How to Reset Your Gmail Password
There’s never a wrong time to change your Gmail password. 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 Gmail Password if You Forgot It
If you can’t remember your Gmail password and think you’ve tried entering every possible combination under the sun, it might be time to reset it if you ever want to reaccess those precious emails.
To reset your forgotten Gmail password, you must have a registered backup email or mobile phone number in your account. Otherwise, Google cannot send a confirmation code to reset it.
Without one of the two requirements, Google prompts you to retry logging in, which brings you to a standstill. The only exception is if Google detects that you have logged in on that device before, it displays the new password option automatically, whether you entered an actual password or not. Here’s how to reset your unremembered password.
- Navigate to “Google Account Recovery.”
- Enter the email address that you’re trying to access and click “Next.”
- In the prompt that appears, click on “Try another way.”
- Request a verification code to your linked mobile phone number or backup email. If you only have one of the two, it will automatically send the code to the registered option. Enter the code and click “Next.”
- In the “Change Password” screen, create your new password, confirm it, then click on “Save password.”
- After saving your new password, the Security Checkup screen appears. Click “Continue.”
- You will now see your “Google Account” page, and your new password is now active.
As previously mentioned, the above steps require a registered backup email, phone number, or both. If you didn’t set either security option, you can’t change your forgotten password unless Google detects that you’ve signed in before on that device. For Google to detect previous login occurences, skip clicking on “Try another way,” as shown above in Step 3, and guess your current or older password instead.
How to Change Your Existing Gmail Password when You Know It
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.”
How to Prevent Gmail Sign-In Issues
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 helpful 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.
Tips when Using Google Account Recovery
Unfortunately, a hacked Gmail account can be challenging to access because the interloper may have changed your phone information or your backup email address, which affects the password reset processes above.
With all of Gmail’s security features, including Google 2-Factor Authentication (2FA), experience teaches that a Gmail account is not impenetrable.
The first thing to do (assuming you’ve already tried the password reset instructions above) is go back to the Account Recovery page as you did in the first process (How to Reset Your Gmail Password if You Forgot It). Then, utilize the following tips when trying again.
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.
- 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 to get you through the password reset process.
- 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 Google Account Recovery more than once. If you fail the first time, try again.
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 Google suggests creating an entirely new Gmail account if the account recovery tool doesn’t work. 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 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.