How to Find and Delete All Your Old Unused Accounts

We all have accounts we no longer use, but some apps and websites make it difficult to delete your profile. In such cases, it is easier to simply ignore them. However, unused accounts pose a significant security risk — a successful data breach or credential flood attack is all it takes to potentially compromise your personal data, financial information, or personal files.

The only problem is that most of us can’t remember all the accounts we no longer use. Whether it’s the random online store that you made just three years ago, the outdated streaming services that you only used for a free trial, or the social media profiles you created, we each have more unused accounts than we think … Fortunately, there are several resources to help you find, recover, and delete accounts that are not used, forgotten, or simply deleted.

Step 1. Find unused accounts

If you can’t remember all your accounts, the first step is to find and restore them. There are several places where you should check your stored login information, and you should take the time to check each one as it is unlikely that all of your account names are stored in one place over the years.

First of all, search in your web browser. Most modern browsers can save login details for any websites you access, and you can quickly find any accounts you’ve saved in the settings menu. Here’s where to look in Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Safari:

  • Chrome: Go to Settings> Passwords.
  • Edge: Go to Settings> Profiles> Passwords> Saved Passwords.
  • Firefox: Go to Settings> Privacy & Security> Saved Logins.
  • Safari: Choose Preferences> Passwords.

Password managers store your login information as well, so be sure to check any stored login information there if you use one.

Many websites and apps allow you to sign in with your Apple ID, Facebook, Google, Instagram, or Twitter account. Each third-party service connected to these accounts counts as a separate account, so it’s wise to go through the lists and see what has access.

  • Apple ID: On your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings> Password & Security> Apps Using Your Apple ID.
  • Facebook: Go to Settings> Apps & Sites.
  • Google: Go to myaccount.google.com and click “Security”. Check “Third-party applications with account access” and “Sign in to other sites.”
  • Instagram: Go to Settings> Security> Apps & Sites.
  • Twitter: Go to Settings & Privacy> Account> Apps & Sessions> Connected Apps.

You should also look for accounts using the same usernames or email addresses as Haveibeenpwned. Checkusernames.com, knowem.com, namecheck.com and usersearch.org are also good for finding your old usernames. Searching for your usernames on Google can work as well, and searching for your mailboxes with terms like “account”, “password” and “username” can also bring up a few forgotten logins.

Finally, check the physical notebooks and documents saved on your phone, PC, or cloud drives for the credentials you’ve written down.

Step 2. Recover your passwords

Once you know which apps and websites you have accounts for, the next step is to restore them. It’s easy if you store your passwords in your browser or password manager, or if you’ve memorized them, but if not, you’ll need to recover your password.

On almost every login page, there will be an option to recover your username, password and / or email address so you can login again. Unfortunately, this only works if you still have access to the email (or, in some cases, the phone number) you used to register. If that’s not an option, the only recourse is to try and contact the company directly.

Step 3. Delete old accounts.

In an ideal world, every abandoned account would just be automatically deleted after a long period of inactivity, but most of them just remain vulnerable until the user finally closes it – but most don’t because users ignore the account for so long that they forget it exists, or the company makes it too difficult to simply close your account and delete your data. The point is, no matter how difficult it is to delete an account, most large companies must comply with international data privacy laws, which give users the right to delete their data and close their accounts. The trick is to know where to look.

We’ve previously covered how to delete your accounts and all personal data from the 15 most popular social networks . We also have a guide on how to do the same at the Clubhouse .

Consumer reports also include guidelines for deleting various accounts , including several resilient services like SiriusXM, Walgreens, and Groupon. If these guides don’t include it, Reddit is a great resource as well.

However, these guides do not cover everything, and it would be nearly impossible to list the exact steps for each application or website. However, there are some general tips to help you find how to delete your accounts:

In most cases, the options for deleting an account are found in the settings menu, usually under the Account, Profile, or Privacy menu. Sign in to your account, then check each menu.

Now, chances are you are here because you already checked for the “delete account” button and couldn’t find it, but there are a few more places to check, such as the official support pages, forums, or FAQs. If there are no such resources, try to find the privacy policy. It is usually published publicly, so find it online or research the app thoroughly. Don’t read the whole thing if you find it – just search for terms like “delete”, “cancel” or “deactivate” and you will find the section you want.

Still no luck? Contact the company by email, phone, or even through their official social media profiles. In most cases, you will be able to find the steps to delete your account before it even comes down to it, but this should still be kept in mind.

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