Despite the launch of multiple lawsuits, Google maintains the changes have been designed to make its “privacy practices easier to understand”.
If Google turns out to be a company you’d rather not trust with your data, you can delete your entire Google Account. But, if you simply want to get rid of Google+, you can just snip that out without losing data from your Gmail, YouTube, and other services.
The first step is to visit your Google Account page and log in. You can get there by clicking your profile picture and selecting Account or by visiting https://www.google.com/settings/.
Once there, stay on the Account tab and scroll down to Services. Click the link titled Delete profile and remove associated Google+ features.
On the next Google+ page, you have two options. The first is to Delete Google+ Content.
Deleting Google+ content removes the majority of the information that you’ve submitted to Google+. But it doesn’t remove anything from your About section on your Google+ profile that wasn’t public to begin with. The same goes for plenty of other data about you; details are shown in the screenshot below.
Note that there is no confirmation window. Once you check the Required box and click the blue removal button, Google instantly removes everything.
The other option is deleting your entire Google+ profile.
This will completely nuke the Google social account, as well as Google Buzz and your public Google Profile. This is the way to go if you want to permanently delete your profile account. You can still start over and re-create your Google+ account later, but you’ll have to start from scratch.
Note that if you created a Google+ account before creating a YouTube account, you may lose your YouTube account if it uses your Google+ Identity to sign in. As with the other deletion setting, there’s no confirmation window. Once you check the Required box and click remove, Google+ will be gone from your account.
Since there isn’t a “are you sure you want to do this” window, Google will take you straight to the deletion confirmation page and let you know everything was deleted. There is an optional form you can fill out, or you can just leave this page and continue using the web sans Google Plus.
One thing I found annoying about this page is that the bottom has a green check box that looks like it needs to be unchecked to avoid filling out a survey. It turns out, clicking that box is what opens the survey. To me, it’s misleading – but it’s not a huge deal.
Don’t forget that even if you delete your Google Plus profile, it’s easy to recreate one later.