Google essentially told G Suite legacy free edition users to pay for a Workspace subscription or lose access to their account when it announced the imminent shutdown of the legacy free service. More than a week later, the search giant has introduced a less strenuous option, particularly for those who don’t use it for business purposes.
Non-business consumers will have an option to transfer their non-Google Workspace paid content and most of their data at no cost. As spotted by Ars Technica, Google has updated its Workspace support page to walk back on the initial stringent terms, stating:
In the coming months, we’ll provide 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 won’t include premium features like custom email or multi-account management. You’ll be able to evaluate this option prior to July 1, 2022 and prior to account suspension.
The new option is better than forcing consumers to pay up or removing their account entirely, assuming they don’t mind losing access to custom email that allows them to append their own domain to their Google account instead of the regular Gmail address.
Previously, non-business users were upset by Google’s initial announcement since they created their free G Suite account more than 10 years ago before the search giant stopped offering the free edition to new customers in 2012.
More worryingly, users who were reluctant to pay up at least a $6 monthly fee per user could only transfer their data via Google Takeout. The problem was they would lose access to paid content in the process.
In late January, Google announced that the legacy free tier will be shut down starting July 1, and urged users to choose a Workspace subscription by May 1.
If you are a G Suite legacy free admin with 10 or fewer users, you’ll need to sign in to this form with a non gmail.com email address and fill in the survey to show your interest in the free option.