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Google To End Free Legacy G Suit Accounts: You Have To Pay Now

Gmail workspace

Are you familiar with free Google Workspace (Google Apps, née G Suite) plans for custom domains, anybody could enjoy the benefits of Gmail and other service integrations like Google single sign in and Drive through their very own URL. However, things have changed over time, Google has ended it back in 2012, and now things have got a new twist. Google is shutting its “G Suite legacy free edition” plan entirely by the end of this year as reported by Android Police.

Customers with the legacy grandfathered plan have few options. They could either choose a paid subscription among the standard Google Workspace plans or fire up a standard Gmail account and switch to that. If you don’t, Google will automatically upgrade subscriptions “based on the features you currently use” It is reported that most likely on May 1st, though you’ll have to set up Google Workspace billing for that to happen — Customers that upgrade may also receive a discount for their first year of paid service, and emails are being sent to admins with specific steps.

If you don’t upgrade your account, Google will “suspend” it — Yes, you heard it right, this means you’ll still have access to it for another 60 days, but after that, many services will shut down. However, it’s easy to restore your suspended account in return to a paid subscription.

What are the Costs?

The minimum cost before any potential discounts is currently $6 a month for a Business Starter plan with 30GB of account storage. There’s also a “personal” tier that’s $8 a month on promotion right now, but it seems to be tied to Gmail accounts, which could be a problem for those using the legacy, free accounts on a custom domain.

Google has also published a lenghty FAQ set up regarding this change, you must revert to FAQs before you take any steps further, with one notable omission: What happens to customers that don’t want to pay for a Google Workspace account but want to keep purchases and subscriptions tied to that account? So far as we know, there’s no way to migrate purchases for things like Google Play content or grandfathered subscriptions for things like YouTube Music between accounts.

For customers that set up free custom accounts back in 2006 with “Gmail for your Domain”, there could be thousands or tens of thousands of dollars of Play Store purchases tied to them, given the almost two decades they’ve been in use. Unfortunately, Google seems to be leaving them with just two choices: Upgrade to a paid tier to keep your stuff, or give it all up and switch to a normal Gmail account. While they can export other account data like emails, photos, and cloud-saved bookmarks in a Google Takeout and migrate that to a free account, those purchases and subscriptions (like the grandfathered YouTube Music discount) won’t make the trip.

Android Police has asked Google what these customers should do or if any other options for transferring their purchases and subscriptions will be available to them, and the company dodged our only question with the following information, reiterating the details regarding transferring other account details, which we already knew: