How To Delete Your Online Accounts

PC Mag has assembled a list of instructions on how to wipe your account from a long list of websites, including Classmates.com (you’ll have to call), Windows Live ID (it’s complicated), and Friendster (ha ha ha). In many cases, canceling is as straightforward as clicking a link and authorizing the cancellation, but it’s nice to see all the phone numbers and tips collected in one spot.

Hint to preserve your sanity: to avoid PC Mag’s trashed layout, try viewing/bookmarking the print-friendly version.

“How to Delete Accounts from Any Website” [PC Mag] (Thanks to Josh!)
(Photo: jm3)

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  1. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    [www.pcmag.com] <– printer friendly version Direct Link.

  2. DeweyCheatem says:

    PC Mag is still around? ugh their website looks like they’re still in 2000

  3. Wombatish says:

    The layout isn’t that bad… not great either.

    And it is filled with those annoying add words… (mouse over them to get the little pop-up speech bubble.)

    Good story, though.

  4. YourTechSupport says:

    Don’t forget a year or so ago when Consumerist (and Commentors) helped someone defeat the dreaded MySpace Cancel Policy by getting the profile deleted for content!

  5. PittDragon says:

    Where is that button from and what happens if I push it?

  6. NoO&A_GitEmSteveDave says:

    The best thing I ever did was establish two online identities. I have my original one, which I have ha since my AOL days, and GitEmSteveDave. My other one is in general “safe” and not offensive/political/etc… so that if I am googled by an future employer, they will find a nice established trail through the internet. SteveDave is a little edgy and has some home webcams, but never appears linked to my other identity. Hopefully by the time someone discovers my duality, I’ll be in a job long enough that it won’t matter.

    • ds says:

      @NoO&A_GitEmSteveDave: Good way to go. Though most people could conceivably figure out who I am, good luck looking for two characters on a Google search, especially one that’s the same as a hit Nintendo product.

      Semi-off-topic, I met Bryan Johnson (the actor who plays Steve Dave) a few times, and he’s awesome.

      • NoO&A_GitEmSteveDave says:

        @ds: I know. I was at the Stash a few month back, and he was there as well. I think Kevin might have been coming in as they were setting up some poker tables. It got really weird when Walt walked up to him and said Steve-Dave, and I turned around and almost said “what?”. How do you tell someone that you go by an online handle featuring their movie characters name? I did get a sweet set of signed Steve-Dave and Fanboy action figures from Mall-Rats. I have to go back and pick up a copy of Zack and Miri on DVD, b/c I watched a pirated version about two months ago, and I feel bad, so I want to put some cash in Kevin’s pocket.

      • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

        @ds: So, are you saying you are not, in fact, the hit Nintendo product? ;_;

  7. econobiker says:

    I just hammered their comments about deleting Webshots accounts. I had one back in 2000-2001 and then finally deleted all pics in 2006. No way to contact or delete the accounts.

    I even posted some infamous web shock photos (something related to a goat and a tub) which they flagged. They sent me lots of emails about flagging the pictures as not appropriate but they never deleted the account.

    Sigh.

  8. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    Well, your account isn’t truly deleted. It lives “forever” in back-up tapes or archived in a removable drive or DVD-R.

    I don’t think most companies have a policy for destroying back-ups after XX days. They’re probably sitting in a storage room somewhere. Or when the company goes belly-up, they’re just tossed out with the garbage.

  9. wgrune says:

    @PittDragon

    You see them on the inside of rooms with restricted access doors locked with an older style magnet lock (versus a latch lock). Swiping your card from the outside will release the electromagnet allowing you to open the door. Once you are inside and the magnet has re-engaged and locked the door, you push this little button to release it so you can exit.

  10. azsumrg1rl says:

    Too bad there isn’t some supersecret method for deleting Webshots accounts. I tried deleting my account (which I created years ago and never used) earlier this week after discovering it shows up in Google results only to find out that Webshots doesn’t allow users to delete accounts. WTF?!

  11. Blueskylaw says:

    I used to work in an “institutional” kitchen and we taped a red soy sauce bottle cap to the milk machine that read push for milk. It was so fun to watch new residents as they pushed and pushed but no milk came out. Older residents who were previously scammed got a kick out of it too, but it turned out to be a good lighthearted way to introduce new residents to the kitchen staff.

    I miss those days when buttons were friendly.

  12. vladthepaler says:

    The easiest way to cancel an account is to post a bunch of hardcore pornography, or otherwise seriously violate the website’s terms of service.

  13. HogwartsAlum says:

    PittDragon said: “Where is that button from and what happens if I push it?”

    Ha ha, that was my first thought too. I actually wanted to put my finger on the screen!

  14. Joseph Heck says:

    Sweet, finally got rid of that crappy classmate.com account.

  15. HogwartsAlum says:

    Of course, wanting to push the exit button could be because I’m at work. *sigh*

  16. econobiker says:

    vladthepaler- I posted the hardcore web shock shots as described (related to a goat(se) and a tub(girl)) and they never deleted me. Just send “nanana you are bad” emails and deleted the pics. Next I posted copyrighted Walt Disney pictures and never heard a squeek from them. I still get their automated emails…

    azsumrg1rl shares the same issue…

    Now if the reply button gets fixed here at consumerist…

  17. BytheSea says:

    This was oddly interesting, b/c of the intro paragraphs about how insidious and linked all these major services are.

  18. LavernaXuthus says:

    I was moving and I wanted to delete a lot of my accounts on website and shopping sites. I found out it doesn’t always happen. I would check afterwards and the account was still open. I found out a hint to try before you even try to change your accounts. Create a throw away email account, and change all my information (addresses and zip codes) etc… and then try to delete the account. This way if the delete wasn’t going to happen (btw some say they can’t), they would have junk for data. Later you can delete the throw away email account.

    One extra hint. Some check your address for validity. Locate a post office and use that address.

  19. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot says:

    Thank you! I finally deleted my Classmates account – the 10+ spam emails a week that “somebody searched for me” or “somebody is looking for me” was getting on my nerves.

  20. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Wouldn’t the WayBack Machine mean people could feasibly find this stuff anyway?

  21. Telekinesis123 says:

    Tell me how to get my credit card off of Xbox live and I’ll be a happy man, Microsoft has been screwing me around with this for a year now.

    First I asked for it to be removed then they said they couldn’t; I said bs, they said maybe but you have to wait a week for a call from retentions (I guess a cool-down period, how patronizing), the call took 3 1/2 weeks to come; said they couldn’t, I said bs, they said a “supervisor” will call me back in 3 days; took over a month, he tried to offer a free month on Xbox live, I refused, he said it will be deleted in 2 weeks….nearly one year later it is still there.

    So what I did is changed the expiry date, and changed the name on the card to ‘you are unauthorized usage Microsoft’…and now its over I suppose because my card had fraud on it 2 weeks ago and now I have a new number. I was thinking of reporting it stolen but I said screw it. Pardon my french but in my personal experience no one is more full of shit than phone CSR’s.