I'm trying to shut down a Gmail address in such a way that:

  • Nobody knows what the **** happened to me
  • It blocks or does not receive emails
  • It does not allow anyone else to create the whatever@gmail.com again

How can this be done? Is such a thing supported? Is there a next best? Simply abandoning it is not good enough - I want it dead but not buried.

2 Answers 2


According to this Google support page (as well as other resources on the 'Net), Google does not recycle old usernames.1

So you can simply delete that account. Or simply stop using it.

If you want to future-proof it against Google changing their policy you could...

  1. Set a filter to send all email to the Trash
  2. Sign in to that account every few months to ensure it stays "active". No need to read any of the email, though.

You might wish to do this in any case, because if you delete it eventually messages sent to it will bounce, so people will know it's gone. If you want to keep them guessing, you'll need to keep the mailbox "alive".

1 Unlike some other, inferior, services.


I can't add comments at this moment but, why don't you just stop using the account?

You could also create a filter to delete all incoming message and also create an auto response.

Other than that, I don't think that gmail has the option to hold account names.

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