How to Deactivate a Gmail Account

By Adrian Grahams

If you signed up for a free, Web-based Gmail account but don't use it or need it anymore, then you can permanently remove, or deactivate, the account. Gmail will deactivate the account immediately, but it can take up to two months for all messages and records of the account to disappear from Google's servers. To deactivate a Gmail account, you'll need to log in to the account and edit your mail settings. Keep in mind that deactivating your Gmail product is not the same thing as closing your entire Google account, which is a separate action that deletes all services and information associated with your Google account, not just Gmail.

Step 1

Open your Web browser, and sign in to Gmail.

Step 2

Click the "Gear" icon in the top right of your Gmail homepage.

Step 3

Click "Mail Settings" and then click the "Accounts and Import" tab on the top row of options.

Step 4

Find the "Change Account Settings" section. Click "Other Google Account Settings."

Step 5

Find the "My Products" section, and click "Edit."

Step 6

Click "Remove Gmail Permanently." This deactivates your Gmail account.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you later change your mind and want to reinstate the deleted Gmail account, then Google will try to retrieve the account for you. However, this is not always possible, so bear this in mind before deleting the Gmail account.