That’s right, Google free to Google Workspace is about to happen. And this switch is going to make a big difference to your bank account. If you have a free G Suite account from 2006-to 2012, then you have until May 2022 to start paying for your account.
Early users of Google’s custom domain G Suite service are no longer on a free ride. Google has offered the ability to use Google apps via a custom domain since its inception, giving users an option to have a custom domain email address instead of a gmail.com. From 2006-to 2012, the basic tier of the Google Free G Suite allowed users to create a custom domain account for free.
With the switch, Google users will now have to pay for the privilege of using a custom domain with a Google account. Keep in mind, Google turned off the ability to launch these accounts for free in 2012, but now the challenge has become those initial six years of new users. Google has decided to take away their free accounts.
Google Free to Google Workspace—How It Will Affect You
Some outlets initially reported that Google will shut down the free G Suite accounts if you don’t transition to a paid account. Google is sending out heads-up emails to users of “G Suite legacy free edition” accounts, informing them that on July 1 they’ll be required to start paying for their account.
Google has put together a helpful support page to outline the process for users. Keep in mind, on May 1, Google will automatically bring users up to a paid account tier if billing information is readily available. If no information is available by July, those accounts will be suspended. From there, they have 60 days before they’ll lose access to core Google services including Gmail and Calendar.
What’s Included In Google Workspace
Google’s custom domain began in 2006 as Googles Apps for Your Domain. Since then, the service has been renamed multiple times, including G Suite, Google Apps for Work, and today it’s known as “Google Workspace. However, the services included have not been changed. Gmail and other Google apps are available except for being unable to custom brand your company with their services. This gives you a more professional appearance on your account than just a gmail.com address.
Google Workspace starts at $6 per user, per month, with more tiers available for higher storage requirements. The basic tier for Google was free from 2006 to 2012.
Your Data and Google Workspace
The users who signed up for G Suite’s basic tier package all those years ago had no idea that Google would change the process from out from underneath them. You can fully trust Google and store your data with the company, but you also likely trust them to keep the basic terms of your account. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Google is telling these existing users that they’ll have to pay, or they’ll lose their account.
So, what about your data?
Google is telling customers to use Google Takeout to export some data, however, if you don’t want to have to pay then you’ll lose your information. Keep in mind, there aren’t any real ways to export aspects of your account like content purchases for books, apps, music, and moves. You’ll also likely lose your Google Voice number if you don’t make the payment to Google.
The switch from Google free to Google Workspace is simply going to cost users a monthly fee. It would have been kind of the company to make it easier and free to port data with a free consumer account and a new email address, but unfortunately, Google is not helping out.
Not sure where your account stands? Try exploring the Billing page on your account at admin.google.com. If you notice a G Suite Legacy account note on your account, you can look forward to seeing an email outlining how your account will change.
Should you have access to your Google apps through another bundled service, like a domain hosting site, then you’ll want to check with that tool, to see what will happen to your account.