Search
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu

Take the new Security Checkup. Strengthen the security of your Google Account in 2 minutes.

Tips to complete account recovery steps

If you can't sign in, follow these steps to increase your chances of getting back into your Google Account:

  1. Go to the Account help page.
  2. As you complete the steps, use as many of the tips below as you can. (You might not see all the questions described here.)

If you already tried to recover your account and got a "Couldn't sign you in" message, you can try again.

Answer as many questions as possible

Try not to skip questions. If you're unsure of an answer, take your best guess rather than moving on to another question. 

Use a familiar device & location

If possible:

  • Use a computer, phone, or tablet where you frequently sign in
  • Use the same browser (like Chrome or Safari) that you usually do
  • Be in a location where you usually sign in, like at home or at work

Be exact with passwords & answers to security questions

Details matter, so avoid typos and pay attention to uppercase and lowercase letters.

Passwords

If you're asked for the last password you remember, enter the most recent one you recall.

  • If don't remember your last password: Use a previous one that you do remember. The more recent it was, the better.
  • If you can't confidently recall any previous passwords: Take your best guess.

Answers to security questions

If you're asked a security question and you:

  • Don't remember the answer: Take your best guess.
  • Know the answer but didn't recover your account on your first try: Consider a different variation of the answer. For example, try "NY" instead of "New York" or "Phil" instead of "Philip."

Find out when you created your account

If you don't remember the month and year you created your Google Account, here are some ways to find out.

  • Look for a sign-up email. If you can get your email for the account, search for a welcome message from Google or Gmail. If you can't, check for a verification email on another account that you used then.
  • Ask your contacts. If you use Gmail, ask friends and family when they first got an email from your account.
  • Think about related events or purchases. Try to remember if you created your account when you:
    • Had an important life event, like graduating.
    • Bought a new device. Look for any receipts or contracts that could be helpful.

If you can't find out the date, take your best guess.

Enter an email connected to your account

If you're asked to enter an email address you can check now, enter one that you've added to your account. Here are some examples:

  • A recovery email address helps you get back in and is where we send you security notifications.
  • An alternate email address is one you can use to sign in.
  • A contact email address is where you get information about most Google services you use.

Add helpful details

If you're asked why you can't access your account, include helpful details.

Some examples are:

  • You're traveling.
  • You get a specific error message.
  • You think your account was compromised because of malware or another reason.
  • You changed your password last week and can't remember it.

If your description matches the information we have, this similarity can help your case.

hc_author_accounts

Nick is an Accounts expert and the author of this help page. Leave him feedback below about how to improve it.

Was this article helpful?
How can we improve it?
Watch video tutorials

To get the latest tips, tricks, and how-to's, subscribe to our YouTube Channel.