Set Up, Check, and Change a Secondary Gmail Address

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When you can't get into your Gmail account, it's important for Gmail to be able to reach you—and exactly you—with a link that lets you reset your password.

One smart way to make sure you can always recover your Gmail account is to have an alternate email address (or, better yet, many) on tap. It's better to have more than one on record because, as it goes, email addresses fall out of use and favor. Or, of course, you may lose a password...

Set Up, Check and Change Your Secondary Gmail Email Address

To add a secondary email address to your Gmail account for password recovery or change your secondary Gmail address:​

  • On your Google account page, follow the Recovering your password link.
  • Type your Gmail password under Password:.
  • Click Verify.
  • To add an address where you can recover a lost or forgotten Gmail password:
    • Click Add or remove email addresses under Email.
    • Type the desired email address under Add an additional email address:.
      • Make sure you will be able to access mail at this address in the future.
      • School, university and work email addresses as well as accounts tied to any telecom provider are all likely to change.
      • An address at your personal domain or another email service are often better choices.
      • If you do choose an address likely to change, make sure you update the alternate Gmail address when it does.
      • Note that you cannot use another Gmail address as your alternate address ​and that each address can only be associated with one Gmail account.
    • Click Save.
    • Open the message from "accounts-noreply@google.com" with the subject "Google Email Verification" at your new secondary email address.
    • Follow the verification link.
    • Type your Gmail password again under Password:.
    • Click Verify.
  • To update your secondary Gmail address:
    • Click Edit next to your alternate email address under Your secondary email address:.
    • Type the updated secondary email address.
      • Make sure the address is correct. You may not have to verify it.
    • Click Save.