How to Recover a Forgotten Gmail Password

When you have forgotten your Gmail password . . . Gmail still knows it.

Change your Gmail password frequently, they said, and so you did. Now, of course, you remember the password you had last week or even last month. But the current Gmail password? Who knows besides Google?

The good news is that by going through a validation process, you can set a new Gmail password — say, last week’s — however, and regain access to your Google account.

Recover a Forgotten Gmail Password
To reset your forgotten Gmail password and recover access to your account:

  1. First, make sure you either have a secondary email address specified for your Gmail account or have not logged into your Gmail account for 5 days.
  2. Click Forgot password? on Gmail’s log-in page.
  3. If prompted, type your full Gmail email address over Enter your email on the Account support page.
  4. Click Next.
  5. Gmail will now ask a number of questions to try to establish you as the owner of the account. For each question, enter your answer as well as you can and click Next.
  6. If you can’t answer a question or don’t have access to the resource (like a secondary email address or a phone number), click Try a different question.

Questions Google Will Ask During Gmail Account Recovery
The questions Gmail asks to help verify your Gmail account may include the following, not necessarily in this order:

  • A previous password: If you have changed your Gmail password and only remember an older one, you can enter it.
  • Verification using a code (with 2-step authentication enabled for the Gmail account): Depending on the verification methods set up for 2-step authentication (enter the phone number used for verification if prompted), you can get a code from:
    • An SMS text message received from Google;
    • An app (e.g. Google Authenticator); or
    • Printed back-up codes.
  • A phone number set up for account recovery in Gmail: You will receive an SMS text message from Google that contains a verification code.​
  • A secondary email address for Gmail account recovery: Follow the link in a message from Google sent to the email address to reset the password to the Google Account. You may also be able to enter any current email address to receive a verification code.
  • A security question for Gmail password recovery: Type the answer to your recovery question following the question under Answer the security question you added to your account.
  • When you set up the account: Enter the month and year when you created the Gmail (or Google) account.

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

Once you have established yourself as your account’s owner using any of the — and usually multiple — steps above, Gmail will log you in to the account. If, for security reasons, you do want to change your password, follow the Change password link.