How to Delete a Gmail Account

By: Jeremy Glass  | 

woman at computer
It's technically easy to delete your Gmail account. Just download everything you think you need to save in advance. Tim Robberts/Getty Images

Whether you've finally mustered up the courage to delete the email you made during the height of your emo phase or just moving on to a new email account entirely, deleting your Gmail account permanently deletes a significant chunk of your data. Along with getting rid of all the data and content from that account, the move deletes all of your files, calendar events, photos and services like Drive. If you're still keeping your Google account but just deleting your Gmail, you'll still have access to the purchases you made on Google Play.

Once you're truly ready to take the leap, here's how you can permanently delete your Gmail account. First, review and download all the data you wish to keep. Google allows users to archive their records by downloading their info. This step exports and downloads data from apps like Gmail, Docs, Calendar, Photos, and YouTube and sends it directly to your inbox, Dropbox, Drive, OneDrive or Box. Select the products you want archived and download.

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Then:

  1. Go to myaccount.google.com and click "Data and personalization" on the left.
  2. Scroll down "Download, delete, or make a plan for your data."
  3. Click "Delete a service or your account."
  4. This takes you to a page where you're given some options. Click "Delete a service." You might need to sign in again.
  5. Take a deep breath and click Delete (the trash can) next to Gmail.
  6. Follow the steps on the screen.

If you change your mind, you can get your old Gmail back as long it's not been too long (Google is vague on how much time you have to reactivate it). Your Gmail address can't be used by anyone else.

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