You may be very attached to your Gmail account, especially if you’ve had it for years, so it’s potentially a big move to delete your Gmail account. But sometimes you just need to move on. For instance, you may hate Google’s privacy policies or suddenly realize that you’ve outgrown that cheeky email address you created at age 12. This guide shows how to delete your Gmail account permanently and recover it.
Good to know: did you know that you can change your Gmail name? Learn how.
How to Delete Your Gmail Account on PC
Before outlining the two different methods to delete your Gmail account, we should note that Google is essentially a username and password that gives you access to all of its products and services, such as Gmail. You don’t need a Gmail account to create a personal Google Account.
If you delete your Google Account, you’ll lose access to all Google services, including Gmail. If you delete your Gmail account, you can still access other Google services.
Deleting Entire Google Account
Sign in to Gmail, click your profile picture in the top right, press Manage your Google Account, then click Data & privacy in the left side panel.
Scroll down until you reach More options. Click Delete your Google account. You’ll need to sign in to your account to verify your identity.
You’ll receive a prompt of what you will lose by permanently deleting your Google account. As it grants access to various Google services, you won’t be able to use these services if you go through with it. Data from associated Google services may also be deleted.
Tip: you can remove your phone number from your Google account. Our guide walks you through the steps.
If you are still willing to go through with this, check the two boxes at the bottom, then click the Delete account button at the bottom.
Delete Only Your Gmail Data
Alternatively, you can opt to delete only data from Gmail, not your entire Google account. This will result in the deletion of your email and associated settings. In addition, you will no longer have the Gmail account.
Look above More options, click on Delete a Google service, then input your password once again.
In the list of Google services attached to your account, find Gmail, then click on the bin icon next to it to delete just that account.
Enter an email address when prompted so that your other Google accounts – Drive, Docs, and so on – can remain active. Your alternative email address can’t be another Gmail address. Press the Send verification email button.
Click the link on the verification email to confirm that you do indeed want to do away with your Gmail account for good.
Review the warning message, and if you still want to delete your Gmail account, tick the checkbox at the bottom of the dialog, and click Delete Gmail.
Tip: you can ensure communication safety by encrypting your email with Gmail. Check out our post to see how it’s done.
How to Delete Your Gmail Account on Android/iOS
Open the Gmail app, tap on your profile picture, then tap Manage your Google Account on iOS or Google account on Android. Switch to the Data and privacy tab at the top. Scroll down and tap on Delete your Google Account.
Input your password. As before, read the information, and if you still want to go through with it, check the two boxes at the bottom, and tap the Delete Account button.
Alternatively, tap on the Delete a Google service button.
Sign in to your account, and tap the bin icon beside Gmail.
Add a non-Gmail address to continue to log in to other Google services, then click the Send verification email button to continue.
Open the Gmail Deletion Confirmation email in your alternate inbox, and tap on the link.
Review the warning message, tick the confirmation checkbox at the end, then tap Delete Gmail.
FYI: check out how to create an email template in Gmail.
Things to Do Before Deleting Your Gmail Account
As you can see, it’s quite easy to delete your Gmail, but you still shouldn’t immediately rush into it. Make sure you take care of these items first.
- Replace your Gmail address with another email address – if you use your Gmail email address for online banking, online shopping, or other online accounts/activities, replace it with a new contact email address before deleting it.
- Download your Gmail data – you will also want to download your Gmail data. If you don’t, you’ll lose access to all your Gmail data once you delete your Google or Gmail account. Go to Gmail -> Manage your Google Account -> Data and privacy -> Download your data. Select the data you wish to keep (Gmail included), then press Next step. Finally, select the destination for your backup and file type, and click the Create export button.
How to Recover a Deleted Gmail Account
Google has recently announced it will start deleting inactive accounts starting in December. If you wish to retain your old Google account, you’ll need to sign in again. You’ll be required to do so at least once in two years for the account to remain functional. If you can’t remember when the last time was that you did that, we recommend that you sign in now.
On the other hand, if you’ve recently deleted your Google account but have changed your mind, you can get it back. For a limited time – two to three weeks after deletion – Google will allow you to recover your Gmail or Google account in its entirety. After that time, although you can still recover your Gmail address using your previous username, all the emails will be gone.
To start the process, access the Google account recovery page in your browser on PC or mobile device. Enter your old email address – the one you deleted. If you’ve previously logged in to this account on the device you’re using now, you’ll be verified right away. But if you’re doing the recovery from another device, you’ll be asked some questions to confirm it’s your account.
Add a new password by pressing Update password. If you still know your old password, click Continue.
On the next screen, press Continue again.
Click on the dot pattern in the upper-right corner of your Google account page, then click on Gmail to access your lost inbox. You’ll be prompted to re-add your Gmail to your Google account.
Verify the information, and add a phone number – if you haven’t before – then press Submit.
Enter the six-digit verification code you received, and click Continue. Your Gmail account will be restored.
If you get an error saying, “Sorry, we cannot serve your request for a new account at this moment,” remove the mobile phone number and email address from the form. On the next page, you’ll be prompted to re-add the phone number. Do so to be redirected back to your Gmail!
Tip: going on a trip? Don’t forget to set an out-of-office autoresponder for your Gmail.
Gmail is one of the most popular email clients, but if you want to break away with Google, at least when it comes to your email needs, you have options. If online safety is important to you, explore the best email clients that offer encryption. If you prefer not to commit to a specific service, explore these disposable and throwaway email providers as alternatives.
Image credit: DepositFiles. All screenshots by Alexandra Arici.
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