As one of its earliest services, Gmail remains the cornerstone of Google’s online presence.
So when you forget your Gmail password, and I don’t want to overstate things here, it’s basically like you’re an Internet ghost haunting the halls of your former life.
Okay, it’s not that bad. But you’ll want to change your password and gain access to your account as quickly as possible.
Gmail’s Standard Recovery Procedure
- Head to the Gmail sign-in page and click the “Forgot Password” link.
- Enter the last password you remember. If you can’t remember one, click “Try a different question.”
- Enter the secondary email address you used when you set up your Gmail account to get a password reset email.
Gmail has a few different ways to confirm your identity and recover (or reset) your password. Thankfully, they’re all laid out in a nice little wizard that Gmail will walk you through step-by-step.
Starting the password recovery process is pretty easy: just click the “forgot password” link on the Gmail sign-in page. You’ll then be shown a asking you to put in the last password you can remember. If you can remember a correct password and you have a backup system set up, you’ll then be asked to continue in a variety of ways. If you can’t remember any of them, click “try a different question.”
The next option will be sending a code to a recovery email, which rather presumes that you have a secondary recovery email (which you set up way back when you created your Gmail account in the first place). Using this option will send you a link at your secondary email account (which doesn’t need to be Gmail), with a 6-digit code that will allow you to set up a new password and regain access to your account. Check your mail on this secondary account to see the code, then enter it to unlock a new password generator. Newer accounts may also have a phone number backup option—see below.
If that doesn’t work—like, say, you don’t have access to the account that you originally designated as a backup either—click “try a different question” again. Now we’re getting into older, less secure methods of account protection, like security questions such as “what’s your mother’s maiden name.” You should be able to answer at least one of the questions that would have been presented to you.At this point, create a new password and confirm it. Now you have access to your account again.