If I had wanted Google+ I would have joined it in the first place
October 12, 2013 4:20 PM   Subscribe

I am unable to log into my Gmail account until I sign up for Google+. I have no desire to belong to Google+, can you help?

It was bad enough when Google made me link my YouTube account to my Gmail. Then they constantly bugged me for my phone number and to join Google+. Up until today, it seemed that I could choose not to join Google+, but when I tried to log into my email, I don't see any way to get to it aside from creating a Google+ account. I don't want ANY kind of social media account (I have no facebook/twitter/instagram, etc either.)

Is there any way to opt out of a Google+ membership?
And if I can't is there any way to get to my emails so I can then close the account?

And bonus question - if there isn't any opt-out option and Google forces me to do this, can you please suggest an email service that is free and doesn't force me into their other products?

Thanks so much MeFi.
posted by NoraCharles to Computers & Internet (19 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
They tried to make me do that and I managed to avoid it but unfortunately I don't remember how I did it-but it IS possible.

Worst case scenario? Sign up, get your email and then cancel Google+. They don't make it easy to find how to do that, but I have done it twice this year (don't ask) and it is definitely possible.

(One last thing-even if you signed up they cannot force you to use it. )
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:26 PM on October 12, 2013

I am seeing the normal login screen I've always seen. Maybe this is because I've already cancelled Google+ once?

As for other services, I don't think Yahoo, Hotmail, or really any other account provider is as obnoxious and pushy as Google has become.
posted by drjimmy11 at 4:31 PM on October 12, 2013

Nobody ever believes me, but I love the hell out of Outlook.com.
posted by sageleaf at 4:36 PM on October 12, 2013 [10 favorites]

Saw this over at Reddit earlier, and will share it here. Adding the following line (including the two bars) to your Adblock filter will apparently help you avoid having to do this.

posted by Effigy2000 at 4:42 PM on October 12, 2013 [12 favorites]

Best answer: Have been using fastmail.fm for ten years - very satisfied. None of the endless bs which you get from someone whose main business isn't email at all. There are free options but whether they would suit your needs I can't say.

Migration is a challenge - there is a description at the bottom of the page ('IMAP Migrate') here but again whether it suits the volume/complexity of what you've got on gmail I can't say : https://www.fastmail.fm/help/business_migrate.html .

In closing, some people are put off by the '.fm' part of the fastmail thing so just wanted to say that you can choose a variety of other domain names provided by fastmail as your address or just use your own domain.
posted by southof40 at 4:56 PM on October 12, 2013 [3 favorites]

Best answer: There is a way to cancel a Google+ account if you accidentally made one. Just be sure to read the dialog screens and check boxes because one time I opted out of Google+ and deleted my YouTube channel by accident. If you Google it, you'll easily find directions.

For the record, Google really needs to stop with the Google+ bullshit. No one uses it and I don't want all my YouTube activity, Google app store purchases, etc. tied to my name in real life. Gross. Google+ can fuck right off. It's a ghostown designed for data mining. Ugh.
posted by AppleTurnover at 5:08 PM on October 12, 2013 [14 favorites]

Here's where you get rid of Google+, if that's helpful.
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:30 PM on October 12, 2013 [20 favorites]

I encountered this a few days ago and just went back to the address bar and retyped gmail dot com and that reloaded the page without the g+ requirement.
posted by headnsouth at 7:35 PM on October 12, 2013 [2 favorites]

Fastmail is awesome. I've used it for years.
posted by professor plum with a rope at 12:22 AM on October 13, 2013

Best answer: I had this yesterday and there was a little "skip" link in a tiny font down near the bottom somewhere. There always is, I've been avoiding adding my phone or youtube or anything. Just look carefully.

Most of the time I use my gmail account via Thunderbird so I rarely log in to the web interface. That also avoids all this crap plus gives me an offline backup of all my emails.
posted by shelleycat at 2:14 AM on October 13, 2013

I'm also in the process of migrating to Fastmail because I'm sick of fighting with Google about all the extra crap they want to hang off my Gmail account. So far it's doing everything I want it to, and $40/year for as much storage as Gmail offers minus bullshit plus no stealth NSA crawling is quite reasonable.
posted by flabdablet at 7:28 AM on October 13, 2013

Best answer: I'm another who's migrated to Fastmail with a custom domain. I've kept my gmail.com address for now, but have just set it up to forward through to Fastmail with a view to removing my gmail address completely over the next year.

Using the IMAP migration tool to shift email over was straightforward enough with a bit of reading, and Fastmail is really quite lovely. I'm on the $40/year plan for it.

Only downsides to Fastmail at the moment is no calendaring, but in a blog post a few days ago they mentioned it's a coming feature, so win-win.
posted by sektah at 8:11 AM on October 13, 2013

I am currently doing this. Essentially, it is NOT a requirement, but they want you to think so. Like said above, there will be a very tiny space for you to click "skip" or "later". It will continue to pop up every, oh, I'd say tenth or twentieth time you load it or something. Same for the youtube thing where it wants you to use your real name.
posted by corb at 5:24 AM on October 14, 2013

Can you log into YouTube rather than Gmail?
If so then you could delete the youtube channel which I think will remove the requirement for G+

They are deprecating all the old YouTube logins and merging Youtube and G+ if you want to keep your various Google services separate you will need to sign up for a separate Google account for each one.

So you could then setup a new Google login with a plausible-sounding but fake name, add a youtube channel and (empty) G+ page, all completely disconnected from your real gmail account.

It does make sense that they are merging YouTube and G+ because YouTube is a social network, it started out as a dating site!
posted by Lanark at 11:19 AM on October 14, 2013

So you could then setup a new Google login with a plausible-sounding but fake name, add a youtube channel and (empty) G+ page, all completely disconnected from your real gmail account.

Or you could use vimeo.
posted by headnsouth at 2:44 PM on October 14, 2013

Or you could use vimeo.

That only works if the content you want to view is on Vimeo.
posted by OwlBoy at 3:49 PM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

Ah, thought the suggestion was for uploading.
posted by headnsouth at 4:43 PM on October 14, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks all, I appreciate your help and suggestions. It looks like it went away for now, I will look for the "skip" and "later" buttons in the future.

I looked into fastmail and it is $10 - $40/year. I don't want to have to pay for email, but I am keeping it in mind if Google doesn't knock it the fuck off.
posted by NoraCharles at 11:28 AM on December 14, 2013

I don't want to have to pay for email

Took me a while to realize that the amount of my time I've wasted fartarsing about making Gmail tolerable again since the first of the slow death makeovers has already added up to far more than the $100 I've recently paid Fastmail for three years of access to a far better product.
posted by flabdablet at 8:31 AM on December 15, 2013

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