You know what they say… “once something is on the internet it will stay there forever”. Truth is, the information you share online or the account your create may stay in a site’s database forever, but most of the time you can control whether that information will be shown publicly or not. If you created an account on an online website and no longer want to use it, you should probably delete it — such as Gmail (Google), Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. Most websites some want to deactivate or delete an account, others need you to contact them via email and for the rest of them it is impossible to delete a created account on their site.
The problem is often it isn’t that easy to find out how to deactivate or delete an account.This guide aims to change and show you how to delete or deactivate your Gmail (Google), Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Hotmail, Outlook.com, and other online accounts.
BEFORE WE BEGIN
To help you delete or deactivate your Gmail (Google), Facebook, Twitter, and other online accounts, we will be using a website called JustDelete.Me; it is a site dedicated to serve just one purpose: provide direct links or directions on how to delete your account from dozens of different websites and web services (or deactivate your account, if deletion is not possible). Anyone can submit a site by giving links to the site’s account deletion form so their page list is only getting bigger.
The website already has directions/links for dozens upon dozens of websites and web services, but take note their site list is growing — so you might not find links/directions for a specific website, in which case you will have to check back later. Currently, however, JustDelete.Me supports many major websites like Gmail/Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Hotmail, Outlook.com, Pinterest, AOL, App.net, Gawker Media, About.me, Amazon, eBay, PayPal, ImageShack, Artsy, and more.
Because the process of deletion/deactivation differs from website to website, JustDelete.Me color-codes each website direction/link to indicate the difficulty level of account deletion:
- Easy (green): Simple process
- Medium (yellow): Some extra steps involved
- Hard (red): Cannot be fully deleted without contacting customer services
- Impossible (black): Cannot be deleted
HOW TO DELETE GMAIL (GOOGLE), FACEBOOK, TWITTER, YAHOO, HOTMAIL, OUTLOOK.COM, AND OTHER ONLINE ACCOUNTS
Using JustDelete.Me is very easy. Simply visit the website, find the website or web service you want to delete your account from (supported websites/services list is alphabetically ordered, making it easy for you to find a specific website and you can use Ctrl + F to search the page), and click on it. You will then either be redirected to a page on the respective website/web service to delete or deactivate your account or you will be provided directions by JustDelete.Me on how to do it.
For the purpose of this guide, I’ll show the example of deleting a Facebook account because everyday people are looking for a way to delete their account on the site:
- First step is visit JustDelete.Me in any modern web browser.
- Next we locate Facebook in the list and note it’s listed under medium difficulty level (yellow):
If we click “Show info” first we read the following (take note green difficulty levels have no info — they are easy to do, so you are just provided with a direct link to the respective website to delete/deactivate your account):
While you can delete your account easily, some of the data including chat- or group-messages are here to stay forever, just as stated in the website’s Privacy.
That understood, we move to the next step.
- Click on “Facebook” as show in the picture above. We will get to a Facebook page asking for confirmation to delete our account.
- We click on “Delete My Account” and then enter our password and a captcha for confirmation.
- Then there’s a message informing we successfully deactivated our account and that it will be permanently deleted within 14 days.
- And we will be sent an email notifying we just deleted our account. It’s possible to cancel this request if we login to Facebook within 14 days. By the way, excuse me for using Outlook.
You can do this with any of the dozens of websites supported by JustDelete.Me.
If you use Google chrome, there’s a JustDelete.Me Chrome extension available at this link which will tell you when a site allows account deletion and will mark its difficulty-level with a color dot:
Clicking on the dot takes you to the link/directions to delete your account on that website.
And there it is! JustDelete.Me helps you delete your account from dozens of different websites, including popular ones like Gmail/Google, Yahoo, Hotmail, Outlook.com, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Digg, Disqus, Gawker Media, and more.
For the purposes of this guide, we took you through the steps of deleting a Facebook account (which is a medium difficulty level site). A lot of sites are low difficulty (green) will just require to login and your account will be instantly deleted, but some like Facebook will make you wait a couple weeks. Others will be even worse, making you jump through loops (e.g. some websites will make you send them en email in order to deactivate your account) while others won’t even allow deletion — not even if contacting via e-mail.
The best tip is to always think twice before joining a site, but certainly JustDelete.Me is a great and useful site to help you to slowly remove your information online and online accounts. Enjoy!