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I am a new Monero user and don't have a lot of experience with the exact intricacies of the technology. I have been using the GUI wallet (version 0.17.2.3-113efbf) so far.

I know that you cannot delete Monero accounts from this question.

My first instinct when I discovered Monero was to NEVER use primary addresses (starting with a 4) and create temporary subaddresses (starting with 8) for everything. My rationale was that you can delete a subaddress in case something happens. But your primary address? It's always there and unchangeable. You cannot afford to expose it.

However, as it turned out, it is impossible to delete accounts and subaddresses. Thus, as your life goes on, the list of temporaries will grow quite messy. And they're not even temporaries.

My question is: why can't you delete a subaddress? If this question calls for a very technical answer, I don't mind.

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All accounts/subaddresses are deterministically derived from your main wallet private keys, as such they always exist, so to speak. Now, whether a wallet UI offers a way to show or hide them is another matter.

By default, in the Monero CLI/GUI, only accounts/subaddresses explicitly used are shown, "used" here meaning funds received to, or addresses asked for by the user.

My rationale was that you can delete a subaddress in case something happens. But your primary address? It's always there and unchangeable.

You cannot "delete" accounts/subaddresses, they are always there and unchangeable, just like a main address. But, they are also easy to use and allow you to essentially have unlimited addresses based off one set of private keys (your wallet's main private keys). Hence you can easily use a different address per transacting entity but keep all the funds in the same wallet. You can also restore these same addresses from your single seed phrase.

Thus, as your life goes on, the list of temporaries will grow quite messy. And they're not even temporaries.

They should not be thought of as a "list of temporaries". Accounts are better thought of as different spending accounts, like: "cash", "work", "trading" etc. And subaddresses are better thought of to be used with specific entities, such as people or businesses (to help prevent payer linkage).

See: https://monerodocs.org/public-address/subaddress/

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