If you’re part of a business or school that is a G Suite legacy free edition user, your organization will soon have to sign up for a paid subscription to continue using Google Workspace (via 9to5Google). Google will automatically upgrade free plans to a Google Workspace subscription “based on the features you currently use” if your organization doesn’t sign up for a paid plan by May 1st.
The free edition was initially available in Google’s first iteration of Workspace, called Google Apps, which launched in 2006. Google Apps rebranded as G Suite in 2016, before becoming the Google Workspace we know today in 2020 by bundling Gmail, Docs, Meet, Sheets, and Calendar along with some extra perks. Google stopped offering the legacy free edition as of December 2012 but still allowed existing users to access its services for free as a courtesy. Unfortunately, it looks like this grace period has finally come to an end.
According to Google, the company is giving legacy free edition users until May 1st to sign up for a subscription, which consists of four tiers, otherwise, Google will choose a plan that suits users’ needs based on the features they use. There’s no option for a free plan, with only some educational institutions and non-profit organizations eligible for a plan at no cost.
Administrators will have until July 1st to enter payment information into Google (if they haven’t already), and Google won’t start charging a subscription fee until July 1st. If no payment information is entered, Google will suspend the account for 60 days, after which users won’t be able to access Workspace’s “core services,” like Gmail, Calendar, and Meet. You can find out more about how to upgrade to a paid plan or export your organization’s data on Google’s support page.