Deleting a Gmail Account

Gmail, Google's free email service, boasts over 425 million active users worldwide. While most of those users will probably never have the need to delete their accounts, a variety of reasons exist that might make deleting a Gmail account a useful feature for many people. No matter what the reason, deleting your Google email account is only a matter of following a few simple steps.

Should you delete your Gmail account?

Do you really need to delete your Gmail account? The following are a few different reasons why a user might want to delete their account.

  • Too much spam. When you're receiving more junk email than actual emails from friends and family, it might be tempting to start over with a new account. While Gmail has some pretty effective spam filters as well as the ability to mark certain senders and keywords as spam, at a certain point it might be too much to keep up with. Give the built-in spam reduction measures a try, and if you're still receiving too much, it might be time to get a new account and delete the old one.
  • Harassment. If someone is harassing you with unwanted emails, keep in mind that you can block them by using filters. Simply create a filter for that person's name or email address, and set the filtered emails to go to Trash or be instantly deleted. However, if multiple people are harassing you from multiple email addresses, it might not be worth the trouble, and you may want to delete your Gmail account and create a new one.
  • Name change. If you've just been married, changed your name or are just turning over a new leaf in life, you may want a new user name that reflects your recent changes. If you're thinking of deleting your account for this reason, it might be best to forward your old emails to your new account for a while. When you're sure that everyone that matters knows your new address, go ahead and delete the old one.
  • To use a different service. If you're not happy with Gmail or Google and want to use a different service for your email, this might be a good reason to delete your account. Keep in mind, however, that you can often forward emails from your Gmail account to a different email service.

Deleting your Gmail account

If you decide you want to go forward with deleting your Gmail account, it's as simple as following a few simple steps.

  • Log in to the Gmail account you wish to delete.
  • In the upper right hand corner of your screen, click the small arrow right next to your avatar, then click on "Account".
  • Under "Services" at the bottom of the page, you will see an option that says "Close entire account and delete all services and info associated with it". Click that link.
  • The following screen is a warning, letting you know all the accounts you will lose access to if you decide to proceed. This can include Google Voice, Youtube, Google Docs and many others. You need to check the boxes next to each service to show that you understand you are deleting all of these services.
  • Enter your password, and check off the next two boxes, then click "Delete Google Account".
  • Keep in mind that deleting your account will not free up your user name. Nobody will ever be able to sign up with your former Google ID again.

If you decide you want your account back, Google customer support may be able to help during the first several weeks after you delete it. After a few weeks, your account information will become irretrievable, so be sure you have everything you need from your Google account before then.

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