Microsoft has published a new account activity policy, which becomes effective on August 30th, 2019. It outlines the different circumstances in which they can close your account, due to inactivity.
Microsoft accounts are used to access many different services. These services include Skype, Outlook, OneDrive, and Xbox Live. If players don't want to risk any of your data associated with these services being lost, then it's worth making sure they don't fall under the new inactivity rules.
The basic premise is that, if your account is inactive for a period of two years, then Microsoft will close it. However, there are exceptions to this which are outlined below.
If you have used your account to purchase a current Microsoft product or service then it will remain active. It should be noted that this doesn't apply to gift cards, certifications, or subscription-based services.
If your service subscription, such as an Xbox Live subscription, is still active, then your account is considered active. The two years of inactivity will only begin after the subscription has expired.
Publishers also do not need to worry. Any account which has been used to publish games, including DLC, to the Microsoft store will not be closed. All accounts registered as Microsoft Partner Center accounts will also remain open.
For those who have earned a certification from Microsoft that is tied to their account, the accounts will also be exempt from the inactivity clause.
Microsoft accounts with an account balance will also remain active. However, if you live where gift cards are considered "unclaimed property," Microsoft can inherit the unspent balance associated with any gift cards. If you are owed money, such as a payment from Microsoft Payment Central, then your account remains active.
Finally, if your account has granted consent for a minor's account, then yours will remain active for as long as the corresponding minor's account is active. However, if the minor's account is also inactive, or transitions into a standard account, then your account can be closed.
If you would like any further information about accounts being closed due to inactivity, you can check the policy in full over on Microsoft's website.