How To Delete A Gmail Account Permanently

How To Delete A Gmail Account Permanently

Gmail Account

Gmail is the world’s most popular online email host thanks to its simplicity, cross-platform usability, built-in organizational features, fast speeds, and top-notch SPAM-blocking features. You’d be hard-pressed to find somebody who doesn’t have at least one Gmail account. In fact, if you’re like most of the people at our office, you might even have multiple Gmail accounts!

However, that can eventually become somewhat of an issue. Perhaps you have one too many Gmail accounts and they’re starting to make your life more difficult and confusing than it has to be. Or, maybe one of your accounts has been breached by a hacker and you want to take care of the security liability.

Whatever the case may be, sometimes your Gmail account (or your entire Google account) just needs to be “whacked.” Thankfully, Google has made the process of downloading important data and deleting your Gmail account simple and easy.

In today’s post, we’ll address some of the most common concerns regarding Gmail account deletion and give you a step-by-step process for how to delete your Gmail account.

Why Would You Want To Delete A Gmail Account?

Simply put, sometimes less is better.

For real, though, most people have far more email accounts than they need. From those embarrassing email accounts leftover from middle school (moneyyyybaggz69@gmail.comanybody?) to professional email accounts we made and then forgot about, the list is endless.

One of the best things about Gmail is that they make it incredibly easy to create new email accounts. However, this also means that it’s incredibly easy to end up with too many accounts.

The biggest reason why this can be a problem is that it represents a possible security issue. Each account likely has some valuable personal information on you, even if it’s just your phone number, full name, and birthday.

Often, old email accounts don’t have their passwords updated as regularly, which means they’re more susceptible to hacks. Any personal info that a hacker can get on you is something that they can use for identity theft and other nefarious reasons in the future. So, that being said, deleting and managing your old or excessive email accounts is always a good idea.

Increase Your Email Privacy With A VPN

Since we’re on the topic, one of the best ways, by far, to keep your email safe is to use a secure VPN like Surfshark. This will ensure that when you send emails, your IP location can’t be traced back to your home’s location.

It also makes it harder (nearly impossible) for hackers to access any other personal internet traffic data while you’re logging into websites and third-party services with your Gmail account.

How To Delete Your Gmail Account Permanently

Alright, so if you’ve made the decision to delete your Gmail account permanently, here’s how to go about doing it. Thankfully, it’s a relatively simple and easy process that shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes!

  1. Update Your Account Recovery Info: First, you’ll want to log into your Gmail account and review your account recovery info. This can be done by accessing your account dashboard and selecting the ‘Security’ tab. Then, scroll down to ‘Ways we can verify it’s you.’ Make sure all of your recovery info is up to date. This will ensure that if you change your mind within 20 days of deleting your account, you’ll be able to re-open your account to access emails and data.
    Gmail Account Security
  2. Access The ‘Data And Privacy’ Tab: Next, we’ll begin the process of downloading data and deleting the account. Select the ‘Data and Privacy’ tab directly above the ‘Security’ tab on the left-hand side of the screen.
    Gmail Account Data and Privacy
  3. Download Any Data You Want To Keep: First, download any data that you want to keep. This is important if you have valuable emails, documents, images, etc., stored in your Gmail account. If not, then you can skip this step.
    Google Account Data & Privacy
  4. Select ‘Delete A Service’: Once you’ve downloaded your data (if you had any), select the link directly under it that says ‘Delete a Google service.’
    Google Dashboard
  5. Complete Two-Factor Authentication: Before you’re allowed to delete a service, Google will want to verify that it’s you who’s trying to make the change. You’ll need to have your phone or a backup email account handy to verify that your account hasn’t been hacked or is being deleted maliciously.
  6. Delete Your Gmail Account: Once you complete your two-factor authentication, you’ll be able to delete your Gmail account. If you prefer, you can delete your entire Google account, which will remove all of your Google services from your account, including your YouTube account.

What Happens When You Delete Your Gmail Account?

When you delete your Gmail account, you’ll no longer be able to access your Gmail dashboard. This means you won’t be able to send or receive emails from that account anymore. Essentially, it will be blacklisted.

That being said, you’ll have a 20-day period after deleting your account, during which you’ll be able to recover your Gmail account. So, if you accidentally deleted your account or remember that you have a vital piece of information in there, this is a nice safety net to have.

Will I Be Able To Access Google Drive Files After Deleting Account?

Yes! If you only delete your Gmail account, you’ll still have access to your Google account itself. This means you’ll still be able to use your other Google services, such as Google Drive, Calendar, YouTube, and others.

Will Somebody Else Be Able To Take My Deleted Gmail Username?

Nope! This is because Google doesn’t want anybody else to try to take your old Gmail username and use it to impersonate you. This is a common tactic that was used in the past by data thieves who spied on internet users on public networks and often resulted in identity theft. So today, Google completely removes old emails from circulation after they’re deleted.

This is why using a VPN while you’re on public networks is so important. Even a low-cost VPN can prevent your data from being stolen while you’re accessing sensitive websites on a public network at your local cafe, library, etc.

Conclusion

As you can see, deleting your Gmail account is fairly simple. It’s so easy that your 5-year-old could probably do it, so there’s no excuse why you can’t as well. Just remember to download any important data before deleting your Gmail account so it’s not lost forever. Also, keep in mind that there is a 20-day grace period after deleting your account during which you’ll be able to re-open your Gmail!

Sources:

  1. https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/32046?hl=en
  2. https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/5-ways-hackers-can-use-public-wi-fi-steal-identity/
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