Google's services are great, but they're also incredibly privacy invasive. If you're looking to be more anonymous online, learning how to delete a Gmail account or Google account should be your first point of call.
You can delete a Gmail account and keep your Google account
Interestingly, those two options aren't one and the same. You can remove Gmail without having to close your entire Google account. This can be handy if it's an old email you don't use anymore, for example.
Whichever you choose to delete, you should be aware of what you'll be losing. If you delete Gmail, all of your emails will naturally be permanently removed. However, you also need to think about the service you log in to that email with. If they require a login code sent to your email, you may no longer be able to access the service. As a result, it's best to switch all accounts over to your new email before deleting it.
When you finish deleting your Gmail account, you'll still be able to access other Google services such as your Calendar, YouTube, and the Google Play Store. The same can't be said when you delete your entire Google account. Deleting your Google account will permanently get rid of the following:
- Drive/Gmail files
- YouTube account + subscriptions
- Google Play purchases and subscriptions
- Purchased films and TV shows
- Your Chromebook login (if applicable)
- Your Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides documents
Think carefully about whether or not you're ready to go forward with this, then follow our guide on how to delete your Gmail or Google account below:
How to Delete Your Gmail Account
Though Google provides a simple way to delete a Gmail account, it's hidden away several pages deep in the settings menu. Here's where to find it:
- Go to the “Data and privacy” section of your Google account and press “Delete a Google service”
You can find the data and privacy section quickly by pressing this link if you're already logged in. You'll find the delete button under the “Data from apps and services that you use” heading.
- Enter your Google password and press “Next”
- Press the trash icon next to Gmail
- Type a secondary email account to sign into Google with and press “Send verification email”
- Read the message and press “Understood”
- Check your secondary email for an account deletion confirmation and click the link
- Read the warning message, tick “Yes I want to delete” and click “Delete Gmail”
- Press “Done”
How to Close Your Google Account
If you want to completely remove Google from your life or delete an old account, you can do so. All told, it only takes a few minutes:
- Go to the account deletion page
You can get there quickly by pressing this link.
- Enter your password and press “Next”
- Review the information that will be deleted, tick both boxes, and press “Delete account”
Make sure you go down the list and back up any information you can, if neccessary.
- Your Google account and its data will be deleted
If you realised you missed backing up some data, don't worry – you can click the link the email below to restore your account.
- If you need to recover your account, press the “account recovery page” link in your email
Be aware that your Google account will only be recoverable for a short period of time. We'll show you exactly how to recover it in the next section.
How to Recover a Deleted Google Account
If you or someone else deleted a Google Account by mistake, you can restore it if you're quick. Google doesn't give an exact time, but it appears you have between 20 and 25 days. It's better to act sooner rather than later, though, as nothing is guaranteed. Here's how you complete the Google account recovery process:
- Go to the account recovery page and enter your email address
If you can't find your deletion email, you can get to the same place by pressing this link.
- Press “Next” on the “Account deleted” screen
- Enter the verification code sent to your other email and press “Next”
- Type a new password twice and press “Save password”
- Your Google account has now been fully recovered
You can optionally choose to secure your account further. You should take particular note of this if somebody deleted your account without your permission.
Extra: How to Change Your Default Gmail or Google Account
With your Gmail / Google account either deleted or restored, you may want to update the default account in your browser. You can do so by following our dedicated guide here.
Extra: How to Delete a Microsoft Account
Now that you've deleted your old Google accounts, you might want to do the same for Microsoft. We have a guide on how to delete a Microsoft account and remove it from Windows 11 right here.