Google will force free G Suite accounts to paid plans, starting in July

Google will force free G Suite accounts to paid plans, starting in July

Google online accounts usually fall into one of two categories: free personal accounts with a @gmail.com address attached, and workplace accounts provided by a company or organization. There are also some Google accounts, which offer the custom domain ability of corporate accounts (e.g. having [email protected] as a Gmail account) for free, but now Google is cutting that option years after it stopped being offered.

Google has started sending emails to administrators (via 9toGoogle) informing them that the “G Suite legacy free edition” plan will no longer be available starting July 1, 2022. Retaining access to those accounts will require switching to a paid Google Workspace plan, which start at $6/mo (per user). Google is offering discounts for the first 12 months to make the transition a bit smoother.

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G Suite email

Email sent to Google Workplace administrators (Source: 9to5Google)

The free G Suite plan, also known as the Google Apps legacy plan, was discontinued for new customers on December 6, 2012. However, many people are still using free G Suite accounts, especially since some of those accounts have purchases connected to them (such as paid Play Store apps and games, movies and TV shows from Google TV, and so on). Google says it will suspend accounts without billing details before July 1, 2022, and after 60 days in suspension, services such as Gmail and Calendar (but not YouTube and Google Photos) will become inaccessible.

Google doesn’t have any method of transferring paid content from one account to another, so for anyone with a free G Suite account, the only options are now paying for a plan or losing access to paid content. Moving emails, photos, and some other data to another Google account is still possible.

If you’re affected by the change, you (or whoever is set as the administrator) should receive the same email from Google. Organizations with free Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals or Google Workspace for Nonprofits accounts won’t be affected at all.

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Corbin Davenport
Corbin Davenport

Corbin is a tech journalist and software developer. Check out what he's up to at corbin.io.

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