How to Delete Your Gmail Account

Close Gmail with these easy steps

Notepad with paperclips forming a envelope on it
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You can delete a Google Gmail account and all the messages in it (and still keep your Google, YouTube, etc. accounts).

Why Delete a Gmail Account?

So you have one Gmail account too many? No, you don't have to tell me any reasons for wanting to quit Gmail. I won't ask, I'll just tell you how to do it.

Gmail will ask you to click numerous times, of course, and for your password, too. Still, closing your Gmail account and deleting the mail in it is pretty straightforward a task.

Delete Your Gmail Account

To cancel a Gmail account and delete the associated Gmail address:

  1. Go to Google Account Settings.
  2. Select Delete your account or services under Account preferences.
  3. Click Delete ProductsNote: You can also choose Delete Google Account and Data to remove your entire Google account (including your search history, Google Docs, AdWords and AdSense as well as other Google services).
  4. Select the Gmail account you want to delete.
  5. Type the password to the account over Enter your password.
  6. Click Next.
  7. Click the trashcan icon (🗑) next to Gmail.

    Note: Follow the Download Data link for a chance to download a full copy of your Gmail messages via Google takeout.
    Tip: You can also copy your email to another Gmail account, possibly a new Gmail address.
  8. Enter an email address different from the address associated with the Gmail account you are closing under Enter an email address in the How you'll sign in to Google dialog box.

    Note: Gmail may already have entered the secondary address you used when creating the Gmail account. The alternative email address you enter here becomes your new Google account username. Also important: Make sure you enter an email address to which you have access. You need the email address to complete deleting your Gmail account.
  1. Clic​k Send Verification Email.
  2. Open the email from Google (no-reply@accounts.google.com) with the subject "Security alert for your linked Google account" or "Gmail Deletion Confirmation".
  3. Follow the deletion link in the message.
  4. If prompted, log in to the Gmail account you are deleting.
  5. Under Confirm Gmail Deletion Select Yes, I want to delete example@gmail.com permanently from my Google Account.
  1. Click Delete Gmail. Important: You cannot undo this step. After you click this, your Gmail account and messages are gone.
  2. Click Done.

What Happens to Emails in the Deleted Gmail Account?

The messages will be deleted permanently. You can no longer access them in Gmail.

If you downloaded a copy, either using Google Takeout or using an email program, you can still use these messages, of course.

Note: If you used IMAP to access Gmail in your email program, only messages copied to local folder will be kept; emails on the server and folders synchronized with the deleted Gmail account will be deleted.

What Happens to Emails Sent to My Deleted Gmail Address?

People who mail your old Gmail address will receive back a delivery failure message. You might want to announce a new or alternate old address to desired contacts. By the way, if you're looking for a new, secure email service, read 6 Best Services for Secure Email.