How to Delete your Gmail Account Permanently

Delete Gmail

Gmail is pretty ubiquitous these days and has been for some time. But the email marketplace is a busy one and if we are honest, there are a lot of better email services you could choose.

There are also plenty of reasons why you might want to switch from a Gmail address to a different provider.

Like all Google accounts, there are both security and privacy issues that a lot of people aren't comfortable with. But there are also other Gmail features like the endless promo emails by third parties and the labels and tags, which you might not like too.

Needless to say, Google doesn't really want anyone to permanently delete their Gmail account. But it is actually not that difficult and in this guide, we will show exactly how to do it and how you can achieve a deleted Gmail account.

Ready to free yourself of Gmail? Keep scrolling.

Before you begin your deletion

Before you go ahead and delete your Gmail account, there are a few things that you will want to check.

1. Backup contacts and other information

When you delete your Gmail address account, all of the information you have stored in the entire account will be permanently lost too.

This includes your contacts, any saved files or images, and more.

Be sure that all the data you want to keep has been safely backed up elsewhere or download it before deleting your account. You can download data before you delete your account.

Gmail contacts

Back up your contacts from the ‘Contacts' app within Gmail.

Before deleting an email address, be sure to send any group account details elsewhere first.

2. Redirect email subscriptions

If you have all your emails or newsletters coming into your Gmail account, you will need to either redirect these to a new account or sign up for the emails using your new contact details.

You can access any subscription emails through your mail settings of that particular service. You will not receive those emails if the deleted Gmail account was your only account and you don't use any mail service outside the Gmail service moving forward.

Top Tip

Looking for a better email service? Check out our top picks of the best secure email services.

3. Sort out other accounts

If you have used your Gmail to set up other online accounts, such as social media accounts, you will need to switch these accounts to another email address before deletion.

If you fail to do this, you could end up being locked out of these accounts and unable to recover or reset them. If you delete Gmail, it could affect other services or online accounts.

4. Your username will be gone

Even after you have deleted your Gmail account, your username will not become available again. This means you will not be able to re-establish your Gmail account once it has gone.

Be certain that you will not want this email address again before you go ahead with the deletion. You cannot use the same username as your previous account and you might be left only with the option of an embarrassing username.

5. Your Google account will remain

When you delete Gmail, you will not be deleting your entire Google account. This means that you will still be able to access other Google services, such as YouTube and Drive, which is good.

But it also means that any data Google holds in your entire Google account settings will still be retained, including on google play and google apps. Therefore, you can still access a variety of Google products through your Google account, even with a deleted email account.

How to delete your Gmail account

Once you are absolutely satisfied that you have considered all of the above issues and are ready to delete your Gmail account, this is what you need to do:

Step 1

Sign in to your Google account in the usual way.

Step 2

Go to the Manage your Google Account page.

Manage Google

Step 3

Click on the Data & Privacy tab. This should be on the left-hand side of the page.

Google data privacy

Step 4

Next, select Delete a Google Service.

Step 5

You will now be asked to re-enter your password. Check that you are logging in to the correct account and then enter your password in the box provided.

Step 6

You will now see a screen with a list of all the Google services connected to your account. Next to each of them will be a trashcan icon.

Click on the trash can icon next to Gmail. The trashcan icon will delete your account.

If you are just deleting Gmail but keeping other Google services active, at this stage, Google will prompt you to enter a new primary email address to replace the Gmail address that you are deleting.

If you have a secondary email address already tied to your account, it may automatically enter this in the box after clicking the trash icon.

Step 7

Enter a new primary email address into the box provided and also add your current password into the box below. Then click Remove Gmail.

Step 8

The next screen will explain that in order to delete your Gmail account, you will need to verify your new primary email account.

Google will send a verification email. To get a verification email, it will ask you to follow these three steps:

  1. Check your other email account.
  2. Open the email entitled Gmail Deletion Confirmation.
  3. Click on the link provided in the message to verify your request.

Step 9

Open the Gmail Removal Confirmation email and click the confirmation link.

Step 10

A new page or tab will open up and you will be asked once again to confirm that you want to delete your old Gmail address.

You will need to enter your password again then click the blue confirm button.

You should now see a confirmation message which tells you that you have successfully deleted your Gmail account.

Top Tip

Need a throwaway email account? Our round-up of the best disposable email services has you covered.

How to permanently delete your entire Google Account

If you want to delete your entire Google account instead of just your Gmail account, you can do so by clicking the option at step 4 of the above step-by-step guide.

Delete Google account

After clicking on Delete your Google Account, all you need to do is follow the simple onscreen confirmation instructions on the account page and you will successfully delete your account.

However, remember to download and backup your information with this option.

Deleting your Gmail account on a mobile device

The above step-by-step guide should work on most desktop browsers. But if you are trying to delete your Gmail account or Gmail app on your android phone or iOS phone, you may find things are a little different.

Deleting your Gmail account on an iPhone / iPad

  1. Open your iPhone or iPad app.
  2. Click sign on your profile picture or initials in the top right corner.
  3. Click on Manage your Google Account.
  4. Click on Data and Personalization.
  5. Click on Download, delete, or make a plan for your data.
  6. Click on Delete a service or your account.

Then continue from step 7 as above.

Deleting your Gmail account on an Android device

  1. Open your devices Settings app.
  2. Click on Google and then Manage your Google Account
  3. Click on Data & Privacy.
  4. Click on Delete a Google service.
  5. Enter your account password.
  6. Choose the Gmail account you wish to delete.

Delete Gmail Android

Then continue from step 7 as above.

How to delete your Google History

If privacy is your main reason for wanting to delete either your Gmail account or your whole Google account, one alternative option you might want to consider is to delete your Google History instead and setting account preferences to protect your data.

You can read all the details about doing that in our separate guide on How to Permanently Delete Your Google History.

Summary

There are plenty of reasons you may want to delete your Gmail account.

Above, we've listed the quickest way to do that. Before you do, ensure you back up any data that you may need in the future or change and redirect any important contacts to another email service.

Did you find the process of killing your Gmail account easy? I would love to know, so drop me a comment below.

Author: David Spencer

Cyber-security & Technology Reporter, David, monitors everything going on in the privacy world. Fighting for a less restricted internet as a member of the VPNCompare team for over 5 years.

Away from writing, he enjoys reading and politics. He is currently learning Mandarin too... slowly.

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