How to Recover a Forgotten Gmail Password

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Take these steps for Gmail password recovery.

When You Have Forgotten Your Gmail Password…

Change your Gmail 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 Still Knows It

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 and recover access to your account:

  1. Make sure you either
  2. Follow the Need help? link from the Gmail log-in page.
  3. Make sure I don't know my password is selected.
  4. Type your full Gmail email address under Email address.
  5. Click Continue.
  6. If you do (or think you do) remember a password to the Gmail account:
    1. Type the password under Enter the last password you remember.
    2. Click Continue.
  7. If you do not remember any password:
    1. Click I don't know.
  8. If you have 2-step authentication enabled for the Gmail account:
    1. If you can receive a code at a recovery phone number or have 2-step authentication backup codes ready:
      1. Make sure I can access my phone or backup options is selected.
      2. Click Continue​.
  9. If you have set up a secondary email address for recovery:
    1. Make sure the desired email address (following Confirm access to my recovery email:) is selected following Select one of the options below to reset your password:.
    2. Click Continue.
    3. Open the Google Password Assistance message in the selected email account from Google Account Recovery.
    4. Follow the link under To initiate the password reset process for your ___ Google Account.
  1. If you have set up a security question for Gmail password recovery:
    1. Make sure Answer my security question is selected under Choose how to get back into your account..
    2. Type the answer to your recovery question following the question.
  2. If you have set up phone number for account recovery:
    1. Make sure the desired phone number is selected following Get a verification code on my phone:.
    2. Click Continue.
    3. Open the SMS text message from Google that begins with Your Google verification code.
    4. Type the verification code form the text message on the Google Account Recovery page under Enter that code here.
    5. Click Continue.
  1. Enter the desired new password under both New password: and Re-enter password.
  2. 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?

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

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