Inactive AdWords Accounts Are About to Go Bye-Bye


“Is it true that if you don’t use it you lose it?”

Google: Yeah.

Starting Monday, March 26th, inactive AdWords accounts—defined by Google as those that have not spent any money at all in the past 15 months—will be “cancelled.”

Here’s what we know…

“Why Is Google Killing My AdWords Account?”

Because you didn’t use it!

The impending AdPurge aligns with Google’s push towards faster everything: per a recent post on the Ads Developer Blog, accounts “will be cancelled in order to speed up the AdWords experience and help users stay within the manager account limits.” Cancelled means exactly what it sounds like: all the wonderful historical data in your account will fade into the ether. Don’t be too upset, you weren’t using it anyway.

deleted adwords account for inactivity  

By scrubbing AdWords of stored data that’s gone unused for more than a year, Google can alleviate strain on the backend that can make account management and API calls—this is how software like ours interacts with the native platform—substantially faster.

If your account is among those cancelled and you happen to have left unspent, prepaid budget in your coffers, it will be refunded (thanks, Google!)

“My AdWords Account’s Been Cancelled, What Now?!”

Well, you’ve got a few options.

The first, and most obvious, step is to create a new AdWords account. If you haven’t dipped your toes into the PPC water in 15 months, this could be a better bet than reactivation. A lot has changed since 2016, and an all-out rebuild might be more valuable to your business than attempting to resuscitate an antiquated account.

That being said, if you do want to reactivate a cancelled AdWords account, just follow these steps:

In the new AdWords UI, click the tool icon at the top of the page and select “Preferences.”

reactivate cancelled adwords account 

Click the “Account Status” section…

adwords account reactivation 

If your account is deleted, there will be an option to reactivate your account here; click it and the status will kick back over to “your account is active.” Now go use it.

“I’m an agency!”

If you’re an agency, you can see the accounts in your MCC that’ve been cancelled by clicking the three vertical dots in the left-hand corner of your screen and choosing “Show Cancelled.”

show cancelled adwords accounts mcc 

If some of your current clients run the risk of having their accounts cancelled on March 26th, be sure to download any relevant historical data you might need (or, you know, convince them to spend some cash in the next two weeks). Just be sure that their activation doesn’t cause your MCC to exceed the manager limit, as depicted below:

 adwords mcc account limits

While this change may result in a few headaches in the short-term, the prospect of improved account management thanks to a faster AdWords experience—whether you’re using the native platform or WordStream Advisor—will be well-worth it.