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How do you completely get rid of Google Plus and still use Gmail and not have it pester you about registering for Google+?

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I don't know about the prevention of pestering part (that's internal marketing, after all), but you can delete your Google+ profile.

At the bottom of your Google+ settings is a link:

Disable Google+

You can disable Google+ (or delete your entire Google profile) here.

On the subsequent page, you can either

  • Delete Google+ content, or
  • Delete your entire Google profile

I expect the first is what you want. The page also notes:

If you delete Google+, Google attempts to restore your experience of other Google products to the way it was before you joined Google+ and to permanently delete your Google+ circles, posts, and comments. If you delete your Google profile, you delete Google+ as well as other services and their data that depend on a Google profile. Learn more

Which further links to this Google support page about "Downgrade from Google+", which also happens to give a step-by-step on how to delete your Google+ account.

(I didn't follow the steps all the way through, because I want to keep my G+ account.)

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