I’ve been (almost) completely Google free for around 2 months now after pulling the final straw and switching my phone to iOS so I thought I’d make a brief post of how it’s going, what I’ve switched from and any issues I’ve experienced along the way.
Deleting the account
The first step to achieving a “Google free” state is to actually delete the Google account. But there’s so many services all in one place that some things had to be taken care of first such as:
- Email address
- Accounts linked to Google
- Google Drive contents
- YouTube account
- Android phone
To start I obviously had to find a new email provider, in which I chose ProtonMail. After the new provider was set up the lengthy process of updating all of the accounts I had registered to use my new email address (or deleting them altogether) began.
After switching my email I had to migrate any data I held with Google. I downloaded my Drive contents and now I store it locally on a hard drive and on other local devices. Specifically, things like spreadsheets and documents are kept on a Linux device and which has open source office tools installed.
YouTube I unfortunately couldn’t get away from and I simply watch without an account now. I save my subscriptions to the notes app on my phone so it’s still pretty easy to keep track, just no watch history.
Speaking of the phone, after perhaps 8 years of always using Android I made the switch to iOS which was the final straw and enabled me to click the almighty “Delete My Google Account” button. Woohoo!
It’s now been 2 months since switching and I’m pretty happy with my decision to leave Google and although companies such as Apple might not be any better I thought it would be best to minimise my exposure and stick to one of these big tech companies than with all of them. (I deleted Microsoft, too).
The one regret I have throughout the whole process is not waiting even longer before pressing the button as there may have been one or two accounts using my old Gmail that slipped through the cracks.