Home Tech How to delete your Google account: after downloading all your data first

How to delete your Google account: after downloading all your data first

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Screenshot of Gmaila settings

Delete digital accounts that you rarely or never use not only reduces the amount of clutter in your online life, but also keeps you safer. Every additional account you have is an extra target for a hacker, an extra database that could be leaked, and an extra way for someone to gain access to some of your largest and most important accounts. If you want to minimize your exposure, keep open only the accounts you need.

When it comes to deleting a Google account, the process is not difficult or long, and Google will even let you download your data first. Keep in mind that deleting a Google account deletes everything associated with your Google username, from emails in Gmail to places you saved in Google Maps and files you saved in Google Drive.

It’s also worth noting that Google automatically closes accounts if they haven’t been used for two years, mainly for the security reasons we’ve already mentioned. If you go to delete a Google account and find that it’s already gone, this could be the reason, although Google sends plenty of warnings in advance. You can read more about Google Inactive Account Deletion Policy if you think this has happened to your account.

Downloading your data

Select the types of data you want to export from your account.

Google via David Nield

Go to your Google account page on the web and you will see a Data and privacy link on the left: Click this to get an overview of all the data Google has on you (which may be more than you thought). To get your data off Google servers and onto your local computer, follow the instructions Download your data link to the bottom of the page.

The next screen allows you to select the types of data you want to export. It includes data from all Google apps and services, including your saved browsing history in Chrome, your Google Calendar appointments, photos and videos in Google Photos, videos you’ve uploaded to YouTube, and your Google Chat logs. It shows you the full scope of all the data that will be deleted when you delete your Google account.

For the busiest Google accounts, there may be an overwhelming amount of material here. Use the check boxes to select the categories of data you want to download: The Select all and Deselect all The options at the top might help. Some entries in the list have options below that allow you to choose between different export formats and select particular subsections of data (such as activity categories in Google Fit) to download.

When you are satisfied with your selection, click the Next step button. Then you have to choose how you want to get your download. You can receive a download link via email or send the file directly to a cloud storage account. You can also set up recurring downloads of selected data, which you won’t want to do if you delete your Google account.

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