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How to Recover a Forgotten Gmail Password

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Change your password frequently, they said. And you did.

Now, of course, you remember the password you had last week, and even last month's. But the current Gmail password? Who knows?

Gmail knows. It will not, though, tell you.

Going through a validation process, you can set a new Gmail password—say, last week's—, however, and regain access to your account.

Recover a Forgotten Gmail Password

To reset your forgotten Gmail password:

  • Make sure you either
  • Follow the Can't access your account? link from the Gmail log-in page.
  • Make sure I forgot my password is selected.
  • Type your full Gmail email address under Email address.
  • Click Continue.
  • If you have set up a secondary email address for recovery:
    • Make sure the desired email address is selected following Get a password reset link at my recovery email: under Choose how to get back into your account..
    • Click Continue.
    • Open the Google Password Assistance message in the selected email account from Google Account Recovery.
    • Follow the link under To initiate the password reset process for your ___ Google Account.
  • If you have set up a security question for Gmail password recovery:
    • Make sure Answer my security question is selected under Choose how to get back into your account..
    • Type the answer to your recovery question following the question.
  • If you have set up phone number for account recovery:
    • Make sure the desired phone number is selected following Get a verification code (via SMS) on my phone: under Choose how to get back into your account..
    • Click Continue.
    • Open the SMS text message from Google that begins with Your Google verification code.
    • Type the verification code form the text message on the Google Account Recovery page under Enter that code here.
    • Click Continue.
  • Enter the desired new password under both New password: and Re-enter password.
  • Click Reset password.

If you have used your Gmail account in the past five days but have not specified a secondary email address, you'll have to wait for these five days to pass.

No Secondary Address and Your Answer to the Security Question Does not Work?

Are you unable to reset your Gmail password, either through a secondary address or by answering your security question?

  • Make sure you are trying to access the right account.
    • Check the account name for misspellings.
    • Does the security question sound familiar?
  • Contact Google with as many details that allow them to identify you as the account holder as possible.

(Updated June 2012)

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