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Account Recovery - Google couldn't verify that <account> belongs to you. 0 Recommended Answers 0 Replies 152103 Upvotes
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Most all account recovery starts with the “Forgot password?” link on the Gmail/Google sign in page.  That link leads to:  https://accounts.google.com/signin/recovery which can be used directly.  This covers lost passwords, compromised accounts, "suspicious activity" blocks and other similar cases.  It does not apply to disabled accounts for things like Terms-of-Service or being under-age.

There are over a dozen potential questions (like the account creation date) and tasks (like entering a verification code) you can use to help prove ownership of an account.  Most of the questions are based on pre-configured recovery options like an e-mail address or phone number.  If these are not available (never configured, gone out-of-date, changed by a hacker) the number of questions available may be very limited making it hard to prove ownership of the account.

The end of the process typically has you provide a contact e-mail address which is then sent a verification code.  Please note that you are only verifying that the contact address is valid, and that you have access to it.  This verification code does NOT mean you have successfully proven ownership of the lost account.  You may still receive the "Google couldn't verify..." message, or be asked additional questions.

The recovery process is more likely to succeed if done from a computer or device recently used to access the account.  If at all possible, attempt recovery using that same computer/device, giving preference to a computer/laptop over a mobile device.

Fortunately, the provided process works for most people to recover their account.  Some receive the message “Google couldn’t verify...” meaning that the information Google has (including the questions you answered) is not sufficient to prove your ownership of the account.  In these cases, people sometimes post asking for help.  Without trying to be overly negative, the realities are that...

  • Google does not provide live support for Gmail so you can not contact them for help with account recovery.
  • Any support numbers found through search are probably not Google (unless you find Google Play or the like).  These places will be happy to take your money, but they can not return your account.
  • This is a user-to-user help forum, and while the volunteers can provide information and advice, they can not return your account.
  • There are no options to provide information beyond what the recovery process asks about.  For example, knowing the content of messages in the account can not be used to help prove ownership.

In summary, if you can not recover the account using the provided process, it may be lost.  There are no other account recovery options available.

This article provides a lot more detail about the account recovery process: http://gmailaccountrecovery.blogspot.com/  The "Walk-Through" and "Additional Information" sections may be the most helpful.
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