What to do if you’ve forgotten your Gmail Password?

Forgetting your email password can be a major inconvenience, especially when you have thousands of emails, hundreds of which are probably important. So, what can you do when you forget your email password? Even worse, what happens if you forget your recovery email ID or your recovery phone number is no longer in use?

This article will explain how Gmail password recovery works, and how to set it up. In the event that you forget your password, this article will come in handy when you are trying to recover your password.

Gmail Password Recovery

Like most websites for which you have personally created user accounts, Gmail allows you to establish a method for recovering your password. This feature also serves as security for your account; when Gmail detects unusual login activity or usage, you will be prompted to answer a security question or verify your identity by providing the recovery email, mobile phone number, or the code sent to this phone number or email.

When you create your Gmail account, you are asked to provide security measures and some sort of way to recover your password. Here are the methods Gmail provides for security and password restoration.

Provide your mobile phone number

When you sign up on Gmail, you will be asked to provide a phone number (optional) for your security and password recovery. A code will be sent to this phone number. You must then enter this code to verify that the number exists and that you actually own it.

When you forget your password and request a reset, Gmail gives you the option to receive a verification code on the phone number you provided during account creation. You can use this code to verify your identity, allowing Gmail to grant you permission to change your password. Afterwards, you will be able to log into your account.

Provide an associated/recovery email

Optionally, during sign-up, you can choose to use an associated email for your security and password recovery. A link or code will be sent to that email account, which you will need to click or provide in order to verify that the two accounts can be associated.

In the event that you need to recover your password, a code will be sent to the associated email address. You will then need to enter this code in order to create a new Gmail password.

Answer a security question

A security question can also be set up during sign up. You will be asked to choose a question, and then type an answer that you would remember. Alternatively, you can type in your own question and answer it.

When recovering your email, Gmail will present you with this question, which you must answer exactly the same way. You will then be allowed to set up a new password.

The last Password you remember

Perhaps you had entered a new password for your Gmail account and cannot remember it any more. Gmail keeps record of all the Gmail passwords you have used before.

When recovering your email, you will be asked for any password you remember. If it is the current password, you will be logged in. If it’s a previous password, you might be asked for further verification based on the three methods mentioned earlier. This could be because you might have changed your password due to someone else cracking it, or you were trying to lock someone out. If you answer the subsequent question correctly, you will be granted access to change your password and log in.

It is easy to see how this provides security to your email. Unless someone has your email address, your mobile phone or your backup/recovery email password, they won’t be able to access your account.

Setting a recovery phone number, email, and a security question in Gmail

If you had not set up any of this during sign up, you should do that immediately. This is how to do it:

  1. Log in to your Gmail account.
  2. Click on your profile image on the top right corner and then click on “My Account”.
  3. On the page that opens, click on “Sign-in and Security”.
  4. Scroll down to “Sign in to Google” and then a bit further to “Account Recovery Options”.
  5. Follow instructions for setting up your recovery phone number, recovery email, and secret question.

How to Recover Your Gmail Password

To recover your Gmail password:

  1. Go to the Gmail account support page here.
  2. Follow the instructions. You’ll be asked some questions to confirm it’s your account. Answer as best you can.
  3. Reset your password.

Gmail will begin by asking for the last password you remember. The subsequent questions or instructions will be based on your recovery phone number, email address, or security question, depending on whether you set them up prior to requesting password recovery.

What option do you have if you have forgotten your Gmail password, your recovery phone number doesn’t work anymore, you do not have access to your recovery email and you do not know the answer to your security question?

Unfortunately, if you have lost all this, Google will not be able to prove that you own the account. Access to your account is therefore absolutely impossible and there is no way around it.

Always keep your Gmail account updated. If you change your mobile number, remember to change the recovery mobile phone number in your Gmail settings too. Use a recovery email or phone number that you open/use very often.


Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.