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How to delete a Microsoft account

how to delete a Microsoft account
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Wondering how to delete a Microsoft account, because you don't use yours anymore? You're certainly not alone.

Your Microsoft account gives you access to many different services, including Outlook, Skype, Office, and Xbox Live. But let’s face it: most or all of these have alternatives available, and in some cases those are even better than what Microsoft has to offer. Plus, if you have concerns about privacy, then deleting your Microsoft account is the best way to go about protecting your personal data.

Before you go ahead though, make sure that you are ready to close your Microsoft account — keep in mind that you will lose access to your emails, Skype messages, and the documents stored in your OneDrive account. If you have an Xbox, you will also lose your Gamertag, the games you’ve bought, and your progress and achievements. You’ll also lose access to the money in your Windows Store wallet.

Additionally, make sure you’ve canceled any subscriptions that are associated with your Microsoft account before you delete it, as it can be difficult to cancel subscriptions when you can no longer access the account they are connected to. 

For a full list of services and subscriptions you should check before closing your account, check out the Microsoft support page on this subject. 

How to delete a Microsoft account 

1. Head to Microsoft's account closure page and log into your account. You may need to confirm your account is yours by getting a code sent to either your phone number or another email address associated with your Microsoft account. 

How to delete a Microsoft account - a screenshot of the Microsoft account log-in screen

(Image credit: Future)

2. Read the account closure information, and choose the account recovery window. This is the amount of time you have to log back in and stop your account from being deleted if you change your mind. You can choose between either 30 or 60 days. Then click “Next."

How to delete a Microsoft account - a screenshot of Microsoft's account deletion page, showing account deletion information and the option to choose when the account will be deleted

(Image credit: Future)

3. Read the information and tick the boxes to confirm your understanding. Then select a reason you would like to close your account from the drop-down menu.

How to delete Microsoft account - a screenshot of the Microsoft account deletion page, asking the user to choose a reason why they would like to delete their account

(Image credit: Future)

4. Click “Mark account for closure.”

5.  Your account will now be deactivated. If you change your mind, you’ll have either 30 or 60 days to log back in to stop your account being deleted, depending on which option you chose earlier in step 2. 

After this, your account will be deleted for good. Check the date that Microsoft lists to see when your account will be deleted.

How to delete a Microsoft account - a screenshot of the Microsoft account deletion page, showing when the account will be deleted

(Image credit: Future)

Are you planning a big clean-up of old online accounts you no longer use? We have more tutorials that will help you. 

We’ll show you how to delete a Pinterest account, how to delete a Twitter account, and how to delete an Instagram account. We can also show you how to delete your Gmail account, and how to delete your Google search history