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

Forgetting your email password can be a big inconvenience. This is where you have thousands of mails and hundreds are probably important. So what do 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 sites that you have personally created user accounts over the web for, Gmail will allow you to create a way to recover your Gmail password. This feature doubles as a security for your account; when Gmail detects an abnormal login or usage, one will be asked to answer a security question, or verify his/her identity by providing the recovery email or mobile phone number or the code sent via this phone number or email.

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

Whenever you forget your password and request a password to be restored, you will have the option of letting Gmail send you a code to the phone number you entered when creating your account. You will then use this code to verify that it is you. Gmail will then grant you access to change your password. After that 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, on which you will 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 be needed 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 ask to choose a question, and then type an answer that you would remember. Alternatively, you can type in your 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 a previous password, you might be asked for further verification based on the three methods above. This is because you might have changed your password because someone else had cracked your password, or you were locking someone out. If you answer the next question correctly, you will be allowed 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 recovery phone number or email and 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 to 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 off with asking for the last password you remember. The next questions/instructions will be based on your recovery phone number, email address or security question; depending on whether you set them up prior to requesting for 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 is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.
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What to do if you’ve forgotten your Gmail Password?

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