Admit it: You didn't always have that super professional, resumé-friendly email address that you use for all your work correspondence. You, just like everyone else who grew up when email addresses were becoming a thing, might've had an email username along the lines of "koolgirl365" or "hotchick13." And that's totally OK. But if you want to find a way to bury it away forever or delete all proof of the types of conversations you were having when you were prepubescent, you might want to learn how to delete old email addresses.
While Gmail is one of the largest email services now, just a decade ago it was going up against a bunch of other email services like Hotmail, Yahoo, and AOL. But despite how each was ranked back then or is ranked now, the reality is that your early 2000s account with them still exists and is more likely than not storing all the old messages between you and your best friends. But, have no fear. If you don't want to be haunted by the ghost of email past anymore, going back in to delete those old accounts for good is pretty easy. Here's how you can make it happen depending on the email service:
Deleting your old Gmail account requires signing into it using your password. If you forgot your password, you simply click on "Forgot Password" and you can choose from a number of different ways to reset your password. Some of them involve entering the date of when you created the account, your recovery email, or your current email where Google can contact you with next steps to verify it's really you.
Once you sign into your old account, you visit "Google Account Settings" by going into the top-right corner and clicking onto your icon. From there, click on "Google Account." This will lead you to a page with all your account information. You'll see tabs on the left side of the screen. Click on "Data & personalization." Select the "Download, delete, or make a plan for your data panel" tab and then click "Delete a service or your account." This will prompt you to log in again and then go to the "Gmail" option and click "Delete" along with the trash icon. After that, just follow the instructions on the screen.
After logging into your account, you can go to the Yahoo search bar and type in "delete Yahoo account." From there, click the first link that shows up, which should be titled "Close your Yahoo account." This will bring you to a page with information about closing your account.
Go toward the bottom of the page and click on the hyperlink that reads "Terminating your Yahoo account." Then, you'll land on a page that explains what happens when you delete your account. To continue, you have to confirm your identity by re-entering your password. You'll also be asked to type in whatever code they have shown at the bottom, in order to prove you're not a bot. After typing this in, click "YES, Terminate this account." From there, Yahoo will let you know your email account has been scheduled to be deleted, and will be gone in 90 days.
Hotmail, Windows Live, Or Outlook.com
Because Hotmail, Windows Live, and Outlook.com are all connected to Microsoft, deleting any one of these accounts involves the same process. Log into your account and then navigate to the Microsoft account page by clicking on your icon in the upper right-hand corner.
After this, click on "Security," followed by "More security options." If you go all the way to the bottom of the page, you'll see the option that reads "Close my account." Click on that, and then click "Next" when the site prompts you with a page that asks if you're sure you want to delete the account. After this, your account will be deleted, but keep in mind that Microsoft will take up to 60 days to permanently delete the account, according to the Microsoft Support page.
If you're trying to delete an AOL account, your first step is logging into it. As with every other account, if you forgot your email, simply click "Trouble signing in?" so that you can follow steps to retrieve or reset your password. After you have your login credentials, go to your account page by clicking on your email name in the upper right-hand corner of the screen and then going to "My account."
After this, you should be redirected to a page with your account information. Scroll to the bottom of the page where you'll see your email address name with a link to "Delete" the account. This will prompt you to put your password in again. Then, click on "Continue delete my account" on the next page, according to WikiHow. After this, all you have to do is re-enter your email address and confirm you want to delete it by clicking "Yes, terminate this account." You'll then be told that you no longer have access to the account and that it has been deactivated and scheduled for deletion.
Whether it's to avoid an awkward username or to leave the past in the past, deleting an old email account is completely doable. In just a few minutes, you can feel at ease knowing your "2cute4skewl237" account will no longer exist in the cyberverse.