Google's New Storage Policy Deletes User Data After 2 Years


Google’s new storage policy is becoming even more outrageous. Earlier this year Google announced that Google photos would end its free unlimited storage for photos. Now after two years of inactivity users are at risk of having their data deleted.

Recently it was revealed that Google One’s higher-tier storage plans were now 50% less than they used to be. This came as a welcome surprise for anyone who needs 10TB or more of storage. June 1 2021 is when free unlimited storage ends, but there is more. Any user who has been inactive for more than two years will now be at risk of having their data deleted.

Google’s support page goes on to explain this in further detail. It says if a user is inactive for 2 years all their content will be removed from a certain product. This applies to your Gmail, Google Drive, Photos, Google, Docs, Google Sheets, Drawings, Forms, Jamboard, or Site files.


Google’s new storage policy wants users to stay active

However, there is some good news. Google says before anything happens that users will be notified via email. Google will use email and notifications within Google products to notify them. They will contact users at least three months before any content is eligible for deletion.

After that, Google will give users the opportunity to avoid deletion by becoming active in whichever product is at risk. Lastly, users will have the opportunity to download their content. They provide steps for downloading a user’s Google data. In addition to this the policy says, “If you’re a Google One member with no outstanding payment or quota issues, you are considered active”.

To clarify Google uses this example. If you are inactive within Photos for 2 years, then only your Photos content will be deleted. If you are active within Drive or Gmail, then those services and their data will be safe. Google does go on to explain how to remain active and luckily it is easy. The simplest way is to visit Gmail, Google Photos, and Google Drive on the web or through a Google app. Again, this also applies to any collaborative content creation apps like Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms, Jamboard, and sites.


Google’s support page does mention that activity is considered by account and, not by device. Even though you may have multiple accounts on your device, you must use all services for any account you want to remain active. The support page says the earliest these policies would be enforced is June 1, 2023.