Google finally straightens out its old free G-Suite mess

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Almost five months after Google announced that it was going to make G-Suite legacy free edition users start paying for their accounts, it finally seems to have a path in place that will satisfy most people. . According to 9To5Googlethere’s now a free option that will allow users to continue using their G-Suite accounts for personal use, and signing up won’t involve a song and dance of joining a waitlist or transferring data between accounts.

In January, Google announced that free G-Suite users would have to start paying for Google Workspace if they wanted to keep their accounts, after about a decade to keep the old free level. The company said that if users don’t decide which level of paid workspace they want by May 1, they will automatically be upgraded based on their usage. Later, Google said that you would be able to transfer to a free account, but you would lose some functionality when doing so. Now, however, there will be an option to continue using the service which is open to people who do not use it for business purposes, according to a Google support document.

Explanation of Google on the personal path of use.
Picture: u/AB3DC on Reddit

The free personal use option will let you continue to use a custom domain with Gmail, use free Google apps like YouTube, Docs, and Meet, and keep all your data and purchases. Basically, everything will stay the same, as long as you choose the personal transition path at no cost by June 27. You can find the instructions on how to do this in the Google support documentand Reddit user u/AB3DC has screenshots posted (one of which you can see above) in the GSuiteLegacyMigration subreddit showing what the process will look like. Google notes that “G Suite Legacy Free Edition does not include support” and may “remove some commercial features” from the plan in the future.

Personally, this “transition path”, as Google calls it, seems to be what should have been announced in the first place. Many people weren’t very happy with the previous version of the plan, especially those who weren’t part of a company and had just used G-Suite for free as it was a good option for power users to the time. For a while, it looked like Google was going to charge them for pro features they absolutely didn’t need.

It didn’t help that originally people’s options were to either start paying or export their data and create a new standard account. In April Google postponed the deadline, and announced that there would be a tool to allow you to transfer to a free account, but you had to join a waiting list for that, and you would have lost access to the ability to use a domain personalized. To put it simply, it was still going to be a bit boring (as evidenced by the fact that there are an entire subreddit dedicated to discussing the transition). Now it looks like Google has it all figured out: if you’re a business, you’ll pay. If you’re not, you don’t have to.

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