How to Delete a Gmail Account? (Step-By-Step Guide)

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You can delete your Gmail account on iOS, Android, or PC via the native account settings. This will remove all of your emails, instances of your email account, and any account preferences.

You can also reactivate your Google account if it hasn’t been too long since it was deleted. I’ll discuss that in this guide.

I’ll also talk about other alternatives to deleting your Gmail account

Explore those to see if you can solve any issues that made you want to delete the account.

But for now, let’s start with how you can download your Gmail data.

If you are a visual learner, please check out our infographic.

How to Download Gmail Data Before Deleting Your Account?

how to download gmail data

While Google allows you to recover your Gmail account at some point, you can’t get your emails back if you wait too long. If the account recovery even works, that is.

So, here’s how to review your Gmail account data and download it before you delete the account:

  1. Go to the Google Takeout website.
google takeout website
  1. Choose the data you’d like to download. Note that deleting your Gmail account also deletes all its mail data.
google takeout data to include
  1. Click “Next.”
  2. Choose your preferred delivery method. Make sure to send it to an online account associated with another email. Otherwise, download the data to store locally before deleting the Gmail account.
google takeout delivery method
  1. Choose “Export Once” since you’ll delete the Gmail account afterward.
google takeout freq
  1. Choose the preferred export format. I recommend zip as it’s easy to open and read on nearly all devices.
google export format
  1. Choose the file size management option. I recommend setting it to the maximum (50GB) to prevent too much splitting.
google takeout file size options
  1. Select “Create Export.”
google takeout create export

Depending on how large the files you’re exporting are, this process can take a few hours to days.

google takeout export progress

Check your mail frequently to see when the export is completed successfully.

Steps to Delete Your Gmail Account Permanently

steps in deleting gmail

Once you’re satisfied with the data downloaded from your Gmail account, you can permanently delete the account.

I recommend checking my section on alternatives to deleting your Gmail account before committing to this process. If this remains your final resolve, the steps below detail how you can delete your Gmail account on iOS, Android, or PC.

Deleting Your Gmail Account on Mobile (iOS and Android)

Follow the steps below to delete your Gmail account from within the iOS app:

  1. Open the Gmail app.
gmail app
  1. Tap on your profile picture/avatar in the upper right corner. This should be the profile you want to delete.
google profile
  1. Select “Manage your Google Account.”
manage google account
  1. Choose “Data and Privacy.”
data and privacy
  1. Scroll down to the “Download or delete your data” section.
download or delete data google profile
  1. Tap “Delete a Google Service.”
  2. You may be prompted to enter your password again. Do so.
  3. Next to the Gmail account, tap the delete/bin icon.
  4. You’ll be prompted to enter another email account (not a Gmail account) to keep using your existing Google services. Do this and tap “Send verification email.”
sign in to google
  1. Your Gmail account will be deleted once you verify the new email address.

Deleting Your Gmail Account on a PC

You can still delete your Gmail account if you have a PC.

Follow the steps below:

  1. Log in to the Gmail account you want to delete.
  2. Click on the account avatar in the upper right corner of the screen.
gmail account avatar
  1. Click “Manage your Google account.”
manage google profile on PC
  1. Your browser opens a new tab on the Google account page.
  2. Click “Data and privacy” in the left menu.
data and privacy google account
  1. Scroll down till you get to the “Download or delete your data” section.
  2. Click “Delete a Google service.”
  3. You’re prompted to sign in again. Enter your password to confirm it’s you.
  4. Click the delete/bin icon next to Gmail.
deleting google service
  1. You’re prompted to enter another email address (not Gmail) to continue using Google’s services.
other email address for google services
  1. Your account is deleted once the new email is verified.

Alternatives to Deleting Your Gmail Account

Several reasons might make you want to delete your Gmail account.

Some of these reasons can be tackled in other ways besides deleting all your data and account.

Find those alternatives below and explore them, depending on your situation.

1. Block and Report Malicious Users

If you’re getting harassment emails, being cyberstalked, or receiving many junk emails, deleting your Gmail account isn’t the best bet.

Google allows you to block specific senders so their messages don’t come to your inbox anymore.

You can also mark them as spam to automatically send the emails to your junk folder.

block emails on gmail

The best part is that every time you report an account, it signals to Google that the user isn’t conforming to best practices. Thus, Google can boot them off the platform entirely.

Blocking and reporting malicious users ensures they don’t get the better of you, and you don’t have to lose your account because of them.

Block a User on Gmail

  1. Open Gmail on your Android/iOS app or PC.
  2. Select a message from the sender you want to block.
  3. Tap the three (3) horizontal menu dots (dots are vertical on PC/Android app).
email settings on gmail
  1. Select “Block [Sender]” from the list.
block sender gmail

2. Customize Gmail Spam Filters

Google has a neat Gmail feature that allows you to filter messages into different inbox categories automatically. You can identify specific keywords or email addresses and have them automatically grouped as you want.

This applies to automatically delete or sending some messages to spam, too.

email in spam

Use the Gmail filters to identify addresses and words in the subject or email body you want to avoid, and choose what happens to them.

This method requires constant refining to get it right (as you might miss some words and emails when starting). Eventually, you should get through all the senders and terms you don’t want to see.

Create Email Spam Filters

  1. Login to your Gmail account on PC.
  2. Click the dropdown menu button in the search bar.
screenshot of gmail account
  1. Enter the spam email addresses, words, and subject lines, and customize other spam filters to taste. Click “Create Filter.”
create word filters on gmail
  1. Choose what you want to be done with these filtered messages. I recommend you choose to “Delete it.Select “Create Filter” again when you’re done.
option to delete in gmail account

Subsequent messages will run through these spam filters you just created.

Checking the last box on the list applies the settings to any older conversations matching your spam criteria.

3. Tweak Data and Privacy Settings

If you’re deleting the account because you connected too many third-party services or someone else has access, that might be going too far.

For example, if someone has unauthorized access to your account, you can just log them out remotely instead of deleting the entire account.

You can also edit your info, choose what you want people to see, and do more within your account.

gmail data and privacy

Log into your Google account page, choose the affected Gmail account, and take control of your data. Log out any unauthorized users, remove any connected services that shouldn’t be there, and tighten up your overall account security.

4. Remove Account From Your Device

You can remove Gmail accounts from your mobile apps (iOS and Android) to prevent anyone looking through your phone from connecting you to such accounts. These accounts can be added back to your phone whenever you need to use them, leaving no trails whenever you remove them again.

If you’re a journalist gathering data or receiving anonymous tips via email, you should set up a secure email address server. There could also be domestic or political reasons why you need to maintain a private email address.

account active on specific devices

To be on the safer side, I would recommend you never add these accounts to your mobile devices in the first place. You can log in via the web and use a VPN to hide your internet traffic, so no one sees you’re using your Gmail account.

In the meantime, the guide below details removing or adding an account to your device in mere minutes.

Remove Gmail Account From Phone

  1. Open your Gmail app on Android or iOS.
  2. Tap the account icon in the upper right corner. This doesn’t have to be the account you want to remove.
account icon on upper portion of gmail
  1. Scroll to the bottom of the page and tap “Manage accounts on this device.”
manage accounts on device button
  1. Toggle the accounts you want to remove. For better security, select “Remove from this device” too.
toggle remove from device

5. Recover Your Account From Hackers

If your account has been compromised, don’t just delete the account.

Remember that a deleted account can be recovered. 

If the hacker is intentional enough, they could recover your account and still have access to some of your data.

In this case, the best thing to do is recover the account and secure it better for the future.

Google has a comprehensive guide to recovering your account when you believe it has been compromised. Check the recommended guide below on what to do in this scenario.

Quick Guide

  1. Sign in to your Google account and change the password.
  2. Review your account for suspicious activity like logins from unknown devices and locations.
  3. Review your account information to confirm your details are updated and haven’t been changed by the hacker.
  4. Remove access to third-party apps and services you don’t recognize.
  5. Enable multi-factor authentication for your Gmail account.

Infographic

delete gmail account infographic

Frequently Asked Questions

Google requires you to log in to your Gmail account before initiating the account deletion process. To verify your identity, you will also have to re-enter the password before accessing the account deletion page.

These safeguards are in place to ensure unauthorized users don’t delete Gmail accounts they aren’t supposed to have access to.

If you lost your Gmail account password but want to delete your account, follow this Gmail password recovery guide to regain account access.

Deleting your Gmail account doesn’t delete your Google account, so you can keep accessing other Google services. You can still keep using your Google Docs, Calendar, and other related Google services you’ve set up with the deleted account.

Google prompts users to link another email to their Google Account to use their subscribed Google services.

You need to save billing records, delete marketplace apps, and cancel your subscriptions before Google allows you to delete a business Gmail account.

You can skip all these steps if you never had a paid service, didn’t install any apps from the marketplace, nor have any active subscriptions running before deleting the Gmail business account.

You can delete just one Gmail account if you have multiple Gmail accounts without affecting the others. To delete just one Gmail account from your device, login to the preferred Gmail address/choose it from your Google accounts and follow these instructions:

  1. Click the account profile icon.
  2. Select “Manage your Google account.”
  3. Select the “Data and Privacy” tab.
  4. Scroll down and choose “Delete a Google service.”
  5. Tap the bin icon next to the Gmail icon.
  6. Enter a non-Gmail email address for associated services.
  7. Click “Send verification email.”
  8. Verify the alternate email to delete your account.

Google deletes all the emails and personalization settings associated with a Gmail account once the user authorizes it. This also deletes all traces of the account on Google’s servers.

However, users who sent you email messages in the past still have copies of the correspondence unless they delete it. These users cannot message you at that address anymore. Likewise, other users cannot sign up to use your deleted email address.

Google also keeps the username records so other users cant use the same username you recently deleted.

Google maintains that you can recover your Gmail account after deletion but doesn’t specify a timeframe for this recovery process.

Some data points to a 21-day timeframe before your account data is taken off the platform. Google also claims that depending on how long it takes you to decide to recover the account, you might not get access to your emails anymore.

Now That You’ve Deleted Your Gmail Account

Or maybe not, if you chose any of the alternative methods I described above.

No matter which option you went with, I’m sure you made the right choice based on the situation.

If you deleted your account, you should know that Gmail data isn’t the only thing Google has on you. They collect a lot more personal data about you, and you can see everything Google knows about you in the linked guide.

Even if you didn’t end up deleting your account, it helps to know the data the search engine giant has collected on you over time so you can manage it better.

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