How to tell Google what to do with your account in the afterlife

A new tool from Google lets users tell it what to do with their account if they disappear for a long time. Or are dead.

Story highlights

  • Google Inactive Account Manager lets users control their account after their gone
  • Service can be set to share your data or delete your account
  • Tool kicks in three, six, nine or 12 months of inactivity
There's no better way to start off the afternoon than coming to terms with your mortality, which you'll need to do if you want to take advantage of Google's new Inactive Account Manager. Google launched the service on its account settings page to give users options with their account should it remain inactive for an extended period of time.
It's simple to set up: choose a timeout period—three, six, nine, or twelve months of inactivity—and from there you can direct Google on what to do with your Gmail messages, Blogger posts, Contacts, Google+ account, Google Voice, and YouTube accounts. (Basically, any Google services you've used in the past.)
After that time period of inactivity, Google will send out a text message and e-mail the secondary address you provide. If you don't respond, it will assume ... well, the worst.
"We hope that this new feature will enable you to plan your digital afterlife," Google concluded in the blog post.
Google tool helps you prepare for death
Google tool helps you prepare for death


    Google tool helps you prepare for death


Google tool helps you prepare for death 01:41
If you have intentions of allowing a friend or family member to have access to that data, you can set up the service to notify up to 10 people that your account has been inactive for the time you've specified.
Google will then ask for verification details for the listed people, like a phone number and e-mail address. When you're ready, you can send out an e-mail to those people you've entrusted with your data should anything happen to you.
If you're interested in setting this up, you can head to Google's Inactive Account Manager from your Google profile.