Microsoft Will Begin Deleting All Inactive Accounts Starting August 30
Microsoft has revised its account activity policy with the company closing all the inactive accounts at the end of this month. Under the account activity policy, Microsoft writes that you must use your Microsoft account to keep it “active” with the company reserving the right to close all “inactive” Microsoft accounts.
The updated policy suggests that your account will be considered inactive if you haven’t signed into your Microsoft account at least once in a two-year period.
If you don’t sign in during this time, Microsoft will consider your account to be inactive.
The following activities are the exceptions that will result in the company extending your account’s active status:
Purchases. If you have used your Microsoft account to purchase, or to redeem or access a purchase of, a current Microsoft product or service, your Microsoft account will remain active and Microsoft will not close your account due to inactivity. Note, this does not apply to gift cards, certifications or subscription-based purchases or services.
Subscriptions. Your Microsoft account will continue to remain active for so long as you have an active Microsoft subscription associated with your Microsoft account. Following the expiration or termination of the subscription, you must sign in to your Microsoft account at least once in a two-year period to keep your account active.
Publishing to the Microsoft Store. If you have used your Microsoft account to publish applications or games (including game DLCs) to the Microsoft Store or to register for a Microsoft Partner Center account, your Microsoft account will remain active and Microsoft will not close your account due to inactivity.
Certifications. If you earn a certification from Microsoft using your Microsoft account, your Microsoft account will remain active and Microsoft will not close your account due to inactivity.
Account Balance. Your Microsoft account will continue to remain active for so long as you have an unspent balance in your Microsoft account (e.g. from a Microsoft gift card or a credit from Microsoft). If you live in a jurisdiction where gift cards are considered “unclaimed property,” Microsoft will, pursuant to local law, escheat the unspent balance associated with your Microsoft gift card.
Accounts Payable. Your Microsoft account will continue to remain active for so long as there is an amount owed to you by Microsoft associated with your Microsoft account (e.g. amounts due to you from Microsoft Payment Central).
Family Accounts. If you have an inactive Microsoft account that has granted consent for an active Microsoft account belonging to a minor, Microsoft will not close your Microsoft account due to your inactivity. Your inactive Microsoft account will be kept open by Microsoft until the minor’s account (i) is deemed inactive and closed by Microsoft, (ii) is closed by you, or (iii) transitions into a standard Microsoft account when the minor reaches the requisite age of majority in their region.
Legal Requirements or as otherwise provided by Microsoft. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Microsoft reserves the right to maintain your account status as active, or not to close an inactive account, as required by applicable law or regulation, or as otherwise provided by Microsoft to you.
Dormant accounts can result in several security issues, including but definitely not limited to account takeover. While you may not care about that 20-year-old hotmail account, considering the tendency to reuse passwords or a permutation of an old password, old accounts end up creating serious problems.
You can head over to the Microsoft account management website to check the status of your Microsoft account. If you don’t care, the Windows maker will take care of it for you by deleting it on August 30. If you want to avoid that, it’s recommended to sign in to your account before the deadline.