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Google Lets Legacy G Suite Users Keep Their Email for Free

For many years, Google let individuals and families create free G Suite accounts to use custom domains with Gmail. Recently, however, Google told those users they would have to subscribe to Google Workspace to keep those accounts, forcing some TidBITS readers to choose whether to stick with Google or move their hosted email elsewhere.

At nearly the last minute, Google has relented. Ars Technica explains how legacy G Suite users can keep their email accounts for free. Note that you must manually sign up for the free option by 27 June 2022—if you do nothing, your G Suite account will be suspended on 1 August 2022. The G Suite legacy free edition is only for personal or family use—business users must move to the paid Google Workspace. If you’ve already started paying for Google Workspace but qualify for the G Suite legacy free edition, contact Google support.

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Comments About Google Lets Legacy G Suite Users Keep Their Email for Free

Notable Replies

  1. Great! Now they tell me!

    After receiving word that Google would start charging for the custom email address, I spent most of February shutting down that G Suite (or Google Workspace) account—moving a YouTube channel, transferring Google docs, archiving mail, etc.—and moving the info where it could be accessed with another still-free Google account, while moving the email address to Apple’s relatively new custom domain email address service. Turns out, I didn’t need to do that. While I was never charged for Google Workspace monetarily, I feel like Google owes me February back.

  2. I’m glad I did nothing. I saw that the first three months would be free, hoped that they would realize their mistake, and if not, I would have there months to move out.

    I did do a bunch of research into mail forwarding, since I have 15 users.

  3. Bless you for posting this!

    Yes, they’ve been threatening me for months. Some time back, there was an email that said there might be other options forthcoming, so I decided to sit tight. But I didn’t get this recent “memo” about “pressing the magic button” by a certain deadline until you posted this.

    I have now pressed the magic button and it now tells me that I’m using the free legacy non-commercial GSuite.

    Glad that stress is behind me!

  4. This of course is the tactic many apps/services use as their business plan.

    They offer a great free service, gain millions of users, then remove the free service in favour of charging for the same thing at a later date.

    Been there, done that… (and typically walked away).

    Two obvious examples from big players that come to mind:

    Google did the same thing with Google Photos, unlimited size photo uploads in an unlimited amount, inc. videos. Later cut to smaller size photos in an unlimited amount only, charging tiers for the previously free stuff.

    Microsoft similarly did unlimited OneDrive storage for O365 customers. Of course as soon as some users uploaded double-digit terabytes of files, a couple of years later they cut it to 1TB/user account, again charging tiers for the previously free stuff.

  5. Thanks Josh for making us aware of this! It has saved my day. I have successfully reverted my payment plan on my Legacy G Suite. And in the process, I have enjoyed Google’s excellent customer service - and I’m not being sarcastic here.

    When Google announced they’d be pulling the plug on the free G Suite, I thought to myself “Well, there you have it - I guess in the end there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch”. I blessed the many years I enjoyed the free perks and forked out the cash - and found out it would be a smooth landing. No billing until August, half price for the year to follow.

    But after reading your notice I contacted Google Support, was chatting with a real human support officer within minutes, who had me confirm it was for private use only, no business, and I’m back on the Legacy terms and conditions.

    I truly must say, I don’t recall ever having had such a smooth Customer Service experience.

  6. Is there anything in your account that actually shows you’ve been reverted back or did they just do like with me and tell I had been in chat but nothing would change and I just wouldn’t be charged?

  7. That is actually a good question. So I went over and checked my billing settings - which still say I’m on the Flexible plan with invoices due in August for 50% off, and come August 2023 I pay the full price.

    Ho hum.

    Guess I’ll be spending some more time w/customer support.

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