Permanently Remove Old Deleted AdWords Campaigns (Sike!)


The other day I decided to ask my Google rep if I could completely delete (old deleted) AdWords campaigns. Here was my question;

“Is there a way to delete deleted campaigns for good. Where they wont even show up anywhere in editor or in the AdWords interface. Like completely delete…vanish.”

My oldest AdWords account literally has over 30 deleted campaigns & more than several hundred ad groups. Just recently I paused all the campaigns in that account and because of the view I had my account set to; “all active” I was reminded of some of my old accounts… (oh, the memories) It was kind of nice to see how much better my AdWords campaigns are created and structured now compared to then. But, I wanted my deleted campaigns gone for good. After all I deleted them for a reason. If I thought I might need them again, I would’ve just paused them.

Anyway, here is what the rep had to say…

“Thank you for your email. I understand that you would like to permanently remove the deleted campaigns from your AdWords account, and also, from AdWords Editor. Please know that while it’s possible for you to delete an active ad, keyword, or campaign, it isn’t possible to permanently delete these. Your historical account data is just as valuable to your ongoing advertising experience as your active campaign information. Therefore, this information remains with your account so that we can provide you with the best advertising performance possible.

You can customize your account view to hide or show deleted items. To learn more see
Also, please know, depending on your specified preferences, AdWords Editor hides or displays deleted and ended items in your account. You can also specify whether you want AdWords Editor to download deleted and ended campaigns and ad groups.

To view deleted items, follow these steps:

1. If you’re using Windows, go to the Tools menu > Settings. If you’re using a Mac, go to the AdWords Editor menu > Preferences.
2. Uncheck the box labeled Hide all deleted and ended items. Then uncheck the appropriate boxes below it.
3. Click OK.
To download deleted and ended campaigns and ad groups:

1. If you’re using Windows, go to the Tools menu > Settings. If you’re using a Mac, go to the AdWords Editor menu > Preferences.
2. Uncheck the boxes next to Hide all deleted and ended items and Hide deleted and ended campaigns.
3. Check the box next to Download deleted and ended campaigns and ad groups.
4. Click OK.
5. Go to the Account menu > Get Full Account. This downloads your account, including the deleted and ended campaigns and ad groups.

I hope that this information is useful for you.

If you have additional questions, please visit our Help Center at to find answers to many frequently asked questions. Or, try our Learning Center at for self-paced lessons that cover the scope of AdWords.

We look forward to providing you and your clients with the most effective advertising available.


Google Rep
The Google AdWords Team”

Turns out it’s not about saving your campaigns in case you need it again one day. It’s all about ‘historical data’. This worries me more since some of the accounts are ones I started back when I didn’t have a PPC clue or they belong to client’s who have accounts I took over after months to years of bad quality scores and editorial rejections.

Knowing this… Think About it, Maybe sometimes it pays to start fresh.

author: James Harrison

James is a passionate SEO & digital marketing expert with over 10 years of experience helping companies of all sizes dominate the search engines and obtain measurable traffic (and sales) from their target customers.



If you have a few minutes, I can show you several ways my winning digital marketing strategies generate massive ROI.