Deleting accounts you've created on the Internet, from social media to
software services, isn't always easy. Here are the details on leaving
several big-name services behind.
The words "I wish I could
quit you" take on a whole new meaning when you want out of a
relationship with an Internet service. Sure, you once thought you and
Facebook or Amazon or Netflix would be together forever, but terms of
service change, end-user license agreements mature, and, well, you're
just not in the same place anymore.
Sadly, not all websites and social networks and online retailers are
created equal when it comes to breaking up. With some, it takes only a
couple of clicks to say good-bye. For a few sites, if you stop paying
for the service, the site cut ties fairly quickly. Others make you jump
through more hoops than a tiger at the circus. Even after you follow all
of the required steps, some of these sites never quite leave you alone,
with vestiges of your relationship around forever.
No matter what you call
it—deleting, canceling, removing—when you want to be rid of an online
account, many sites don't make it easy. You don't want to rush into a
break-up, but if you're ready, we've compiled the links, tips, and, in
the most extreme cases, the phone numbers
you need to sever ties. (And let's be clear, there's a difference
between deleting an account and just deactivating it. We'll spell out
the differences for each in the next few pages, as needed.)
This list includes the big-name sites most people use. If you're looking for a site that's not on our list, check out AccountKiller.com, JustDelete.me, and DeleteYourAccount.com.
All three sites serve the same purpose—to let you know what sites and
services make it easy to leave, which make it difficult, and which make
Did we miss a service you want to ditch? Let us know. And if you've
managed to quit a service not in this story, be kind and share your