1.8K members online now
1.8K members online now
Welcome to the Official Google AdWords Community
Find optimization tips and how-to guides and videos by the Google team, AdWords Experts and other industry experts
Top Contributor

Why can’t I unlink my email from an old AdWords account?

So first, here’s a bit of background. Google uses email addresses as “identifiers” for AdWords accounts. The way they figure it, if you have access to the email address and the associated password, then you have authorisation to access the AdWords account. That’s a fair assumption. So they essentially piggy back on an existing User/Password access to grant to your AdWords account.


Since this access is linked to the specific AdWords account they also, therefore, know which account to open when you log in. Again this all makes sense.


The problem comes when you have an old AdWords account – in many cases this is one which users set up some years ago and either never used or simply abandoned, and their email address – the one they would prefer to use for access to a new account – cannot be unlinked (apparently).


Let’s suppose that Bob has an old AdWords account linked to his email address bob@bobsmainaddress.com. He cannot simply unlink the account. But he wants to be granted access to a new account. Here’s what he needs to do – these steps are important, and failure to follow them to the letter will mean the process breaks down.


It can also speed things up if you do this in two browsers (Chrome and Firefox, for example) – otherwise you need to be logging in and out all the time. For the purposes of this explanation let’s assume that this is all being done on one browser….


Steps to Unlink Your Email from an Old Account

Step 1 – Create a new email account

bobstempaccount@gmail.com - for example.




Step 2 - Log in to bobsmainadress.com account on AdWords and invite bobstempaccount as a user. Log out.


Step 3 – Accept the invitation on bobstempaccount… Bob Temp is now user on the old AdWords account. Log out.


Step 4 – Log in on bobsmainaddress again and make bobstempaccount an admin user (you cannot grant admin access with the invitation – this has to be done separately). Log out.


Step 5 – Log in to the old account as Bobtempaccount and go to users. There you will see the other admin user – bobsmainaddress. Change this user to standard access (this is important because you cannot delete admin users)


Step 6 – Delete bobsmainaddress from the account


At this point bob@bobsmainaddress.com is free to be invited to join the new account


Let’s just recap what we did. Admin users cannot delete themselves. Nor can admin users be deleted by someone else. But only admin users can change a users status, and only admin users can delete users.


So we added a new admin user and then acting as this new user we change the original user’s status to something other than admin, and then we can delete them.


Once we understand what it is we are trying to do the process makes much more sense!


I hope this helps!



about Steve Cameron

I have worked in Sales & Marketing since before the internet... and am a Certified Google Partner. I bring solid business acumen and a data driven approach to online marketing, understanding that every penny needs to pull its weight. I am available for both Consulting and Management and can be reached at info@advent.es

PPCBossman Top Contributor
January 2015

Hey Steve,


I've used this method for a long time and the most recent time I tried this (for MCC access) - It didin't work for me.


Have you (or anyone) been able to execute this recently?



stickleback Top Contributor
January 2015 - last edited January 2015

Hi Tommy - @PPCBossman - I did do this quite recently (in November or December 14) for a client that had an old account linked to their email address - it worked for me - but I would be really keen to hear from others if this method fails for them.

Md Anwar H
January 2015

Senior I didn't understand step-4, can you please clear?

stickleback Top Contributor
January 2015

OK - when you invite the new email address to become a user, you cannot automatically add it as an admin... so once the invitation has been accepted, you need to log in again as the original user and then upgrade the new address' access level to admin.


Once the new user is an admin, then they can downgrade the original user from admin to standard, and then unlink. 


This is necessary because you cannot simply unlink an admin user either. Admins are protected by the system.


You need to think about who is the admin user. It is the admin that can make changes and unlink the email address you want to free up. So the whole process is working towards getting a new admin user who can then take over the account.

Md Anwar H
January 2015

Now I understand exectly. A Big Thanks for You withHeart.

stickleback Top Contributor
January 2015

You're welcome Smiley Wink

Amit Verma
January 2015

Hi Stickleback,

Thanks for sharing this helpful and time saving process. I was searching for a solution related to this issue and I feel lucky to encounter your post Smiley Happy

Amit Verma

stickleback Top Contributor
January 2015

Happy to hear it!

Taylor K
March 2015

Oh my god...thank you! This has been driving me crazy and I am suprised that there isn't more info in Adword Help on this fairly complicated process. At least I haven't seen much.

Matt - W
March 2015

I do this all the time for clients, Good post.