When Does Your Gmail Account Expire?

Google no longer deletes inactive Gmail accounts

As of June 2021, Google may delete content in Gmail accounts that have become inactive. Your Gmail account is considered inactive when you haven't accessed it for more than 24 months (two years). If your account becomes inactive, you could lose all the data that you've stored in Gmail such as messages, files, pictures, and videos.

But, you won't lose the account.

Gmail Account Deletion Policy History

In years past, you could keep your Gmail account as long as you used it in a sensible manner. You had to use it, though. Google automatically deleted Gmail accounts after nine months of inactivity. Not only were the folders, messages, and labels deleted, the account's email address was also deleted. Nobody, not even the original owner, could set up a new Gmail account with the same address. The delete process was irreversible.

Expired parking meter
fotog / Getty Images 

Google received widespread criticism when a large number of users reported their inactive accounts were deleted without warning, giving them no time to backup their data. This public relations concern may have contributed to the change in policy. Now, accounts are not deleted, and users are notified before their accounts are labeled inactive. Also, they are given a longer time span of inactivity before Google deletes all content.

How to Keep Your Account Active

To keep your Gmail account active all you have to do is log into your email account once in a while. Try to log in and view emails at least once a year (or a little more often to be on the safe side). You can send an email, delete an email, or perform any task while logged into Gmail for it to remain an "active" account. Just make sure you're online when you log in.

If your Gmail account disappears, promptly contact Gmail support for help.

Was this page helpful?