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February 17, 2010

How to Disable Google Buzz

Google Buzz is a service that integrates with many Google products, so it's quite difficult to completely disable it. For example, to use Google Buzz, you need to have a searchable Google Profile.

While you can click on "turn off Buzz" in Gmail, you don't disable Buzz. The setting only hides the Buzz section and you can display it again by clicking "turn on Buzz".

Fortunately, Google added a new option that lets you disable Buzz, but you need to delete your Google Profile. Go to the profile editing page, scroll to the bottom of the page and select "Delete profile and disable Google Buzz completely". Google claims that "this will disable Google Buzz integration in Gmail and delete your Google profile and Buzz posts. It will also disconnect any connected sites and unfollow you from anyone you are following."

Even if you delete the profile, you'll still be able to create another profile later and you won't lose your Google account. After clicking the red link, Google shows a new page that informs you that "you are about to delete your public profile, including any Buzz posts you have made and your connected sites settings". There's also a strange option enabled by default: "unfollow me from anyone I am following in Buzz, Google Reader, and other Google products".

It seems strange to see that the mass unfollowing is optional, considering that you are about to disable Google Buzz completely. The option also shows that there's a connection between Buzz followers and Reader followers, but I don't see why you need to unfollow from everyone in Google Reader to disable Google Buzz.

After you click on "Yes, delete my profile and posts", you'll notice that you didn't actually disable Google Buzz completely. You've deleted all your posts, removed your connections and the people you were following, but the Buzz section from Gmail is still there and you still have the same followers. Now you can click "turn off Buzz" and you'll disable Google Buzz.

It would be great to be able to remove Google Buzz from the "edit services" page, without having to delete the profile and remove Google Reader followers, while still seeing the Buzz section in Gmail.

Update: The option to delete your Google Buzz data can also be found in Gmail's settings.


  1. well very nice explanation.although I think I will keep my google buzz inside gmail I still need it badly.

  2. Well, that's a bad way to handle it. I do like Google Profiles. I don't like Buzz. Such tight and unnecessary coupling of systems stinks of bad engineering choices.

  3. What a freakin' pain in the ass. I find my Google profile useful and I didn't ask for it to be connected to Buzz, so now *I* have to do the work to disconnect it? Massive Google#fail.

  4. Hopefully, there's a better way to disable Buzz. Even if you delete the profile, you can create another one later and it will have the same address.

  5. I'm totally fine with Buzz. Totally. But I'd really like a way to choose to follow people in Reader and NOT in Buzz by default.

    I'm very interested in what some people share from their Reader account - and at the same time not at all interested in getting their Twitter feed in Buzz.

  6. This great. You can disable the non-opt-in Buzz, which was forced upon you, but you have to delete the opt-in profile you spent time making beforehand. Google's message to users, "you can suck it!"

  7. wow...any how to delete too...
    its cool, thanks

  8. I guess Buzz should be like GMail; put a BETA label on it for the next two years so there is an excuse for the undesirable behavior...

    as stated by others, FAIL.

  9. Well that has to be the most confusing way to disable and disconnect Buzz.

    I'm quite sure that when people see that process, they'll bork because of the 'delete my Google profile' bit. I know if I saw that, I'd think heavily before proceeding just because I don't want to have to create another profile and set it up again.

    Definitely think that this should be part of the Google Account "My Products" section so you can simply go into it and disable or delete it completely without affecting your Google Account or public profile.

  10. Now Google has added Buzz options into Gmail settings that lets one show the list of people they're following and the list of people following me on their public Google profile or hide them. There is also an option to turn off Buzz that repeats the link in the bottom of the page. Here one can also delete Buzz with Google profile without having to visit their profile settings page.

    BTW, turning off Google Buzz has sometimes strange side effects on Gmail appearance, e. g. inbox is renamed to trash, and some google labs features like power stars sren't working properly Multiple hitting refresh button helps.

  11. It's not a great way of doing things. I'm perfectly happy with my Google profile - but hate Buzz. How can I de-buzz my life without having to build the profile page all over again from scratch?

  12. So... by deleting your profile, you're also unfollowing any blogs you follow in Reader?

  13. No, of course not. Google Reader subscriptions don't have anything to do with Google Buzz. If you delete your profile, you have the option to remove all the people you follow in Reader and Buzz.

  14. I'm usually enthusiastic about Google products, but so far I've had very few positive things to say of Buzz. The settings are very counter-intuitive and I'm shocked that they would let Buzz affect other services like profiles and Reader.