Microsoft has updated their Account Activity Policy with the most important change being when they remove inactive accounts. Now instead of the five year policy, the company has changed it to two years of no activity for them to make a judgement and eventually delete an account. This includes access to any and all Microsoft brand services, specifically Xbox Live.
The change is reflected near the beginning of the page, where it clearly states: “Microsoft reserves the right to close all “inactive” Microsoft accounts….Except as provided below, you must sign in to your Microsoft account at least once in a two-year period to keep your account active. If you don’t sign in during this time, Microsoft will consider your account to be inactive.” It’s pretty cut and dry, and while their was not an explicit reason behind the policy update, it could have to do with them adding more services to their repertoire and keeping their customer numbers high.
The Account Activity Policy update officially becomes effective on August 30 Friday, just a little more than a month away. For those who are worried about their own accounts, as long as you’re actively using the account with any Microsoft brand service, you’ll be alright. If anyone out there doesn’t use their account all that often, or next to never, then just sign in at least once every two years to ensure that your account wont be removed.
Microsoft has also detailed other exceptions that will extend the account’s lifeline, despite not signing in over the two year expectancy. This includes purchasing products from their online store, renewing subscriptions, adding a balance to your online wallet, or if you are a publisher and need to release games to the online store. While this isn’t a serious situation for most people, it’s still important to know when these types of policies change, as it could affect you in the long run.