WebDevelopersNotes logo

home-icon Home / Answers / Has my email expired?

Has my email expired?

Has my email expired?

I used to have an email address but it seems it has expired. Can this happen? is there an expiration date of an email?
Noemi Blaza

Let me start with a cliche – ‘Nothing lasts forever’ – sorry, couldn’t help it. But it is a fact, everything will die or “expire” one day. And the same holds true for an email address too. Technically, it would be more correct to refer to an email account as “closed” or “deleted” instead of saying the email address has expired.

Sponsored Links

The email address becomes non-existent once the account is closed

All email addresses have the format: someone@somewhere. The “someone” part is the ID (sometimes also called the username or account name) while the “somewhere” is the domain/server name. When an email account is closed, i.e., the user is removed, the email address becomes non-existent. Any correspondence sent to such an account would be returned to the sender.

Do email addresses from Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail expire?

Email address dies if not used - email tombstoneEmail addresses from the three most popular services, Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail, will not expire as long as you continue to use the account regularly. This is obviously assuming that the service itself keeps on running. However, each service has specified a period of inactivity. If you don’t log in once during this time period, the account will be closed and the email address will, thus, expire.

Service Time after which email will expire because of account inactivity
Gmail 9 months
Hotmail 270 days
Yahoo! Mail 4 months

Why do these services have this period of inactivity?

Let’s look at it from their point of view of the service providing the free email account. If an account hasn’t been checked in many months, it means the user doesn’t care about it. Typically, the service deletes the email account to free up resources for other subscribers. Thus, to prevent your Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo email address from expiring, all you need to do it log in at your account at least once before the inactivity period ends.

Sponsored Links

Your comments
Star icon IMPORTANT Have a question / problem? Click here to ask an expert.

  • Peter Wong on December 19th, 2010 4:00 pm

    What will happen when the Gmail account has expired?

  • Manish on December 19th, 2010 7:32 pm

    @Peter Wong,
    The username will be available for another user. I don’t think this happens immediately but I may be wrong.

  • Shiferaw on January 31st, 2012 12:58 pm

    How can I update an expired Yahoo email account?

  • PARVEEZDAR on July 6th, 2012 11:56 am

    Yahoo kept rejecting my account fro 3 straight days and then on the fourth, I was able to access. I changed nothing! Really weird.

  • MOHIT on November 10th, 2012 6:52 pm

    Hmmm. My email address no longer exists now. Let me try

  • Santosh Chavan on March 5th, 2013 11:37 am

    So if I didn’t use the email account for many months, the account will be removed and all the messages deleted? Now I get it.

  • Sylvia Wairimu Gathumbi on April 19th, 2013 4:15 pm

    I hadn’t used my email for a long time. Now it says that I cannot access it. I want my email account back.

  • Manish on April 25th, 2013 9:52 am

    @Sylvia Wairimu Gathumbi
    Your account will be deleted and all the information removed if you don’t access it at least once in the stipulated “inactivity” period. However, as had mentioned above, not all it lost. You can still get the same email address provided someone else hasn’t registered it already. All messages and contacts data is, sadly, lost of good.

  • rizwan on May 19th, 2013 12:08 pm

    So an unused email can be activated once again?

  • alfred on April 2nd, 2014 6:38 am

    I can’t seem to receive my emails, it’s been about 6 to 7 weeks since it was active because I lost my phone.

  • younis alozai on April 20th, 2015 10:39 pm

    I’ve forgotten my secret question

  • Kim on July 19th, 2015 2:44 pm

    How do I change my mobile phone number if I cannot access my yahoo account and cannot retrieve a new password because the website has my old phone number not my new one

Sponsored Links


How do I view a deleted web page?
Is there a way to view a deleted web page - one that is no longer available? Yes there is and the solution is quite simple. [more...]


Pareto's principle holds true everywhere. In April of 2011, 30% of videos on YouTube garnered 99% of views! [more...]

We use cookies to give you the best possible website experience. By using WebDevelopersNotes.com, you agree to our Privacy Policy