Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Gmail or Google Mail accounts can be quickly and easily deleted; we'll walk through the steps. Just remember: it's permanent.
How do I delete my GMail account?
Actually, if you look this up on GMail's own on-line help system you'll find pretty clear instructions.
Here's how you do it, though, with pictures.
Naturally you must be logged into your GMail account in order to be able to delete it. If you can't login you can't delete the account; it's that simple. This prevents just anyone from deleting your account.
Click on the Settings link at the top of the GMail page:
Then click on the Accounts tab:
Part way down the resulting page in the section labeled Google Account settings, click on the link labeled Google Account settings:
On the resulting page is a column listing all the services that are available to your account. Click on the Edit link at the top of that list:
The resulting page lists your options:
Click on the link that matches what you're attempting to do.
Remember that GMail is just one service associated with your account. Even though your account may be associated with a GMail email name, that same account may be used for many other Google services not related to email.
Also be aware that if you cancel your GMail account, those other Google services may no longer be able to send you email until you establish a new email address with them. The same is true, actually, for any service, company or contact when you delete an email address - they'll need to know your new one in order to contact you.
And finally, let's be clear: there's no "undo": once you delete your email account it's gone forever and cannot be restored. That includes all the email messages sent and received and your contacts as well. If there's anything you want to keep, be sure to back it up first.