Google will let old G Suite users migrate to free Google accounts

Earlier this month, Google announced that it would end free Google Workspace accounts using the legacy free version of G Suite. After customer complaints, Google has updated its support page and said it plans to give existing users more options.

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Today’s Google Workspace is a very different product than its predecessor. Google’s productivity subscription packages are now primarily designed for businesses. The company offers different plans such as Business Starter, Business Standard and Business Plus as SaaS. Their prices range from $6 to $18 per user per month.

In 2006, after the introduction of Gmail and Google Calendar, Google offered the ability to add custom domains to Google accounts. For example, you can buy a domain name for your last name and use it for your email address ( ). Originally called “Google Apps for Your Domain”, the feature was initially completely free and wasn’t specifically aimed at business customers. In 2012, Google stopped offering the free tier.

Google is under no obligation to provide free services forever. However, the company may not have expected this reaction from tech-savvy Google customers with older G Suite accounts for more than a decade. For example, a post on Hacker News attracted more than a thousand comments.

Rather than force people to pay or shut down old G Suite accounts entirely, Google will offer a third option. On a support page that serves as some sort of announcement page, the company added a paragraph:

In the coming months, we’ll be offering an option for you to move your non-Google Workspace paid content and most of your data to a no-cost option. This new option will not include advanced features like custom email or multiple account management. You will be able to evaluate this option until July 1, 2022 and account suspension. We will update this article with details in the coming months.

A major problem with G Suite free accounts is that they act as Google accounts throughout the Google ecosystem. In addition to email, calendar events, and contacts, some users with upfront free G Suite accounts have been using them, including YouTube, Google Maps, purchases on Google Play, Google Drive, and more.

In other words, it’s not fair to tell users that they can either cancel their account or start paying since Google accounts are often more than just an email inbox. Of course, porting a G Suite upfront free account to a consumer Google account still means you can’t keep your existing email address with a custom domain name, and then users have to use a different email address or find another Email provider.

Finally, Google set up a short survey for upfront free admins of G Suite with 10 or fewer users. They can answer this question to show interest in alternative options and receive updates from Google.

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