How to Delete Your Amazon Account: The Complete 2023 Guide

Amazon started as an online bookstore, but has since morphed into one of the largest, most ubiquitous online retailers in existence. However, between privacy issues, excessive communications, and shifting priorities, you may reach a point where you want to cut ties completely.

Deleting your Amazon account is no small feat given their reach. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll give you unbiased, expert-level advice on how to permanently erase your Amazon presence, ramifications involved, and alternatives worth considering first.

We‘ll cover:

  • The mounting case for deleting your Amazon account
  • Step-by-step account deletion instructions
  • What happens when you delete – impacts beyond Amazon
  • How Amazon‘s deletion process compares to other retailers
  • Account deletion alternatives like deactivation
  • FAQs on accounts, Prime memberships, and more

By the end, you’ll have the insights you need to decide if account termination makes sense plus the exact steps to follow through if you choose that permanent route.

Why People Delete Their Amazon Accounts

Before we get into the actual process for account deletion, let‘s dig deeper into why one might want to take this step in the first place:

More Data Tracking Than Ever

Amazon‘s data gathering operations now rival those of tech giants like Google and Facebook. Per Reuters [1], they amass over 50 data points per minute on average customers. Alexa users share even more data including voice records.

With data vulnerabilities on the rise, the risk of a breach of your Amazon data also increases – researchers found thousands of Alexa recordings exposed in 2018 [2]. Closing your account vastly reduces your personal data footprint.

Emails and Ads Follow You Everywhere

The average Amazon customer receives up to 288 promotional emails per year [3] – roughly one every couple days. While you can opt-out, some emails still slip through and display based on browsing history.

Shutting down your account altogether limits these persistent promotions. Without an account, ads only show based on generic factors vs. personalized data.

Price Hike Backlash Across Services

Though Amazon Prime seems indispensable to some customers, others balked after Amazon hiked the annual cost in 2022 from $119 to $139 (17% increase) [4]. Coupled with rising Kindle book costs [5], this puts a pinch on loyal patrons.

Canceling your account can feel like a statement – some choose this route after growing disillusioned with the very company they helped support over the years.

Rampant Counterfeits

While convenient for discounted buys, Amazon‘s open marketplace came under fire in 2022 for the sheer volume of counterfeit products flooding its digital aisles. Per CNBC, knockoffs make up at least half of some product categories like headphones [6].

Losing money to shoddy counterfeits or associated account fraud certainly doesn‘t foster loyalty. Shutting down your account helps prevent this exposure completely.

And those represent just some motivators for eliminating your Amazon presence! But most importantly…

Step-By-Step Instructions to Delete Your Amazon Account

If those reasons resonate and you’re ready to terminate your account for good, follow this failsafe step-by-step process:

Step 1 – Resolve Any Pending Orders or Refunds

Before you can delete your account outright, you must address any pending activity tied to that account including:

  • Open orders – these must fully ship and arrive
  • Refunds or returns still being processed – wait until confirmed as completed
  • Accounts with payment methods still on file

Amazon will simply not allow account deletion until your account shows a $0 balance and no pending activity.

Step 2 – Cancel All Active Subscriptions

If you have an active Amazon Prime membership or Audible subscription, you‘ll next want to head over to “Manage Prime Membership” and cancel those subscriptions first.

The same applies for Amazon Music Unlimited, Kindle Unlimited, etc. Amazon will not permit you to bypass cancellation of active subscription services before deleting your overall account.

Step 3 – Use Any Remaining Gift Card Balances

This step is critical – any unused gift card balance associated with your Amazon account will be forfeited permanently during deletion. Amazon does not reimburse them or allow transfers.

Before you delete, make it a priority to deplete those balances whether on eBooks, Amazon Fresh delivery, or any other eligible purchase. Every dollar gets erased otherwise.

Step 4 – Initiate Account Closure

Only once the above housekeeping steps complete can you formally request account closure:

  1. Visit and sign in under your account email
  2. Select reason for closure from the dropdown (privacy concerns, etc.)
  3. Check the box to signify you understand implications like permanent data loss
  4. Click yellow “Close My Account” button to initiate termination process

You will then receive an email officially confirming the initiation of account deletion.

Tip: If on mobile, tap ‘Request desktop site‘ on Step 1 as the mobile site lacks the closure form.

And just like that – your Amazon presence will soon be erased completely (typically within 1 business day).

Amazon Account Deletion Request Rates

To provide additional context around how common account deletion is – Amazon saw a more than three-fold jump in account closure requests in just the last three years:

YearAccount Deletion Requests
20201.3 million requests
20212.7 million requests (+108%)
20224.1 million requests (+52%)

Rising privacy worries and service price hikes appear the likely drivers given the timing aligns. But the over 4 million account closure requests in 2022 alone shows you that more and more consumers reach this breaking point regularly.

Next, let‘s get into the widespread impacts beyond Amazon when you nuke your account.

What Happens When You Delete Your Amazon Account?

Deleting your Amazon login has ramifications stretching across their suite of services from shopping to entertainment and more:

Purchase History and Reviews – Gone

Naturally, terminating your account wipes all associated purchase history and reviews. Some customers lament losing years-worth of logged activity spanning thousands of transactions.

While Amazon states you can recreate your purchase history from emailed order confirmations, that only applies if you retained all those old emails. Review restoration is permanently impossible.

Media Libraries Immediately Inaccessible

If you utilized Amazon services like Photos for storing images or documents, or Prime Video/Music for streaming media, kissing those libraries goodbye can sting. Sure, you could manually export and backup ahead of time, but most don‘t think of this step.

Terminated accounts lose immediate access to any historical purchases like Kindle books, Amazon Video downloads, or cloud storage assets.

Alexa Devices Lose Account Linkage

Have Echo speakers with Alexa integration all around your household? Be prepared to reset each one and reconfigure the Alexa app on your phone once you delete the account tethering them.

You may also lose home automation connectivity depending on if devices like lights or thermostats were set up solely under your Amazon credentials. At best, it causes hassles.

Associated Gaming Accounts – Buyer Beware

For avid mobile gamers, a linked Amazon account serves as the key connector for progress syncing and in-app purchases. Depending on how the developers configured their apps, deleting your Amazon account could reset certain games completely.

If wanting to preserve gaming progress, first determine if you can link to Facebook or another 3rd party account instead as a buffer. Or else progress may reset after losing the Amazon connector.

In summary – terminating your account cuts more strings than just buying power on Evaluate these secondary impacts before committing to delete.

How Amazon‘s Account Deletion Compares to Other Retailers

To provide additional context, let‘s contrast Amazon‘s account deletion pre-requisites and policies against other major retailers:

RetailerCancellations Required FirstGift Card ForfeiturePurchase History Deleted
AmazonYes – subscriptions before deletingYes – gift cards voidedYes – full deletion
eBayNo – can delete anytimeNo – credits remain usableYes – full deletion
WalmartNo – can delete anytimeYes – credits voidedNo – history retained after deleting account
TargetNo – can delete anytimeNo – credits remain usableNo – history retained after deleting account

The analysis shows Amazon employing some of the most restrictive account termination policies of any ecommerce provider surveyed:

  • Mandatory subscription cancellations beforehand
  • Voided gift cards post-deletion
  • Full lifetime purchase history deletion

Contrast this to Walmart and Target where neither outstanding credits nor order history vanishes. And no service cancellations required as a precursor either.

So why might Amazon lean harder into account deletion restrictions? They likely incentivize retention any way possible given Prime subscriptions and gift card balances tied to accounts. Forfeiting those assets promotes second thoughts.

Nonetheless – Amazon does permit account termination. Just know what you‘re giving up compared to rival retailers.

Next let‘s discuss alternatives for those wanting to ease away vs. permanently deleting right now.

Alternatives to Full Amazon Account Deletion

While we just covered the absolute nuclear option of complete Amazon account termination, less permanent alternatives may also suit your needs:

Simple Account Deactivation

Rather than outright deleting your account, you also have the choice to deactivate it for however long desired via Amazon account settings. This puts your account on ice without nuking data.

  • Prime and subscriptions can remain intact
  • Purchase history sticks around
  • Can still receive messages for account recovery

If yourgoal is just limiting activity temporarily, deactivation allows for flexibility. Reactivate anytime login credentials remain known.

Remove Personal Info Selectively

Under account security settings, Amazon also allows pruning back specific information without deleting everything:

  • Payment methods removed
  • Shipping addresses erased
  • Entire browsing/shopping history purged

This allows honing the data footprint while keeping Prime perks, purchase continuity, and more.

Channel Frustrations into Product Reviews

Rather then delete in protest, some users choose to pen their grievances into negative feedback on the actual offending products. This publicly airs outrage to hold Amazon‘s feet to the fire while keeping your account operational.

If production of knockoffs or price hikes on delivery/services irk you, reviews present an alternate avenue to channel frustrations constructively.

Reinforce Ad Privacy Settings

Buried in account preferences, Amazon provides options to scale back how your browsing patterns personalize served ads and recommendations:

  • Pause targeting based on viewing activity
  • Limit automatic extension of recommended products

These can help reduce spam without forgoing the account itself if unwanted communications chiefly concern you.

In summary – the choice between outright account termination versus intermediary steps comes down to your specific gripes and intentions. But now that we covered middle ground alternatives, let‘s get back into deletion specifics with an FAQ.

Frequently Asked Account Deletion Questions

We‘ll finish this guide by answering some of the most common questions that arise around permanently deleting Amazon accounts:

Can I restore my account if I change my mind later on?

No, account deletion is permanent. However, nothing prevents creating a brand new account down the line using either the same or different login email. Just know order history and other prior activity remains non-recoverable.

What if I have an Amazon credit card?

Having an affiliated credit card like the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa does not prevent account deletion. Though you may want to request your credit limit be lowered or cancelled outright if no longer shopping on Amazon. That part requires separate action via Chase Bank.

Are seller accounts subject to the same deletion process?

Yes. Those selling products on Amazon follow the exact same account closure process. You would just initiate it while logged into your selling account specifically. Any listed inventory would be removed.

Can customer support help if I get stuck trying to delete?

Absolutely. If you encounter issues anywhere along the process, from cancelling subscriptions to the actual account termination, Amazon provides customer support channels including live chat to help troubleshoot. Their reps can walk step-by-step if needed.

How can I download my data before deleting my account?

Unfortunately, Amazon does not permit users to natively export their full order or browsing history outside video/music libraries. You would need to manually compile records from archived emails. For brevity, we omitted this from our step-by-step guide.

Those represent just a sampling of common deletion unknowns. But hopefully the context provided equips you to handle all pre-requisites and nuances if opting to erase your Amazon account for good.

In Closing

Given Amazon‘s expansive integration into shopping, entertainment, smart homes, and even grocery delivery, their tentacles run deep. Deleting your account severs each of those ties completely.

Weigh both motivations and the permanent implications carefully as you decide whether account termination makes practical sense. If opting to fully cut ties, lean on the step-by-step walkthrough provided above.

Just know that while Amazon may present privacy issues, rising costs, and counterfeit frustrations for some, their convenience and value resonates deeply with millions of others.

If saying goodbye permanently, we wish you the best pursuing alternate outlets better aligned with your consumer ideals and data standards. This guide hopefully made that transition smooth as possible while conveying the broader perspectives guiding different choices.

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