What Happens if I Don't Use My Google Voice Account?
By Aaron Charles
Google Voice, yet another tool from the Google realm that helps businesses, allows free voice calls to anyone in the U.S. and Canada. Once you sign up for a Google Voice account, Google policy requires that you use your account every so often in order to keep it active.
Once your business receives a Google Voice number, the clock starts running. If you don't use your Google Voice number by making or receiving a call or sending or receiving a text within nine months, Google will consider your number inactive. Once a number has gone inactive, it's possible that Google will reclaim the number, meaning that you'll need to start from scratch if you should want to use Google Voice again.
Google does note one exception to its number reclaiming policy. If you have a phone number "ported," or transferred, from another service provider to the Google Voice platform, Google will deactivate your Voice account after nine months of inactivity but won't confiscate the phone number. For example, as of the date of publication, Sprint and Google have a partnership that lets a Sprint subscriber port her Sprint number into a Google Voice account.
Although Google Voice is part of an overall Google account -- including Gmail, Drive and YouTube -- using any of these other services doesn't qualify as using your Google Voice account. If you need to take action to keep your Google Voice number active before it's deactivated, and for whatever reason you don't have anyone to call, simply call your personal cell or home number.
Another way to keep your account active is to sign up for Google's Inactive Account Manager. With this you can inform Google that you'll allow for a certain period of inactivity before Google automatically deactivates or deletes your Google account -- be it three, six, nine or twelve months. The Inactive Account Manager also covers Google Voice. If activated, it can give you an extra three months of inactivity when you opt for the twelve-month inactive period. To initiate this tool, sign in to your Gmail account, click your name next to your profile photo and then click "Account." Click "Learn More And Go To Setup" under the Account Management heading to get started.
Aaron Charles began writing about "pragmatic art" in 2006 for an online arts journal based in Minneapolis, Minn. After working for telecom giant Comcast and traveling to Oregon, he's written business and technology articles for both online and print publications, including Salon.com and "The Portland Upside."