels that with such a short period of time until this purge goes into effect and such large consequences implied, she hopes Google reworks its messaging to make the severity of the situation clearer. She’s joined by many other critics who feel similarly on the matter.

As for Google, the company claims this purge is part of an effort to boost security, but it has also been in cost-cutting mode. The company laid off around 12,000 employees earlier this year, and has even sold off office equipment to try to skimp some pennies. Google hasn’t said this purge is part of cost-cutting efforts, but many feel it is a little too close to be coincidental.

Either way, the bottom line is that users should jump on their inactive Google accounts if they don’t want them to be purged by December 2023. Stay tuned as we continue to watch for updates related this story.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

Filed Under
From The Chatty
Hello, Meet Lola