Sometimes you just don’t want to use a service from a company any more. But just stopping using them is often not enough, as they’ll retain all of the information they’ve been keeping on you. This could present data privacy or even security issues in the future. So if you want to delete your account with one of the big tech companies, how can you do it?
If it’s your Microsoft account you want to delete, the company has a special account deletion website for you to visit that presents you with all the information you will need about how this would affect other accounts including Xbox and Azure. Microsoft allow you to choose a 30 or 60 day cooling-off period in case you change your mind before all your data is deleted.
Google also explain how deleting your account will affect other services such as Google Docs and YouTube. You can delete your account at the Google Account website by scrolling down the page until you see the Delete your Google account option.
Meta, owners of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp make it slightly more difficult to delete your account as you have to delete each account individually. You will find the delete your account option available in account settings, though they make the process fairly painless and as with other companies give you a cooling-off period.
Apple make it straightforward to delete your account. By visiting the Apple privacy website you will see an option to Delete your account. Again you will told what the consequences of this will be, including cancelling any subscriptions you might have to the company’s music and video services, or you are paying for the iPhone upgrade programme.
While it’s straightforward to delete your account with any of the major tech firms, they don’t always make it easy for you such as Meta requiring you to delete accounts for each of their services individually.
You should always consider any unintended consequences that might occur however such as the deletion also removing an account you want to continue to use such as gaming, cloud services, or perhaps something you need for work or want to continue paying a subscription for.
This is why all the companies will offer a cooling off period of up to 60 days, so it’s not just a case of the companies hoping you’ll change your mind (though that’s clearly part of the reason).