How to Delete a Gmail Account [2021 Update]

So can you delete a Gmail account? Yes, you can – and it’s pretty easy to do.

Sometimes you might end up with a Gmail account that you no longer need.

When your inbox is already flooded and you’re getting more emails than you can manage, you don’t want yet another email account that’s distracting you from getting your work done.

Follow the steps outlined below to learn how you can delete a Gmail account, whether that’s on desktop, iOS, or Android.

What You Need to Know Before Deleting a Gmail Account

There are a few things that you need to think about before you delete a Gmail account, including the following:

  1. When you delete a Gmail account, it’s for good. Well, pretty much (see below for more information). When you go through the process and press the button, it’s final. You’ll no longer be able to send or receive email from that Gmail address. All of the emails will be gone, all of your data will be gone, and you won’t be able to access the username again.
  2. You can download all of the data beforehand, which you’ll need to access via Google Takeout.
  3. If you signed up for any services using that email, you’ll no longer be able to reset Gmail passwords. Think carefully before deleting your account.
  4. The same goes for accounts that you signed up for using that Gmail account. It’s likely you won’t be able to access those in the future either.
  5. Deleting a Gmail account doesn’t remove other Gmail products. You’ll still be able to use Google Drive and Google Photos – it’s only the emails and the data associated with Gmail that will be deleted.

Without further ado, let’s get into the step by step guides.

Deleting a Gmail Account on Your Desktop

Step 1. You first need to log into your Google Account and head to the Management section.

Step 2. You should be able to see a grid next to your user icon. Click this, and then select the Account option.

Step 3.  On the left-hand side navigation, choose Data & personalization.

Step 4. This will open a new window. Choose Download, delete, or make a plan for your data. Then choose Delete a service.

Step 5. At this point, you may find that you have to sign in for security reasons. If prompted, do this. Then scroll down to find your Gmail account.

Step 6. Choose Delete and then follow the instructions that Google gives you to delete your account.

Deleting a Gmail Account on Your iPhone

Step 1. Make sure that you have the Gmail app on your device.

Step 2. Open up the Gmail app and then choose Menu.

Step 3. From there, select Settings followed by Your account and then finally Manage your Google account.

Step 4. Locate Data & personalization and click that.

Step 5. This will open a new window. Choose Download, delete or make a plan for your data. Then choose Delete a service.

Step 6.  At this point, you may find that you have to sign in for security reasons. If prompted, do this. Then scroll down to find your Gmail account.

Step 7. Choose Delete and then follow the instructions that Google gives you to delete your account.

Additional Reading: How to Delete all Emails on Gmail

Deleting a Gmail Account on Your Android Phone

Step 1. On your Android device, open up the Settings option.

Step 2. Scroll down and you should be able to find the Google section within Settings.

Step 3. Select Google account.

Step 4. You then need to find the Data & Personalization option. Click this.

Step 5. Choose Download, delete or make a plan for your data. Then choose Delete a service.

Step 6 Choose Delete and then follow the instructions that Google gives you to delete your account.

Can You Recover a Deleted Gmail Account?

It *might* be possible for you to recover a deleted Gmail account if you’re fast enough. Time is of the essence here.

If you’ve had a change of mind and want to try and recover a deleted Gmail account, then you can follow these steps.

Step 1. Head over to the Google Recovery page.

Step 2. Type in the email address that you are attempting to recover and click Next.

Step 3. If you get a message that the account doesn’t exist, then we’re afraid you’re out of luck. The account is fully deleted.

Step 4. If you get the prompt to add in the last known password, then you’re in luck. Enter in the password.

Step 5. You should now see a success message.

Step 6. Click on the Google Apps grid in the top right-hand corner. Select Gmail and then enter your phone number for verification purposes. Click Submit. 

Step 7. Choose how you would like to verify – either by a phone call or SMS.

Step 8. Enter the verification code that you receive.

Step 9. That’s it – you’ve managed to recover a deleted Gmail account.

Main Reasons People Want to Delete their Gmail Account

There are numerous reasons that someone might wish to erase their Gmail account. Let’s take a look at some of the most common ones:

Embarrassing Username

Some people may feel embarrassed by their username. This is especially true if they created it when they were younger. Furthermore, you might want to change your email to sound more professional to appeal to current and future employers, recruits, or clients.

Simplify It

Some people have complicated email addresses with a big mix of numbers, letters, or otherwise complicated spelling. This can be a turn-off when communicating in business, and it also makes it a hassle when filling out forms or handing out your email address in general. Thus, some people want to delete their current Gmail and opt for a simpler username.

Compromised

Cyber attacks are no joke. Hackers today have sophisticated methods of intercepting communications and gaining access to your passwords and accounts. So if you don’t have two-factor authentication set up, it can lead to your Gmail account being compromised. This leads people to shut down their old accounts.

Spammed Too Much

A few spam messages are annoying enough. But when your inbox becomes filled with them, it can be unbearable. If you have had one email address for a long period, it gives more time for spammers to find you. Some people delete their Gmail to avoid the incoming spam messages.

Like another email provider

Gmail has a number of great features, but there are other providers out there. Sometimes, people simply choose to use a different provider and for that reason they delete their Gmail address.

3 Reasons Not to Delete Your Gmail Account

There are some valid reasons that people choose to erase their Gmail accounts. However, this is not always a good idea. In this section, we will cover the top 3 important reasons that you should consider not deleting your Gmail account:

1. Login for Important Sites and Services

Over time, you have likely used your Gmail account as your sign-in method for various services. This could be web apps, social media, banking, and even more. These services range from ‘luxury’ to ‘crucial.’ So before outright deleting your Gmail account, make sure to take time and review all of your accounts to make sure you aren’t locked out of important services.

2. Lose Access to Google Services

Along with third party services, shutting down your Gmail account also means losing the ability to use a lot of Google’s services — many of which are incredibly useful and even free. This includes Google Docs, Google Drive, Google Sheets, and Google Photos for those using android phones.

3. Might Miss Important Emails

Email is the primary platform of communication for important matters. This includes business, personal, government, and financial communications. Therefore, the last thing you want is to miss an important email from your bank, government, or important client. Ensure that you transfer all of your contacts over to a new address, or reconsider deleting your Gmail account at all to avoid crucial missed emails.

Deleting a Gmail Account FAQs

What happens when I delete my Gmail account? 

While deleting your Gmail account is permanent, you do get a short period of time to recover it before all the data is gone. Have a look at the steps above for attempting to recover a deleted account.

Can I delete my Gmail account without knowing the password? 

No. You’ll need to know the password to be able to delete your Gmail account.

Should I delete my Gmail account? 

Consider why you’re thinking of deleting your Gmail account. Is it connected to any services? Are you sure that you will never need to use it again? Is there anything in the emails that you might need again in the future?

Never delete a Gmail account on a whim, because you might regret it later.

Summary

As you can see, deleting a Gmail account is all pretty straightforward. No matter which device you delete it on, the steps are easy to follow and fairly similar.

Don’t forget that deleting your Gmail account doesn’t delete your main Google account. Make sure that you know the difference – you don’t want to go in thinking that you’re deleting your Gmail account and end up accidentally deleting your Google account and all of the associated data.

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