Internet Security

How to Safely Delete Your Google or Gmail Account for Good

Nancy Messieh 20-10-2017

There are plenty of reasons why some people are choosing to cut the Google cord How to Use Android Without Google: Everything You Need to Know Want to use Android without Google? No Google, no problem. Here's a guide to going Google-free on your Android device to regain privacy. Read More . Maybe you prefer to go the open source route or have privacy concerns 8 Search Tricks That Work on DuckDuckGo but Not on Google Google Search is king. But DuckDuckGo has earned a loyal fan following. It has a few unusual features that even Google doesn't have. Read More that are pushing you to find Google alternatives 6 Most Popular Email Providers Better Than Gmail and Yahoo Mail Each free email provider listed here offers different benefits and all of these email services are popular choices. Read More . No matter what your reason, the first step to walking away from all things Google is to delete your Google or Gmail account.


Google gives users two easy options for deleting accounts.

The first option is to delete just your Gmail account. If you choose to do this, you will need to have another email address handy in order to continue with Google services associated with your Gmail account like Google Drive and Calendar. This email cannot be a Gmail address.

The second option is to delete your entire Google account altogether. This clean-cut kills access to all Google products that require an account.

The methods below are pretty close to one-click solutions. To its credit, Google makes it extremely easy to shut down accounts, and wipes your data for you. That said, there are a few things you’ll probably want to do in preparation for the process.

Prepare to Delete Your Account

Let’s take this step by step.


First: Think back and carefully update details for any accounts linked to your Gmail address before you delete it. If you’re using Gmail for your bank account for example, you’ll want to change that before you get rid of your account.

Second: Back up your data. It may be just Gmail or your entire Google data. If you don’t want to back up your data you can skip to the next sections.

But first, let’s download your data stored on Google’s servers.

  1. Log into the Google account you want to delete and go to your Account page. (You can also reach this by clicking on your profile icon in the top right-hand corner and selecting My Account.)
    safely delete google or gmail account
  2. Under Accounts & Preferences click Delete your account or services.
    safely delete google or gmail account
  3. Click Delete products and enter your password when prompted.
    safely delete google or gmail account
  4. Click the Download Data link.
    safely delete google or gmail account
  5. The data that’s available can include map data, Google Drive files, Google Photos Bookmarks, Contacts, and more. When downloading your data, you can selectively choose which products you would like to hang on to. After making your selection click Next.
    safely delete google or gmail account
  6. Choose your archive format (ZIP, TGZ, or TBZ) and the maximum archive size. You can choose to save all your data in one large zip file, but if you’d prefer to split it up into smaller files, this is where you’d make that selection. The largest file size available is 50GB and any files larger than 2GB will be compressed in ZIP64.
  7. Choose how you want to receive the archive: email, Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive. (If you choose to receive a link to your archived data, you’ll have one week to download it.
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  8. Once you have all your settings selected, click Create archive. Depending on how much data is in your account – this process could take hours or even days.

Delete Your Gmail Account

It’s always wise to create a backup. But if you don’t want to or your backup has been completed, move on to the following steps:

  1. Again, log in to the Gmail account you want to delete and go to your main Account page. Under Accounts & Preferences click Delete your account or services. Click Delete products and enter your password when prompted. Click the Trash icon.
    safely delete google or gmail account
  2. At the prompt, enter an email that you can use with other Google products associated with your account. This email address cannot be a Gmail address. A verification email will be sent to the account to confirm ownership. Your Gmail account will not be deleted until that verification link is clicked. Enter the email and click Send verification email.
    safely delete google or gmail account
  3. Click the verification email and you’ll see a message with additional details on the consequences of the account deletion. Check the box confirming you want to delete your email account and click Delete Gmail.
    safely delete google or gmail account

Delete Your Google Account

If you’d rather get rid of your entire account and don’t want to use any Google products at all, you’ll want to follow these steps instead:

  1. Log in to the Google account you want to delete and go to your Account page.
  2. Under Accounts & Preferences click Delete your account or services. Click Delete Google Account and Data and enter your password when prompted.
    safely delete google or gmail account
  3. Check the boxes confirming that you acknowledge responsibility for any pending charges for paid Google services and confirming that you want to delete your account and its data. Click the Delete Account button.How to Safely Delete Your Google or Gmail Account for Good Gmail Account Delete Confirmation
  4. A message will confirm that your account has been deleted. This message also includes a link that allows you to recover your account if you’re faced with instant regret.
    safely delete google or gmail account

Recover Your Account

Google gives you a short window of time to recover your account. It’s not clear exactly how long that window is, but it does say that it takes two business days to wipe and delete your accounts permanently.

If you want to attempt a recovery, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Account Support.
  2. Enter the email address or phone number associated with the account that was deleted.
  3. You’ll be told the account was deleted. Click the link Attempt to restore this account.
  4. Enter a CAPTCHA at the prompt.
  5. Enter the last password you remember and click Next.
  6. If your account can be recovered, you’ll see a message confirming that you’ve successfully recovered the deleted account.

If you’re able to recover your account, you should find all of your data as is.


Getting Rid of Other Accounts

Do you want to go even further and get rid of more of your online accounts? A service like How to Erase Your Web Accounts in One Click Want to delete those inactive web accounts that you've collected over the past few years? This tool can do that for you. Read More will come in handy. It will help you find accounts you’ve signed up for but have forgotten all about.

There are other sites out there that try to guide you through the process of account deletion 3 Resources For Deleting Your Unwanted Online Accounts Delete unused user accounts for web apps you've abandoned. Don't leave personal information in the hands of services you're not using. Find out how to get rid of such accounts, then do it. However, deleting... Read More like Account Killer which provides instructions on how to delete accounts on a ton of different online services.

With social networks like Facebook and Twitter, if you don’t want to take the plunge and delete your accounts Why Is It So Hard to Delete Social Media Accounts? You can't just go to your account settings, click Delete and watch your profile vanish into a collection of ones and zeroes. The Internet is very good at remembering things. Read More , you could always consider deactivating How to Deactivate (or Delete) Your Facebook Account If you need a break from Facebook, or if you want to stop using it altogether, here's how you can either deactivate or delete your account. Read More them instead.

Have you thought about deleting your Gmail or Google accounts? Let us know why and what service are you going to use instead in the comments.


Related topics: Gmail, Google.

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  1. Jon DeGeorge
    June 25, 2019 at 12:52 am

    When you delete the entire Google account (NOT just Gmail), it is deactivated immediately BUT can be reactivated for 20 days before it is actually deleted.

    The article should mention the 20-day recovery period.

  2. Gloria
    June 17, 2018 at 11:39 pm

    I've just deleted mine, as I found a torrent of abuse in my inbox, for a left comment on an obscure website that I never went to. Obviously hackers trying to find out if I'm vigilant, or some other weird glitch maybe. Either way, it wasn't good. I just deleted my whole account. Didn't know I couldn't sign up for gmail with the same address however - now I have to go through and do all that address change with things associated with that email. Lucky none were important - it was pretty much a throwaway address. I never put true information in the account anyway. You're crazy if you do.

  3. Doc
    October 23, 2017 at 4:30 am

    How about a similar article for deleting a Yahoo! account? With it being rolled into "Verizon's Oath," thousands of people will be doing that instead (and I'm considering it).

  4. dragonmouth
    October 22, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    "How to Safely Delete Your Google or Gmail Account for Good"
    Let's quit kidding ourselves, you can't delete it, safely or unsafely. Once something is put on the Internet (like a Google account), some record of it will stay on the Internet forever. There will always exist a backup or a copy of it somewhere. When you "delete" an account, all you are doing is making it invisible/inaccessible to you.

    • Bertel King, Jr.
      October 30, 2017 at 7:20 pm

      You also stop someone from getting access to all of your Google data (including the possible location of your Android phone and every location you've visited in Google Maps, etc.) by compromising your email address and password.

      • dragonmouth
        October 30, 2017 at 8:22 pm

        Maybe. We don't know who has access to the data on the database backups, and whether and where the DB data has been propagated.
        Yes, I am suspicious and cynical.

        • Bertel King, Jr.
          October 30, 2017 at 8:30 pm

          Suspicious and cynical for good reason, I would say.

  5. Zelma Van De Velde
    October 21, 2017 at 10:05 pm

    Hello to every , as I am in fact keen of reading this website's post to be updated daily. It carries fastidious material.

  6. David Martchouk
    October 20, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    What if you bought apps via Google Playstore using that account and then you deleted the account? Does that mean impossible to get those apps back after the account is wiped (eg. 1 week)?