Account recovery options

How to enable your account recovery options

For all options, you will need to do the following:

  1. Click the gear in the top right .
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Click Accounts.
  4. Click Change password recovery options in the 'Change account settings' section.
  5. You may be prompted to re-enter your password to help verify your password and protect your account.
  6. Click Add a recovery email address/a mobile phone number if you don't have a recovery option already, or click Edit next to your current recovery option to change it.
  7. Click Save to make your changes.
  8. Close the Google Account window using your browser's Close button if you don't want to sign out of Gmail just yet.
How to use your existing account recovery options in the event you’re unable to log into your account

For all options, you will need to do the following:

  1. Visit our password recovery page.
  2. Enter your username.
  3. Click Submit.
  4. If your Gmail username is accepted, a CAPTCHA will appear (letters in a distorted picture), which needs to be typed in the empty box below.
  5. Click Submit.

To be contacted via:

  1. Choose the radio button which says ‘Email to *****@****.com.
  2. An email from Google is automatically sent to your recovery email address.
  3. Log into the account of your secondary email address and follow the instructions provided in the message.

NOTE: If Gmail sends a verification email and you didn't receive the it, the message was probably caught by a spam or bulk mail filter in your recovery email system. Try checking your Spam or Bulk Mail folders for a message from to see if the email ended up in there.

Your mobile phone number:
  1. Choose the radio button which says ‘Text mesage to ********XX.
  2. A text message will be sent to your mobile phone with a password-reset code.
  3. Enter the password-reset code on the following Text message code verification page.

If you're unable to use any of your existing account recovery options on the password assistance page, click I no longer have access to these and you’ll be given a series of questions to verify that you own the account.

The questions we ask to verify your identity are intentionally difficult. Answer as many questions as possible, and make sure your answers are accurate. If you’re unsure about an answer, provide your best guess. It also helps to submit your answers from a computer you've used in the past.

Vivian is a Gmail expert and the author of this help page. Leave her feedback about this help page.

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