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Safety & Security

How to make sure you can easily regain access to your Google Account

illustration of a phone and a laptop with icons including a lock

It happens. Maybe you've forgotten your password, you haven’t set up passkeys, or maybe you don't remember the answer to a very specific challenge question you selected in 2013 — and now you're locked out of your Google account and can't access any of your emails, calendar, or saved locations on Google Maps.

Getting locked out of your account is frustrating and time consuming, especially since recovery can take days or longer if your identity needs to be verified. We take pride in the fact that we keep more people safe online than anyone in the world — and since phishing attempts continue to be a major cybersecurity issue, we want to make sure that if someone is trying to access your account, it’s actually you.

Fortunately, there are two easy steps you can take now to prepare in case you ever get locked out of your account: setting up a recovery email and phone number.

Here's how to set up your account for faster account recovery:

On your browser, click your Google Account profile icon in the top right of your screen and then go to your Google Account.

  1. Add a recovery phone number. On the left navigation panel, click “Security.” Under "How you sign in with Google," click “Recovery phone” to help keep your account secure. Follow the steps on the screen. This allows us to send you a text message in the event you need to recover your account.
  2. Add a recovery email address. From your Google Account, click “Security” and then “Recovery email” under “How you sign in with Google.” Follow the steps on the screen. A recovery email address helps you get back in and is where we send you security notifications.

Taking these steps will make your Google Account more secure and could save you time later. That way, if you lose your login credentials we will have a second way to reach you, via email or an SMS text message, to help confirm your identity.

Visit our Safety Center to see more ways to stay Safer with Google.

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