What happens to your Gmail if you pass away?

If you have not thought about it, you should.

This is akin to the life insurance question. What happens to your family if you pass away?

Gone are the days when an email account purely worked as an alternative to snail mail. People saving money on expensive voice calls and writing long emails instead to their far located friends and relatives.

Nowadays our mail accounts hide a chunk of important information – from bank accounts statements to insurance policy documents to a plethora of important PDFs. In short, important things that can help our dependents once we are gone.

While it may not have occurred to you, but your Gmail account could lie redundant in the cyber-ether hiding all the information that your spouse or your parents or your children might need badly.

If you have not yet heard about it already, then, let me break it to you that Google has an easy solution called “Inactive Account Manager“.

Google tracks your last log-ins. If you have not accessed your account via browser or Gmail app for 3 months, subject to your settings, Google will share your Gmail, Drive and other data with your trusted contacts for a limited period of time.

What happens to your Gmail if you pass away?
(pic courtesy www.gtricks.com)

You can choose your “trusted contacts”. These are the people Google would share your data with if you are not there. You can choose a maximum of 10 people.

Actually, you can choose the period of inactivity – 3 months, 6 months or more.

Before sharing your data with your trusted contacts, Google will reach out to you through every possible means – emails to your primary and secondary accounts, SMSes, etc.

After the exact 3 months of giving access to your trusted contacts, Google will delete all your data.

It’s important to protect your digital afterlife for the sake of your loved ones. Google will not share your data with your spouse or parents if you failed to turn on your inactivity settings.

Another, easier alternative to this technical solution is that you share your passwords with your loved ones and make sure they remember them :-).


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