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How to delete a Google or Gmail account
A Google account grants you access to everything that Google offers, including Gmail, YouTube, Drive, and more. But what if you’ve had enough and want out? Can you delete a Google account permanently? Yes, you can absolutely can, and it takes just a few minutes.
Before you go rushing through the steps, keep in mind there’s a lot of data you’ll be losing forever if you go down this path. Google automatically deactivates accounts after 180 days, so you could just let the account go dormant. Of course, we’re not trying to talk you out of it. Maybe you have a secondary account you don’t use anymore or have another reason to hit the kill switch. If you want to delete your Google account permanently, it’s quite easy to do, and here’s how.
To delete a Google account, go to Data and privacy in Google Accounts. Scroll down, and select Delete your Google account or Delete a Google account. The process is the same, regardless of whether you're on your phone or a desktop.
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Before you delete your Google account checklist
If you delete your Google account, you’ll lose access to data across several sites. Here are just a few of the more impactful losses:
- All Google services, such as Gmail, Drive, Calendar, and more, along with any data associated with these accounts, such as emails, photos, and notes.
- Any subscriptions or content purchased from YouTube or Google Play Movies, Books, or Music.
- Information saved with Chrome, including access to any free or paid Chrome apps and extensions.
- If you use an Android smartphone, you’ll also lose access to any contacts linked to this account, as well as any data that’s backed up using Android Backup services.
- Finally, you’ll also lose the username permanently. You won’t be able to sign up using the same username after you delete the account.
Things to do before you delete your Google account
If you’ve had your Google account for a while, you’ll probably have some important data that needs saving, such as emails, notes, and photos. If there isn’t much, you can download it individually, but Google provides a simple way to backup all your data.
- Open your Google account settings by going to accounts.google.com.
- Go to Data & privacy using the menu on the left.
- Scroll down to Download or delete your data.
- Select Download your data.
- You’ll find a complete list of Google services associated with your account. You can individually select the information to download. Everything is automatically selected by default.
- You can opt to get a download link via email or save it to cloud services like Drive, OneDrive, Box, or Dropbox. You can also select the export frequency, the file type, and the maximum size of the compressed archive.
- Depending on how much information is being archived, the entire process could take a while.
Also, remember you might have your Gmail address associated with other services, such as bank accounts and other websites. So make sure you keep track of these accounts and update the information accordingly before deleting the Gmail account information.
Other things you need to think about and take care of before deleting your Google account include :
How to delete your Google account from your computer or phone
- Go to Data & privacy and scroll down to More Options.
- Tap on Delete your Google account. You’ll be asked to sign in.
- At the end of the page, there are two acknowledgments you’ll have to accept before you can tap on the Delete Account button to delete your account permanently.
Deleting specific services only
- Go to Data & privacy and scroll down to Download or delete your data.
- Tap on Delete a Google service.
- You’ll find a list of Google services connected to your account, which can be removed. Just click the trash icon next to the ones you want to be removed.
Read more: How many Google accounts can you have?
Can I recover my account after I’ve deleted it?
If you’ve deleted your Google account and want it back, you do have a short window to recover it. You can recover a deleted Google account up to 20 days after deleting it. Google doesn’t recycle usernames, so once the account is past the recovery period, you will not be able to get the account back or sign up with the same username again.
- Go to the Account recovery page.
- Select I’m having other problems signing in.
- Follow the instructions on the page to see if you can recover the account. It might not be possible, though.
When I delete my Google account, will it delete all my Gmail, Calendar, Contacts, etc.?
Yes. If you delete the entire account, then everything goes, including Gmail, Calendar, Contacts, and more.
Can I delete only my Gmail and not my whole Google account?
Yes. Just look at the previous section to see how to delete your Gmail but not your account.