How to close an email account

Updated February 21, 2017

Closing an e-mail account is relatively easy with most major free providers such as Yahoo! and Gmail. The most important steps are those you take in preparation for closing the account. You must be sure you have saved all the addresses and information you will need before closing the account. By taking the proper steps, you'll avoid losing any important data.

At least a month before closing your e-mail account, notify your regular correspondents that you will be closing it and give them your new contact information.

When you are ready to close the account, your address book or make a manual list of any e-mail addresses that you wish to save. Once you close your e-mail account, you will no longer be able to access your contact list or any of the old messages.

Go through all of the old messages in your inbox to make sure that there is no information you need to save. If you find messages that you should keep, transfer them to your new e-mail account or make a printout.

Delete each old message as you go through it. This will ensure that you have gone through all of the messages. Once your inbox is empty, you are done with the process.

Close the account in the way required by the e-mail provider. Usually there is an option to click, labelled "Close My Account" or something similar. When you click it, you will normally be warned that all of your information will be lost once the process is complete and you'll be asked for confirmation. When you confirm, your e-mail account will be closed.


Once you have closed your e-mail account, you may want to send one last reminder to your regular contacts letting them know you have a new e-mail address. Even though you notified them earlier, some people may forget to update the information in their own address book.


If you delete your e-mail account, you may lose other services from the provider. For example, if you are using Gmail and Google Calendar or Yahoo! e-mail and chat, the closure may affect those things as well. Read the terms carefully before you decide to terminate the account.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Based in Kissimmee, Fla., Barb Nefer is a freelance writer with over 20 years of experience. She is a mental health counselor, finance coach and travel agency owner. Her work has appeared in such magazines as "The Writer" and "Grit" and she authored the book, "So You Want to Be a Counselor."