Google account hell

I’m currently on a big mission to sort my online life out.

I’m simplifying as much as I can. Shutting down sites, consolidating email accounts, deleting old social media guff I never use.

One thing I have been putting off is the Great Google Nightmare.

Here’s the thing: I’ve been using Gmail since it launched as an invite only service a decade ago. My email address, has been a trusty ally over that time. It’s never let me down. I, on the other hand, have strayed.

I didn’t stray far, to be fair. Instead, when I decided I needed an email address for my work, using my own domain name, I chose Google’s service. This is all fine and dandy, except that with Google’s email service comes a Google account. Just like my trusty Gmail account. Only different. I now have two.

I want to get rid of the Google email on my domain. Sorting out the email is the easy bit, set up a forward here, some filters and labels there, and I’m done.

But what about all the documents in the Google account? The Google+ profile registered to All the apps and services I use that are tied to Apps I have purchased through the Play store with

Even my browser set up is tied to and I am struggling to see how I can easily transfer this to my vanilla Gmail account.

I’m sure I will get this all sorted over time, with a bit of irritation and some foot stamping, no doubt. But here’s the moral:

Always use a vanilla Gmail account as your main Google identity. Don’t be tempted to use anything else.

Seriously. Save yourself a load of hassle.

6 thoughts on “Google account hell

  1. Pingback: Google account hell – | Public Sector Blogs

  2. Ady

    This is very good advice! I have a google account (loosely) tied to my work email, along with a separate, personal google account. I wish I had never tied the emails together; it’s caused no end of trouble (and, as you say, extracting it is nigh-on impossible). If you manage to make progress I would be really interested in your method.

    1. Dave Briggs Post author

      There is no method, Ady. Different workarounds for pretty much every service.
      Interestingly, the vanilla Google service is very good – much better than the apps experience.

  3. albfreeman

    I feel your pain. I have a few different Google accounts (personal, band, work) and would have done things a bit different if I were to start again. When trying to consolidate accounts a few months ago I inadvertently ended up deleting one of my main YouTube channels! (I did manage to get it back eventually)

    It’s a nightmare and Google don’t make it easy. Forcing a Google account to be intrinsically linked to Gmail and Google+ doesn’t help.

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