There are several reasons why some individuals are opting to unplug from Google. Perhaps you prefer open source or have privacy concerns that force you to look for Google alternatives. Whatever your reason, the first step in abandoning Google is to erase your Google or Gmail account.
Google gives users two easy options for deleting accounts.
The first alternative is to remove your Gmail account entirely. If you do this, you will need another email address to continue using Google services linked with your Gmail account, such as Google Drive and Calendar. This email address is not a Gmail address.
The second alternative is to completely erase your Google account. This effectively terminates access to all Google products that need an account.
The approaches listed below are very close to becoming one-click solutions. To its credit, Google makes it exceedingly simple to delete accounts and remove your data. However, there are a few things you need do in preparation for the procedure.
Prepare to Delete Your Account
Let’s take this step by step.
Before you deactivate your Gmail account, go back and carefully update any accounts that are connected to it. If you use Gmail for your bank account, for example, you should alter it before you delete your account.
Second, make a backup of your data. It may be simply Gmail or all of your Google info. If you do not wish to back up your data, you may move ahead to the next parts.
But first, let’s get your data off Google’s servers.
- Go to the Account page of the Google account you wish to remove. (You may also get here by clicking on your profile symbol in the upper right corner and then choosing My Account.)
- Click Delete your account or services under Accounts & Preferences.
- When asked, click Delete Products and enter your password.
- Select the Download Data option.
- Map data, Google Drive files, Google Photos Bookmarks, Contacts, and other information may be accessible. When downloading your data, you may pick and choose which goods you want to keep. After you’ve made your choices, click Next.
- Select your archive format (ZIP, TGZ, or TBZ) and archive size. You can store all of your data in one giant zip file, but if you want to divide it up into smaller files, here is the place to do it. The maximum file size is 50GB, and any files higher than 2GB are compressed in ZIP64.
- You may obtain the archive through email, Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive. (If you choose for a link to your archived data, you’ll have one week to download it.)
- Once you’ve chosen all of your options, click Create archive. This procedure might take hours or even days depending on how much data is on your account.
Related: How to Delete All Emails in Gmail
Delete Your Gmail Account
It’s usually a good idea to make a backup. If you don’t want to or your backup is complete, go to the next steps:
- Log in to the Gmail account you wish to delete once again and go to your main Account page. Click Delete your account or services under Accounts & Preferences. When asked, click Delete Products and enter your password. Tap the Trash icon.
- Enter an email address that you can use with other Google products linked with your account at the prompt. This email address is not a Gmail account. To confirm ownership, an email will be issued to the account. Your Gmail account will not be deactivated unless you click the verification link. Enter your email address and click Send verification email.
- When you click the verification email, you’ll get a notice with further information on the consequences of account deletion. Click Remove Gmail after checking the box that confirms you wish to delete your email account.
Delete Your Google Account
If you’d prefer delete your whole account and avoid using any Google products, do the following actions instead:
- Go to the Account page of the Google account you wish to remove.
- Click Delete your account or services under Accounts & Preferences. When asked, click Delete Google Account and Data and input your password.
- Check the boxes that indicate you accept responsibility for any ongoing costs for premium Google services and that you wish to delete your account and related data. Select the Delete Account option.
- A message will confirm that your account has been deleted. This message also includes a link that allows you to recover your account if you’re faced with instant regret.
Recover Your Account
Google provides you a limited time to retrieve your account. It is unclear how lengthy that time is, however it does state that it takes two business days to fully erase and destroy your accounts.
If you want to attempt a recovery, follow these steps:
- Go to Account Support.
- Enter the email address or phone number associated with the account that was deleted.
- You will be informed that the account has been deactivated. Click the Attempt to recover this account link.
- At the prompt, enter a CAPTCHA.
- Click Next after entering the last password you recall.
- You’ll get a notification stating that you’ve successfully restored the deleted account if your account can be retrieved.
If you are able to restore your account, you should be able to access all of your data.
Getting Rid of Other Accounts
Do you want to go much farther and delete even more online accounts? A service like Deseat.me will be useful. It will assist you in locating accounts that you signed up for but have since forgotten about.
Other websites, such as Account Killer, attempt to help you through the process of account deletion by providing advice on how to remove accounts on a variety of different online services.
If you don’t want to erase your accounts on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, you may always deactivate them instead.
Have you considered deactivating your Gmail or Google accounts? In the comments, tell us why and which service you’ll be using instead.
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