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This week Google sent notifications to users about policy changes that’d be going into effect in the year 2021. These changes affect users of all Google services, including Gmail, Google Drive, Google Photos, and the rest. If you’re the sort of person who works with a Google One membership, you’ve got little or nothing to worry about. If you’ve been using Google services for a long time and never thought to delete an old email, you’re going to need to pay attention.

The latest changes aim to free up storage for Google that’s currently occupied by data that’s sat unused for long periods of time. With the Google Inactive Account Manager, users will be able to take a peek at what Google considers inactive. This tool also allows the user to decide when Google should consider their account to be inactive, and what they’ll do with the data once an account has become inactive.

Default settings for Google services suggest that if you are inactive for 24 months (2 years) in Gmail, Google Photos, or any of the several Google Drive apps or connected service, your content may be deleted. If you’re a Google One member and are within storage quotas and “in good-standing” according to Google’s policies, you will not be impacted by the new inactive account policy.

Perhaps the most important bit of this entire process change is the following rule: “If you exceed your storage limit for 2 years, we may delete your content across Gmail, Drive and Photos.”

That policy and the rest of the 2-year rule for inactive accounts will go into effect June 1, 2021. That is when the countdown begins. A Google suggested today, “as this policy goes into effect June 1, 2021, the earliest it would be enforced is June 1, 2023.

You may also want to take a peek at your Google account storage manager right now. It is there that Google makes the process of deleting old content and downloading the rest… relatively simple. If you’re like me, you’ve got massive amounts of data living in Google’s storage bins, and it’s probably time you took at look at what needs cleaning!

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