How to Tell Google What to Do With Your Data When You Die

It doesn’t matter how old you are or how healthy you are, having a death plan, even a rough one, is a pretty solid idea. The people you leave will have to figure out what to do with your pets, your belongings, and even your Gmail account.

Making a plan for your email (as well as your Google Drive, Google Pay, and Photos accounts) is easy, and it can be part of the plan you follow today to help your friends or family when the time is right and help prevent your accounts will not be accessed in any way you do not want.

The Next Web detailed the process this weekend, reminding me that this is an option, as well as the fact that I should probably take another look (and possibly delete the former).

Please login to your Google account first. If you are using Chrome, you are probably already signed in.

Go to your Google account page. You can get to the regular Google search page by clicking on your face in the upper right corner.

Once there, search for “Inactive Account Manager” to open your account settings if you go to sleep.

From there, you can decide to self-destruct your account if it becomes inactive for a period of time. Three months is the minimum, but from this point on, the possibilities increase to six, twelve and eighteen months. Before they self-destruct, they will receive multiple SMS notifications letting you know if you know you are alive.

On the same page, you can also add up to 10 people you want to be notified if your account becomes inactive. If you are like me and are afraid of dying in the bathtub and no one else will notice, that might alert your buddies that there might be a reason why you are not answering their calls. You can also choose to give them access to their accounts in one form or another, if you like.

Obviously, planning our own death is not something we all look forward to. Do something small, like set up a plan for email and photos; however, it can give you a little peace of mind that nothing strange will happen to them that day.


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