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Saturday, 12 February 2011

Google Account Recovery

Just about every day, someone needs to ask how do they recover their Google Account.
"I've forgotten the password, or the Email address". Why people do not write them down, amazes me. It's not as though it's a Bank PIN.

Google asked me to Verify my Account Recovery Email address, today, as a matter of fact. It's no big deal. I just added my mobile phone number, too.

So, why do you need to lodge an alternative email address?

There could be many reasons for this, but the main one I can think of is, so that there is somewhere Google can send your password to, if you forget it!

How do I register an Alternative Email Address, or Verify, my Account Details?

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

1. Sign in to Gmail.
2. Click Settings at the top of any Gmail page, and open the Accounts and Import tab.
3. Click Google Account settings.
4. Select Recovering your password under Personal Settings. You may be prompted to re-enter your password to help verify your password and protect your account.
5. Click Add a recovery email address/a mobile phone number/security question if you don't have a recovery option already, or click the 'Edit' link next to your current recovery option to change it.
6. Click Save to make your changes.
7. Close the Google Account window using your browser's Close button if you don't want to sign out of Gmail just yet.

Using your existing Account Recovery Options in the event that you're unable to log in to 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:

Email -
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 have a security question as your recovery option -
Your account needs to be idle for 24 hours after following steps 1 through 5 in order to activate the security question option. Be sure to refrain from trying to log into your account for the full 24 hours.

Once 24 hours has passed, please follow steps 1 through 5 again. You will be presented with your security question.

If you're unable to use any of your existing account recovery options or you never enabled any account recovery options before you lost access to your account, you can try using our account recovery exam.

I have heard many of my friends ask me why I have so many email accounts. This is one reason. You don't need to have 10, just two - and preferably on different networks - say Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail!

Why would I need a Gmail and a Yahoo, or Hotmail email account? The reason for this is simple - Google won't let you use another Gmail Account as a Recovery Address for your primary Gmail Account.

Learn how Alternate Addresses work.


1 comment:

NYC, Style and a little Cannoli said...

great post..I actually purchased a password directory book that you can list all passwords to different websites you belong to. it is really a great idea however you have to watch where you leave the book, if you have issues with others seeing your passwords. I use one for work as well.