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Google turning the lights out on free G Suite legacy users by mid-year unless they pay up

The years with free Gmail, Drive, and other G Apps on a custom domain were nice while they lasted.
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Written by Chris Duckett, APAC Editor on
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Image: A9 STUDIO -- Shutterstock

It's been a bit under a decade since Google stopped offering its email and online office suite for free to users on their own domain name, but the Grim Reaper has finally arrived for those users grandfathered on what would become known as the "G Suite legacy free edition".

In an email and notice first spotted by 9to5Google, Google is telling its legacy free users to pony up if they want to continue receiving the same service they have become accustomed to.

"If you have the G Suite legacy free edition, you need to upgrade to a paid Google Workspace subscription to keep your services. The G Suite legacy free edition will no longer be available starting July 1, 2022," Google said on a support page.

Users will have until May 1 to decide which of Google's Workspace plans they want, and if they do not, the search giant will upgrade users automatically "based on the features you currently use".

If users do not provide billing information by July 1, they will be suspended, and after 60 days of suspension, access to "Google Workspace core services" will be ended.

See also: Can you trust Google to keep your WiFi running until 2030?

Google's Workspace pricing tiers begin at $6 per user per month and top out at $18 per user per month for the Business Plus plan. These plans are for a maximum of 300 users, after which those interested need to contact the Google sales machine.

For users that decide to shift from Google and want to keep a copy of their data to the greatest extent possible, that avoids paying, super administrators are able to use the G Suite data export tool while users can use Google Takeout.

For users that are only interested in using Gmail on a custom domain, and are happy to burn any emails left behind, forwarding emails to a regular Gmail account could be an option to continue doing it for free.

Just before Christmas, Google reportedly told purchasers of its OnHub routers that support would end on 19 December 2022, but did give users a 40% discount on Nest Wifi.

Goodbye, cruel Google world