Here is What You Need to Know
A lot of people use Google services, including the popular Gmail, Google Drive, and other services, all of which can be conveniently accessed through the use of a central Google account. However, you might have run into the following situation recently—you try to sign in to your Gmail account and find that you have been locked out of Gmail Account. This can certainly be frustrating and put a damper on your plans.
This can obviously happen if you have forgotten your username or password. However, it can also happen due to a variety of other reasons, including misuse or hacking. Since Google provides its services to millions of people worldwide, security is an important issue. They have in place several security measures which, when triggered, can serve to lock you out of your account.
If you want to avoid getting locked out of Gmail accounts, it’s vital to understand why this happens, what you can do to get your access back, and how you can prevent this in the future.
Why Are You Locked Out?
Google can temporarily lock your account if it notices unusual or suspicious activity regarding your account that can be the result of misuse or fraud. Depending on the type of activity detected, they might block your account for anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of days.
Here are some of the activities that might result in an automatic block on your account:
- Multiple sign-in attempts using the wrong password
- Trying to log in from an unknown device or location
- Irregular email activity including sending, receiving, or deleting a large number of emails at one time
- Giving access to third-party software or services
For the full list, you can consult Google Help Support.
You may also find yourself unable to access your account if you have forgotten your username or your password or lost access to your primary access device.
How to Regain Access?
Fortunately, Google also provides you with multiple ways in which you can recover access to your Gmail account. If you are greeted with a message that you have been locked out, you can explore several ways to get into your account.
The most hassle-free way to get your access back if you have forgotten your password is to enter your username in the login page and then click the “Need Help?” link underneath. This takes you to a screen where you can try entering the most recent password you remember. If you cannot remember any, you can also try a number of other options. The system will prompt you with questions about your account that you can try to answer to the best of your abilities.
These can include answers to security questions you might have set up during the creation of the account or information about the year and month when it was created. If you have a recovery email or phone number set up, it can serve as the easiest way to reset your password.
If however, you have been locked out of Gmail due to suspected unusual activity, the process can involve a few more steps. In such cases, the system will provide you with more options you can use to log into your account.
In many cases, you might get an option to specify an alternate email or a phone number which can be used to send a password reset code. There is also an option to request the help of Google on the matter if all else fails. This will trigger manual intervention from the side of Google. In this process, you would be asked a series of questions regarding your account, your contacts, and your usage habits. If you can answer all or most of them correctly, the Google team will investigate your claim and will reinstate access to your account in a few days.
If your request gets denied, you can try again with more accurate answers to the questions for another shot at getting your account unblocked.
Avoid Getting Locked Out
Prevention is always better than cure and the best you can do to avoid getting locked out of your account is to set your account up correctly to prevent this.
Here are some of the most important steps you can take to avoid getting locked out of your Gmail account:
First and foremost, it is very important to set up a recovery email address and phone number for your account. In nine cases out of ten, these would be the means to recover your account with minimum hassle. A lot of people face problems regaining access to their accounts due to these not being properly set up.
If you have difficulty remembering your password, you can use a password manager to do it for you. Most popular browsers, including Google Chrome, have a built-in password manager with support for auto-login. If this does not do the trick for you, you can use a commercially available password manager for a more feature-rich experience.
Google offers a multitude of ways you can sign in to your account and it can be meaningful to explore these options. First of all, you can use your phone instead of your password to log in to your account.
If you use Google’s 2-step verification method, you can set up several other ways of signing in to your account, including using the Google Authenticator app, a hardware security key, phone prompts, and backup codes.
Last but not least, follow safety best practices by choosing a complex password and changing it every once in a while. You can use the Google Security Checkup utility to identify and deal with common vulnerabilities.
The Right Mindset
Getting locked out of your Gmail account can definitely be a nuisance. However, if you know what might cause this and the steps to take, you can easily regain access to your account. Moreover, with the right preventive measures, you can do everything in your power to ensure that you have several options to regain access if it does eventually happen.