After word got out this week that Google accidentally exposed private information of hundreds of thousands of its Google+ users over the last few years, you might be feeling a certain way. Specifically, you may be upset with the social network and uncomfortable having a Google+ account.

Introduced in 2011, Google+ never quite got the traction in the social-media space that some expected. While it started out as a would-be Facebook killer, it eventually pivoted to become more of a community-centric outlet.

In the ensuing years Google used the underlying account infrastructure to build out other Google software products and services. It’s possible that you have a Google+ account whether know it, or remember signing up.

Google plans to shutter its network in the coming year, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait around. Rather, you can take things into your own hands — now.

If you want to get out of town before everyone else, there’s an easy way to delete your account.

What Will Happen?

There are a few things that you will want to know prior to deleting your account. What does and doesn’t happen to your data, profile, or pictures? Is everything gone the second you delete? Hardly. Here’s a few things you won’t lose in the process of closing the account.

  • Photos will not be deleted. You have to do that through your Album Archive
  • Communities will not be deleted, even if you created it — unless you’re the only member
  • Chats from Hangouts, Google Talk, are not deleted
  • Your Google Local reviews and Google Maps contributions are left alone
  • Events created and your RSVPs will not be deleted

How to Delete your Google+ Account

The process is really simple and only takes a few steps. Here’s how!

  • Sign into Google and go to or your Gmail account.
  • Click your profile picture in the top right and look for a link that says “Google+ Profile” below the name. If there’s a link, you have an account.
  • Once inside your profile, look to the left for “Settings” and click it.
  • Scroll to the bottom and click on “Delete your Google+ Profile” under the Account menu
  • After confirming your password, and reading the fine print, you can check the box(es) at the very bottom.

Upon deleting you’ll get a brief survey page indicating you’re all set. The account is deleted and you’re no longer a member of the Google+ network.

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