Signing up for a Gmail account is easy and fast, and most of us might have more than one Gmail address for various reasons. However, should you decide to discontinue a Gmail account and want to delete it, here’s a guide on how to do that. It’s as easy as signing up, but you’ll need to follow the steps carefully if you don’t want to delete your entire Google account.
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First, you need to log in to your Google account. Click on your user icon on the top right corner of the screen and select “My Account.” You can also go to myaccount.google.com and log in that way.
On the next page, you need to look under “Account preferences” and click on “Delete your account or services”.
You’ll be prompted to type in your Google account password before you can proceed. Once done, you’ll see the list of services you can remove.
Remember that you only want to delete your Gmail address, and not your Google account, so select “Delete Products.” On the next window, click the trash icon beside Gmail. You’ll be asked to provide a different non-Google email address before you can proceed. This is for signing in to other Google services like Google Play, Docs or Calendar. Enter the alternate email address then click “Send Verification Email”.
Check your alternate email and open the verification message from Gmail. Click on the link to continue removing your Gmail address. This step is very important. Your Gmail address won’t be deleted until you click on the link.
Note: Before you delete Gmail, you can download your emails by click on “Download Data” link on the top of the Google services list. You can choose to download all emails or select specific labels. The downloaded file will be in MBOX format and can be opened by connecting an active Gmail account with an email client like Thunderbird.
If you don’t want to download your emails, carry on and follow the instructions given after clicking the verification link. Finally, click “Remove Gmail” as the last step.
Note that deleting you Gmail address will not free up your username. You can not sign up for Gmail with the same username in the future. Since a Gmail address is also connected to a Google account, deleting it will not delete any data from other Google services like YouTube, Google Search history and Google Drive. If you did not download your emails from the account, all your emails will be inaccessible.
The next thing to do after deleting a Gmail address is to update any document that might have that email address. Business cards, resumes, your website’s contact info, and other places where you gave that email address as a way to contact you should now be updated.
Inactive email accounts are prime targets for hackers, and it invites risk of getting your personal information stolen. So if you’re not using a particular Gmail address, then it’s safe and in your best interest to properly delete it than have it open to security attacks.