Say Goodbye or Save Emails? Deleting Your Gmail Account

Show drafts Unclog your inbox! This guide explores deleting your Gmail account (consequences, steps) & alternatives (forwarding, download) to keep emails or start fresh.

Deleting a Gmail account is a task that can be done with or without your Google account. In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps for both scenarios. Since the process varies slightly for desktop and mobile users, we’ve created separate guides for each platform.

There are various reasons why you might want to delete your Gmail account. Perhaps you want to start fresh because your current username is embarrassing, or you’re tired of receiving too much spam. Alternatively, you might be considering switching to a different email provider altogether. Whatever your reason, we’re here to help you achieve your goal. Let’s dive in!

Deleting your Gmail Account on Computer

If you’ve been wondering how to permanently delete your Gmail account, you’re in the right spot. Below is a simple guide that works for both Windows and macOS because all you need is a browser. If you’re using a mobile device, don’t worry, we’ve got guides for that too.

  1. Click on your profile icon in the top-right corner and select “Manage your Google Account.”
  2. From the left menu, pick “Data & privacy.”
  3. Under the “Download or delete your data” section, choose “Delete a Google service.”
  4. Click on “Delete a service” and enter your Gmail password to verify.
  5. Hit the Trash icon next to “Gmail.” You can also choose to “DOWNLOAD DATA” to keep a copy of your messages, attachments, and settings.
  6. Enter a non-Gmail email to link with your other Google services. Then, click “SEND VERIFICATION EMAIL.”
  7. Log in to the non-Gmail account and open the verification email. Tap the link inside.
  8. At the bottom of the email, Check the box and select “DELETE GMAIL.”

That’s it. Your Gmail account is gone forever. Well, maybe?

Deleting your Gmail Account on Android

Deleting your Gmail account on an Android phone is a breeze, much like the steps for deleting it on a computer. Here’s what you do:

  1. Open your Android’s Settings and scroll down to find Google.
  2. Tap on “Manage your Google account”. Under Data & personalization, select “Delete a service or your account.”
  3. Tap “Delete a service” and then tap the Trash bin next to your Gmail account.
  4. Follow the prompts on your screen. The remaining steps are pretty much the same as on the desktop version.

And there you have it! Your Gmail account will be on its way out in no time.

Deleting your Gmail Account on iPhone

Deleting your Gmail on an iOS device is pretty much like doing it on a computer. We’ll cover the main steps here, whether you’re using the Gmail app or your iPhone browser. Once you start the deletion process, the final steps are just like on desktop.

  1. In your Gmail app, tap the menu icon at the top-left, then go to Settings. Tap the account you want to delete.
  2. Tap “Manage your Google Account.”
  3. Select “Data & personalization,” then “Delete a service or your account,” and finally “Delete a service.”
  4. Look for Gmail in your list of Google services and tap the trash bin icon. Follow the prompts to delete your Gmail account. You can also check our desktop guide for more detailed instructions.

That’s it! Your Gmail account will soon be gone, whether you’re using your phone or your computer.

Alternatives to Deleting Your Gmail Account

Before you take the big step of deleting your Gmail account, consider these alternatives that might better fit your needs:

Setting Up Email Forwarding:

Instead of wiping out your Gmail account, you can set up email forwarding. This sends all emails sent to your Gmail address to your new email. That way, you still get emails sent to your old address at your new one.

Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Go to Gmail settings (find it in the previous section).
  2. Click on “Forwarding and POP/IMAP.”
  3. Find “Add a forwarding address” and enter your new email.
  4. Verify the new address and activate forwarding.

Account Deactivation (Optional):

While not available for Gmail yet, some Google services offer account deactivation. This puts your account on pause for a while. It’s handy if you want a break from Gmail without deleting it permanently.

By trying these alternatives, you can declutter your digital life without saying goodbye to your Gmail forever. Let’s wrap up this guide with some final tips in the next section.

Things to remember

Before you delete your Gmail account, there are some crucial things to consider. It’s a big step, akin to a major life change. Make sure you’re aware of these 5 facts:

  1. It’s Permanent: Deleting your Gmail account is final. Once you complete the process, there’s no turning back (well, almost – see “Can you recover a deleted Gmail account?” below). All your emails and account info vanish, and you can’t send or receive emails. Plus, nobody, not even you, can use the same username again.
  2. Your Google Account Stays: Deleting your Gmail doesn’t erase your entire Google account. You can still use services like Photos, Drive, and more.
  3. Access to Other Accounts: If you’ve used this email for other accounts, losing it means you might lose access to those too.
  4. Password Resets: For accounts linked to your Gmail, forgetting the password means you won’t be able to reset it.
  5. Download Your Emails: Before you say goodbye, use Google Takeout to download your emails. Remember, only locally stored emails will stay if you use IMAP. Synced folders will disappear, just like those New Year’s resolutions.

Preparing for Gmail Account Deletion

Saying farewell to Gmail doesn’t mean chaos. Here’s what to do before you say goodbye:

Downloading Your Data:

Save your important stuff before you delete. Use Google Takeout to download:

  • Emails: Keep those precious messages.
  • Contacts: Don’t lose touch with your pals.
  • Calendar Events: Make sure you remember those important dates.
  • Drive Files: Save any files linked to your Gmail.

Here’s how:

  1. Go to
  2. For the info you desire, check the boxes.
  3. Choose the format and size.
  4. Click “Next” and follow the steps.
    Remember, it might take a while to download everything.

Choosing a New Email Address:

Find a new place for your emails. Consider:

  • Professionalism: Choose a clear, professional-sounding address for work.
  • Ease of Use: Pick something easy to remember and spell.
  • Security: Look into the security features of different email providers.

There are several options available; choose the one that best suits your needs.

Updating Account Info (Optional):

If you’ve used your Gmail for other accounts, update them with your new email before deleting Gmail. This keeps things running smoothly.

By doing these steps, you’ll be ready to delete your Gmail account without any hassle. Next up, we’ll guide you through the deletion process step by step.

Deleting Your Google Account Entirely

If you want to go all the way and delete your entire Google account, including Drive, Photos, Calendar, and more, follow these steps:

  1. Go to
  2. Select “Data & personalization” from the left menu.
  3. Scroll down and choose “Delete a service or your account.”
  4. Select “Delete your Google Account” and provide your password.
  5. If you want to, download your data, then tick both boxes and click “DELETE ACCOUNT.”

Keep in mind, this also removes subscriptions on YouTube and Google Play. If your Chrome browser is synced, save your bookmarks before taking this irreversible step.

Recover a deleted Gmail or Google Account

Wondering if you can recover a deleted Gmail or Google Account? There’s a chance, but it gets slimmer the longer you wait. Here’s how to try:

Recovering a Deleted Gmail Account:

  1. Go to the Google recovery page. Enter the email you want to recover and click “Next.”
  2. If it says the account doesn’t exist, recovery might be impossible. But if it asks for your last password, you’re in luck!
  3. Enter the right password and you should see a success message. Go to your Google Account.
  4. Click “Google apps” at the top-right, select “Gmail,” add your phone number, and click “Submit.”
  5. Pick your verification method: SMS or phone call.
  6. Enter the verification code you receive.
  7. Congrats, your Gmail account is back!

Recovering a Deleted Google Account:

  1. Go to the Google Account recovery page. Enter your email and click “Next.”
  2. Enter your password. If you forgot it, click “Try another way.”
  3. Pass the security check, then create a new password.

There you have it! Your Google Account lives again.


Throughout this guide, we’ve delved into the process of deleting your Gmail account, covering its consequences and essential steps. We’ve also explored alternatives like email forwarding and potential future deactivation options.

Ultimately, deciding to delete your Gmail account is a personal choice. Take your time to weigh the pros and cons, consider available alternatives, and ensure you’ve saved any important data before taking action.

If you’re uncertain about complete deletion, alternatives like email forwarding can provide a more flexible solution. Remember, you can always reassess your decision and make changes later on. The key is to be informed and choose the option that aligns best with your digital needs.

Frequently Asked Questions about Deleting Your Gmail Account

Q: Can I recover a deleted Gmail account?

A: There’s a chance Google might offer a short window to recover your deleted account. However, this isn’t guaranteed and the timeframe for recovery is constantly changing. It’s best to assume deletion is permanent, so tread carefully!

Q: What happens to my data after I delete my Gmail account?

A: Your data associated with Gmail, including emails, contacts, and potentially Drive files linked to your account, will be permanently deleted.

Q: Will I lose access to other Google services if I delete Gmail?

A: While some Google services like YouTube can be used without a Gmail account, many are integrated. You might experience limited functionality or require separate logins for these services without a Gmail account.

Q: Are there alternatives to deleting my Gmail account entirely?

A: Yes! Consider setting up email forwarding to receive future emails at a new address or explore potential future account deactivation options (if available) for a temporary break from Gmail.

Q: What should I do before deleting my Gmail account?

A: It’s crucial to download your data (emails, contacts, etc.) using Google Takeout and choose a new email address to avoid communication disruptions. Update login information for linked services if necessary.

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