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How to recover a Google Account or Gmail: A step by step guide

You can recover your Google Account even if you have lost your login details or deleted the profile. In this article, we explain the Google Account recovery process and offer some tips for improving your online security.

How to recover a Google Account or Gmail: A step by step guide

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

How to recover a Google Account or Gmail

To recover your Google Account, you can follow the steps in Google’s troubleshooter to find a solution. In this section, we will offer guidance on how to deal with specific recovery problems.

Forgot your password?

If you forgot your password, follow these steps to change your Google Account password:

    1. Go to the Google Account login page and input your email.
    2. Click “Next” > “Forgot password?”
    3. Select the authentication process you want to use from the options available to you (for example, using a text message prompt or a pin delivered to a trusted device).
    4. After completing your chosen authentication process and answering any security questions, input your new password.

Forgot your email address or username?

To recover Google Account credentials like your email (which also acts as your username) follow these steps:

    1. Go to the Google Account login page and click “Forgot email?”
    2. Input your phone number or recovery email.
    3. Input the name associated with your Google Account.
    4. Click “Send” to trigger a verification email or text message.
    5. Input the verification code in the email or text message.

Recover an account that was hacked

If you think your account has been hacked and you are unable to log in, this may be because the hacker has changed your password. The good news is that you can change it again, giving yourself access and ejecting the hacker from your account. To do so:

    1. Follow the steps that you would take if you had lost your password.
    2. Once your password has been reset, log into your account.

Recover a deleted Google Account or Gmail

You can recover your deleted Google Account by visiting the Google Account recovery page and inputting your email or phone number.

However, if your account has been gone for more than two months, you may not be able to recover it because the data for your profile will have been permanently deleted.

Still can’t sign into your Google Account or Gmail?

Even after taking all the steps listed above, you might not be able to access your Google Account. This can be the result of many factors, from losing access to your recovery email to waiting too long before trying to recover a deleted account.

Here are some tips to make sure you can always recover your Google Account and retain access to your Gmail.

Google Account recovery tips

To help make the Google recovery process easier, try these tips.

  • If you select a secondary device to be used for account recovery or two-factor authentication, make sure it is one that you always have access to.
  • When setting up security questions, make sure that the correct answers are short, clear, and unlikely to be misremembered over time.
  • If you can’t remember your most recent password, use whatever password you last remember using — knowing your older passwords may help in the recovery process.

Create a replacement Google Account

You should consider setting up a replacement Google Account that you can use if you can’t access your main account.

Your replacement account can be set up to use for your recovery email, making it easier to get your old account back. Alternatively, a replacement account gives you a backup to use if you are locked out of your main account.

Take extra security measures to protect your Google Account

Even if you still have access to your Google Account, there are some steps you can take to improve your overall security.

  • Set up two-factor authentication. This will make it harder for hackers to access your account, and easier for you to recover your username and password if you forget them.
  • Use strong passwords. When choosing a password to protect your Google Account, make sure to use a long, complex combination of words, symbols, and numbers. The length of a password is of paramount importance, so choose one that is at least ten characters. To make your accounts even safer, consider using a password manager.
  • Be wary of phishing emails. Your Gmail account may be targeted by phishing emails, such as Google security alert scam, in which hackers pretend to be trusted senders and convince victims to click on malicious links. If you receive an email that prompts you to follow a link or expose information (like your password details), be on your guard. Even if you think you know the sender, double-check their authenticity before interacting with their email.