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How to schedule self-destruction of your Google and Gmail account

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Prepare your account for the day of your death
Enable self-destruction of your Gmail account


What happens to your data after your death? On Gmail, it is possible to program the automatic self-destruction of your account after one or more months of inactivity. The functionality is now accessible to everyone..

Prepare your account for the day of your death

The death. It's not something we like to talk about or even talk about but managing data online after death is a real social issue. The GAFAMs (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft) have a huge amount of information about you on their servers.

This situation raises many questions. What digital legacy do you want to leave after your death? Would you like to entrust documents (photos, images, messages) to your loved ones and your family? Do you want your social accounts to disappear or on the contrary your digital life to continue beyond your physical existence?

The American internet search giant recently implemented various tools to manage its accounts after his death. For example, you can program your Gmail inbox to automatically delete itself. This way, your personal information will remain secret forever..

Google's messaging service also gives you the option of giving control of your accounts to someone you trust. You might be storing important documents (invoices, photos) that you don't want to go missing.

Enable self-destruction of your Gmail account

Your Google account contains thousands of information of varying importance. What will happen to all this data after your death? Fortunately Google offers a tool to automatically delete all your data after your death including your Gmail address..

Obviously Google is unable to predict the date of your death. On the other hand, you can configure the duration of inactivity of your account (absence of connection) before it self-destructs itself.

  • Open your web browser
  • Go to the My Google Account site accessible at this address: https://www.google.com/account/about/?hl=fr
  • Click on the blue button Go to my Google account
  • Enter your login details (Gmail address + password)
  • Tap the Data & Privacy tab
  • Scroll down until you see the more options section
  • Select the section Plan your digital assets
  • Press the start button
  • Choose the duration of inactivity (by default this period is set to 3 months)
  • You can modify it to reach up to 18 months
  • Do not forget to enter a valid phone number (in case of change, you will have to remember to modify it)
  • Also make sure your email address is correct
  • Click on the next button
  • Then choose the desired option, namely the complete and automatic deletion of your Google account or let a loved one recover your data.

On the next screen, you can choose the people to notify in the event of death and select the data to which they will have access (Gmail, YouTube, Photos, Chrome history, etc.). Important detail, this legatee contact will have 3 months to recover your data. Once this period of time has elapsed, all information will be deleted.

Note that in the event of inactivity, Google will send you an email and an SMS one month before your account officially becomes inactive. Before then do the necessary and prevent the blocking of your Google account.