How to delete your Gmail account

Fed up with Gmail? Here's how to delete your account

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Is it time to delete your Gmail account? Maybe you have an alternate account you never use, want to switch to a different email provider, or are just tired of that silly email address you created 10 years ago. Whatever the reason, you want your Gmail gone. We can show you the easiest, most thorough way of getting rid of it.

It’s important to keep in mind that deleting a Gmail account is a permanent process that, after a brief window in which you can might be able to recover it, removes that address from the email client entirely. You can’t change your mind and make a new account with the same email address — and no one else can use it, either. Deleting your account also means you’ll be deleting every email inside of it forever, so if you have any important emails with valuable, unique information, it’s important to hunt them down and back them up elsewhere first.

That being said, deleting your Gmail account does not delete your Google account. Your Google account is a profile that spans all of Google’s services, including Google+ and YouTube. Deleting your Gmail account will only get rid of your Gmail data, not your Google identity or the other things you’ve done with it.

Step 1: Go to ‘Account preferences’

Account preferences is a hub that allows you to control various aspects of your overarching Google account. It’s a useful tool if you want to change the language your Google services appear in, or if you need to add assistive features to your account, like screen reading. To reach it, go to myaccount.google.com, then click on the Account Preferences link.

At the very bottom of this page, on the left hand side, is a section titled Delete your account or services. This is the one you want to delete your gmail account.

Step 2: Go to ‘Delete products’

How to delete a Gmail account Delete Services screen

Choose Delete products. You do not want to choose the other option to delete your Google Account, since this will get rid of everything related to Google, and you are only interested in email (unless of course you do want to remove much more than just your email).

At this point, you will need to enter your Google account password, so have it ready. This is almost certain to be the same as your Gmail password, in case you aren’t sure which to use.

Step 3: Choose your Gmail account

How to delete a Gmail account step 2

The next screen will show which Google services you are involved in, and some basic stats about your activity. You will probably see something about Google+, YouTube, and any additional Google-supported services that you have downloaded or used. Select Gmail from the list. If you are not already logged into Gmail, you will have to provide your address and password at this point.

Step 4: Input an alternative email address

Google requires an alternative email address so that you can still log into other Google services when your default Gmail address is gone. This step may not be necessary if you are deleting an alternate Gmail account or if you already have your Google login set to a different email service.

Step 5: Remove Gmail

How to delete a Gmail account Delete Warning

Google will warn you about the consequences of deleting your Gmail account, and give you an option to Delete Gmail. Select this option whenever you are ready.

Step 6: Clear your browser

You aren’t quite done yet! If you save emails from Gmail offline or use Gmail offline in any way, then your browser probably has some info saved on Gmail that now poses problems. To avoid these problems, go to your commonly used browsers and delete your cache and cookies to make sure any data stored from your Gmail is gone.

A note on deleting an email address

If you have been using this email for a long time, remember that you have probably used it to register for services and sign into everything from bill pay features to one-hit wonder apps that you no longer use. When you get rid of your Gmail account, you will no longer receive updates or reminders from any of these accounts. Some of the accounts may no longer function if they cannot find a responsive email address, which means you may have to change your account info or create a new account. In other words, get ready for some cleanup work after your old email is gone.