New storage policies for Google accounts from June 1, 2021

Paragraph[German]Google is changing its terms of use for Google accounts (Gmail, Google Drive) etc. as of June 1, 2021. This also affects the question of what happens when such an account is not used for a longer period of time. Here is a brief overview of this issue.


For Android devices backups are deleted if they have not been used for two months. So you can't restore a new Android device from the backup later. Besides the backups for Android devices, however, there are other free Google accounts for Gmail, Google Drive or Google Photos.

Each Google account comes with 15 GB of free storage for Gmail, Google Drive and Google Photos. Users can expand their storage quota via a Google One subscription (if available). Occasionally, Google also grants additional quota as part of a special promotion or purchase of an associated device. For these accounts, the storage policies changes this year.

Google informs about changes

In mid-December 2020, I received an email from Google announcing new terms for using Google accounts. Here are the key points:

  • If a user is inactive in Gmail, Drive or Photos for 2 years (24 months), Google reserves the right to delete the content in the inactive accounts' products.
  • Google One member accounts that remain within their storage quota and are in good standing are not affected by the new inactivity policy.
  • For accounts where users exceed their storage quota for 2 years, Google reserves the right to delete content in Gmail, Drive, and Photos.

These new Google account storage policies apply to Gmail, Google Drive (including Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms and Jamboard files) and/or Google Photos. Google writes that it wants to bring itself 'in line with industry practices'. The new policies will go into effect on June 1, 2021. Users who have a Google account should have been notified of this via email by now. A full list of changes can be found in the Google Help Center article.

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