Jan 2024 | Data Quality |

Google is starting a purge. Personal Gmail accounts that have been inactive for two plus years will be deleted starting December 1, 2023, this comes off a new policy set by Google earlier in 2023.

We outline the must-know details and what businesses can do today to minimise risk of being blacklisted and wind up with a collection of data debt.

What is the situation?

In a phased approach, Google will start deleting personal Gmail accounts that have been inactive for two plus years starting December 1, 2023. This cleansing effort does not impact school or business accounts. This comes off a new policy set by Google earlier this year in effort to reduce security risks.

“Our internal analysis shows abandoned accounts are at least 10x less likely than active accounts to have 2-step-verification set up. Meaning, these accounts are often vulnerable, and once an account is compromised, it can be used for anything from identity theft to a vector for unwanted or even malicious content, like spam.” – Ruth Kricheli, VP Product Management, Google

Read Google’s new policy

What is the impact?

Gmail is one of the most popular email services in the world, with 43% market share1

Deleted email accounts will mean you’re sending to inboxes that are inactive which will quickly result in:

  1. Bad sender reputation, which can lead to being blacklisted.
  2. A collection of data debt that muddies your database.
  3. Lower marketing ROI as you send to bad emails.

While there is no way to say exactly how many Gmail accounts will be deleted at this time, it’s safe to assume that it will be in the millions, and with the market share Gmail has, it’s likely to effect your customer lists.


What can I do?

Your priority is to clean your email list. Regularly cleaning your email data is the simplest way to stay ahead of the phased approach Google is taking when deleting inactive accounts. Experian offers a variety of Email Validation solutions that check every component of an email address, including the syntax, validity of the domain and existence of the username. It also identifies harmful email addresses and provides common email domain corrections

How it works

Verify email addresses on the fly with our real-time API.

Our solution improves the quality of your email data by identifying mistyped email addresses as they happen and prompting customers to make the necessary corrections. It’s the ideal solution for web forms and landing pages, Ecommerce shopping carts, web applications, and call centers.

Learn more

By regularly monitoring and cleaning your email database you will:
  • Remain in compliance, keeping your good sender reputation.
  • Deliver a better customer experience by reaching the right inboxes.
  • Achieve higher ROI for email marketing campaigns.



This is a big deal. We pulled together additional readings for you.


Google announces their latest policy change that goes into effect Dec 1, 2023

Forbes outlines key facts about the Gmail purge

Vice’s interesting take on the pros and cons of the Gmail purge

Experian dives into the importance of email sender reputation

Email Validation best practices for 2023



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