Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

When you sign up for any Google service, you're creating a Google account, which will be available across all of Google's services. Canceling everything except Gmail might be tricky.

I wish to cancel all Google except for Gmail. Seems impossible. Any help?

In this excerpt from Answercast #10, I explore the relationship among services offered by different providers (including Google, MSN, etc.); I look at the possibility of using just a few those services and a way (perhaps) to avoid getting the whole package.

Can I just have Gmail?

Not really.

What most people don't realize is that when you sign up for a service like Gmail (the same is true for Hotmail), what you're actually establishing is a Google account. One of the services that is available through Google is Gmail.

There is really no concept of a Google account that does not have access to all the other things that are associated with Google. You may not use them. They may not even be enabled per se, but certainly most of the common ones are there whether you use them or not; apparently whether you want them or not!

Multiple features in one account

The same is very true for Hotmail. I see this all the time with people who confuse the fact that their Hotmail email account is also the same as their Windows Live Messenger, Instant Messaging account. They try to close one while continuing to use the other. It doesn't work that way. They are the same account; those are just two features in that same account.

So the short answer to your question is, "No." I believe you're right; I believe it is impossible.

Limit your Google Services

The only thing you might consider doing (if you're trying to leave some existing stuff behind) is to completely close your Google account, and then open a new Google account that only uses email. You'll have access to all that other stuff, but you won't have the baggage of whatever you happened to have used it for in the past.

Next -Do we still need that same old Recycle Bin?

Article C5218 - April 18, 2012 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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4 Comments
Kevin
April 18, 2012 1:06 PM

If you have a Google account you use for gmail, and your gmail is open, and you view something on YouTube at the same time, Google will associate what you view on YouTube with your Google account. The only way to preserve your privacy is to use a different browser (e.g. safari for YouTube and IE for gmail) or to sign out of gmail before you click on the YouTube link; I'm not even sure the latter will work.

D. Michelle
April 20, 2012 8:35 AM

Companies have been snopping into our computers for a long time ... Google's telling you they are ... I separted myself as far as I could from Google's reach ... delete all Google relationships!

Michael
April 28, 2012 6:31 AM

One of the things people don't think about when they sign up for the gmail or hotmail accounts is that there is no free ride. The google system is what pays for the "free" email. If you don't like it, I suppose you could always pay for a private account.

John Servis
November 3, 2012 12:41 PM

This is another reason why it is so hazardous to log in to your Google related account(s) on a friends' or library... any unsecure PC. You leave traces behind & BLAMMO people you don't want to, have access to all your Google Related accounts. This applies to the many different scenarios out there, Facebook is the worst.

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