Deleting Accounts: Email

For the last three months I’ve been closing down one email account and transferring everything over to another account.  I haven’t changed my email address in over 10 years and I’m quite surprised at how complex and daunting this task seems.  In some ways it feels even more onerous than updating phone numbers and addresses during a move since email is connected in more ways.  It’s used for multiple purposes such as:

Highlights some of the many ways email is integrated into our daily lives.

Highlights some of the many ways email is integrated into our daily lives.


Changing my email address requires me to:

  • Notify all my contacts, sometimes multiple times. 
  • Determine which accounts use the old email address for subscriptions/newsletters, logins, contact information, and password recovery.
    • Access each account to update the necessary information.
  • Save important emails from old account by forwarding or downloading them.
  • Maintain old account for undefined period of time.  Inevitably I will forget to update one account or contact.  
  • Forward email from old account to new account for any new arrivals.

Email usage feels so casual most of the time, that I sometimes forget how much work is involved to maintain it.  Or how easy it is to connect it to so many different aspects of my life.  Or how easy it is to have so many different email accounts.  Including personal and professional email addresses, I have about seven separate ones, though I’m in the process of closing down two of them.

I don’t mind having separate email accounts because each one serves a different purpose.  I do mind not being able to check them all in one centralized location.  The next phase of my email account cleanup will be researching options to have them all in one place so I can check everything at the same time.

1 comment for “Deleting Accounts: Email

  1. ``james
    16 December 2013 at 10:39

    Dear Deletist,

    Shutting down old email accounts and saving the mail can be a very very long and arduous task. So allow me to offer some help. You dont have to shut them down. There are multiple programs that will allow you to connect multiple accounts and view them all in a central inbox. Or you can forward the old accounts to for example a gmail account and set it up so that when you reply to an email from the old account it keeps that address instead of the gmail email address. All I suggest is you keep a file with all the passwords to the old accounts, as you will forget them. There are loads of alternatives to what you are doing. As always if you need help or advice let me know.
    love J

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