How to Reset Your Gmail Password
There’s never a bad time to change your Gmail password. In fact, it’s always good to routinely switch your password for security purposes. Furthermore, you never know when a security breach will occur or if a hacker has compromised your account behind the scenes.
To ensure your Gmail messages and account settings remain private, change your Gmail password every few months. Even if you do this, you may sometimes forget your password since it gets changed frequently.
How to Reset Your Forgotten Gmail Password
If you can’t remember your Gmail password and think you’ve tried every possible combination under the sun, it might be time to reset it if you ever want to reaccess those precious emails.
- Navigate to https://accounts.google.com/signin/recovery.
- Enter the email address that you’re trying to access and click “Forgot Password.”
- In the prompt that appears, enter the last password you remember using with this Google Account. Enter the password, then click “Next.” Don’t worry if you get it wrong; it won’t lock your account.
- Request a verification code to your linked mobile phone number. Google sends this code via a text message or a call to the number linked to your account, depending on which one you select.
- Enter the code from the previous step into the field.
- You should be able to create a new password and will get prompted once it is successful.
If you no longer have access to that phone number, you’ll have to answer some other security questions. Google doesn’t ask you security questions like the name of your first pet. Instead, it relies on email and phone number recovery methods. Google will send your linked recovery email verification code. Enter this code into the field
Set Up Your Account for Sign In
Suppose you can’t remember any of your security details, like your linked recovery email, or you no longer have access to your phone number. In that case, it’ll be incredibly tough to reset your password.
We recommend two things if the above scenario occurs. First, ensure you set up two-factor authentication and that your email address gets linked to a phone number that you will always use.
Second, invest in a good free or paid password manager that will keep your passwords secure and continuously accessible. That way, you won’t lose your password again and can easily find it using the application.
Lastly, set up the backup codes function and store them somewhere safe. Google allows users to have ten backup codes at one time. This step is useful when you get locked out. If you lose the codes at any point, getting new ones will wipe out the old ones for added security.
How to Reset Your Existing Gmail Password
If you already know your current password and can access your account, resetting it is as easy as clicking a link.
- Sign in to myaccount.google.com.
- Click on “Security” in the left menu, scroll down to the “Signing in to Google” section.
- Click “Password,” then enter your current password if prompted.
- Enter your new password and confirm it, then click on “CHANGE PASSWORD.”
Unfortunately, a hacked Gmail account can be especially difficult to get into. This is because the interloper may have changed your contact information or backup email address.
With all of Gmail’s security features, including Google 2-Factor Authentication (2FA), experience has taught us that a Gmail account is not impenetrable. Assuming your account got hacked, the password and contact information may have changed, but don’t panic. Google has a website for this.
The first thing to do (assuming you’ve already tried the password reset instructions above) is visit the Account Recovery page. Google asks you a variety of questions that you have answers to since the account is yours.
Here are some other tips to help you get your account back using the Recovery Tool:
- Use a familiar device, whether it’s a smartphone, a browser on a computer, or even a tablet. If you’ve used your Gmail account on that device, go back to that device for recovery.
- Capitalization and punctuation make a difference when entering security questions. Try capitalizing first letters or typing in all lowercase if you fail the first time. Google’s recovery answers are case-sensitive, which can make things especially difficult.
- When choosing to use your last password, Google will ask for the last one you used, but many people have found that older passwords work just fine too.
- When using your recovery email account, use the same recovery email as you did before the account got hacked.
Keep in mind that you can use this tool more than once. If you fail the first time, try again but with different versions of your security answers.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should I change my Gmail password?
Some security experts state that you should change your password every three months. You may wonder if that’s overkill.
While it’s not a terrible idea, you don’t necessarily have to change your account password that much.
For starters, stop using the same password for every account. If one account gets hacked, all of them will. Use a unique password of fifteen or so characters, numbers, and letters. You could also create an algorithm for each password so it’s easier to remember.
Next, please keep all of your contact information up-to-date and check it frequently. Once a hacker is in your account, they won’t have access long. With notifications, backup email addresses, 2FA, and text alerts, you’ll get notified immediately as long as your contact info is current.
I can’t get the 2FA code, so what else can I do?
If you can’t receive a ‘2FA’ code, the account recovery tool will guide you as a replacement. It’s worth noting that if the account recovery tool doesn’t work, Google suggests creating an entirely new Gmail account. Unfortunately, you’ll need to update the credentials on every external service you used the old one for (account logins, banking, etc.).
How can I contact Google?
Google does not have a support team to help with free accounts (in this case, your Gmail account). So, it IS NOT as simple as making a phone call for help. This problem doesn’t mean you’re left entirely in the wind, of course.
Google provides two links for additional help signing in. The first is the help center, and the second is the recovery form. Although neither will get you to a live person, both can help provide account recovery options specific to your needs.
I don’t have my password, phone number, or backup email. Is there anything else I can do?
This question is a widespread one that requires some out-of-the-box thinking. The first step is to check your devices unless you can navigate through Google’s security questions, including the exact date you created your account. Is the account still active on an old smartphone, laptop, or tablet? If logged in on another device, you can’t use the option, but you can update the security settings.
Next, are you unable to access your backup email? Whether you’re using a Gmail account or another email client, complete the password reset process on that account and try to reaccess your Gmail.
Indeed, there are other ways to get back into your account, but it may take some creativity on your part. Otherwise, you’ll need to create a new Gmail account.