How to Move Away from GMail

I’ve recently started to move away from Google services in order to further secure my data and to ensure I don’t lose access to all of my online accounts should my account be banned for any reason.

As part of this, I’ve recently moved away from using my Gmail for as many services as I can, partly as a move towards starting to own my own data, partly to increase the privacy of my data and partly because as an IT professional every online identity I have (and there are a lot of them) are tied to my personal email address.

As such I’ve moved to my own domain and email hosted by ProtonMail. This post will go through the process I used to start my move away from Gmail.

The Checklist

This list is meant to provide a little structure to your move away from Gmail, think of it as a cheat sheet whenever you need to make sure you’ve covered everything.

  1. Properly protect your Google account.
    • This may seem like an odd step, however, part of this process will be to move all of your accounts to use your new email, almost every service will require you to validate the change using your existing email. To lose access now could be catastrophic.
    • Using the link below, ensure that you have removed your account from unnecessary devices, have set up two-factor authentication, and that there are no risky 3rd party apps linked.
  2. Find which service you want to move to.
    • I’d personally recommend ProtonMail as it’s what I’ve moved to due to their privacy policy, however, I’d suggest you have a look around at what’s on offer.
  3. Set up your new email address.
    • if possible I would suggest moving to your own custom domain. This ensures that you never lose access to the email due to an email provider disappearing.
  4. Review all of your recent emails and note down any accounts that you need to transfer.
  5. Go to each service’s website and edit the email address, you will likely need to validate from your Gmail account and your new email account.
  6. Navigate to the Google Account Security dashboard and select ‘Signing in with Google’, ensure each account is migrated to your new email address, and then select ‘Remove Access’ to disconnect the apps from Google.
  7. Change over any less often used accounts such as your bank to the new email address.
  8. Do a final review of any password management software, ensuring there are no obviously missed accounts.
  9. Either set up email forwarding from Gmail or check your Gmail account every few days/weeks to ensure you’re not missing any new important emails.

Many services may only email once a year, and some less than that so do not close your Google account yet. Simply by removing all of your important accounts from Gmail you have massively reduced the quantity of information that Google can siphon from you and hopefully have reduced the chance of losing access to all of your online profiles.

Eventually you will be able to finally close your account entirely.


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