Google has issued a stark warning to Gmail users that they could lose their accounts if they do not take urgent action.

The technology giant said that those who have accounts that are considered inactive could lose their email and its contents.

In an email this week, it said: "If your account is considered inactive, we will send several reminder emails to both you and your recovery emails (if any have been provided) before we take any action or delete any account content. These reminder emails will go out at least 8 months before any action is taken on your account."

The company has long had a policy of deleting accounts inactive for more than two years.

This means that if you do not log into your account for more than two years, it will be deleted and no longer available to use.

In May, Google revealed that it would be deleting inactive accounts in December of 2023, meaning users only have four months to log back in to save their emails.

The American company has said it will send multiple notifications to those whose accounts are affected.

Why does Google delete inactive accounts?

The giant's decision to delete inactive Gmail accounts is motivated by security issues. Old accounts are often vulnerable to cyber attacks as they lack two-factor authentication.

Hackers can use these accounts to spread malware to others online.

What happens to Gmail accounts of deceased users?

Google stated that the move will also apply to unclaimed Gmail accounts of deceased users.

However, there is an option for immediate family members and representatives to close deceased accounts while saving much of their contents.

Users can use Google's 'Inactive Account Manager' to decide what happens with their data after it has been inactive.