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Password Recovery: When Did I Create My Google Account?

I’m not going to boast about how I think of great complicated passwords for my email account, Facebook, Twitter, and the entrance to my secret lab. I am able to remember them easily but the same can’t be said for everyone and every time I change my password (which I do regularly because security) I do struggle to recall it the first few days. But remembering passwords isn’t easy for everyone and recovering a Google Account password involves a question that one is highly unlikely to remember the answer to; when did you create your Google account? I found this out a few weeks ago when my dad who is aging well but with a poor memory forgot the password to his Gmail account. I had helped him set it up but Gmail wouldn’t let me recover it using the secondary email address. If you’ve had the unfortunate luck of forgetting your Gmail password and you need to know when you created your account, here’s two quick ways to find it.

Gmail’s Welcome Email

The second you create your new Google Account, Gmail sends you three emails to welcome you on-board, help you get started, and more. I have never to date read those emails and often wonder why I just don’t delete them. Don’t ever delete them; those emails were sent to you within minutes of when you created your account and are the easiest way to get the creation date.

Now you might be wondering why this helps because if you’ve forgotten your password, you can’t very well be expected to search your email for that welcome message, right? This trick is useful if you’ve forgotten your password but have your Google Account added to an Android phone which, among other things, syncs email. You can open the Gmail app on your phone, search for the email, and find the birth date for your account.

Google Takeout

We last visited Google Takeout when Google Reader was shutting down (I still miss it, I really do) and we weren’t really paying much attention to anything else at the time except that our beloved Reader would be no more. Head over to Google Takeout and select to export data from your Circles. You will be asked to sign in to confirm the export. Once you’re signed in, you will be asked where you want to move the data to. On the same page, you will see the following information card that has your account creation date.

google account creation date

The Downside

You pretty much need access to Gmail to be able to get this information so if you don’t already have it and you’ve forgotten your password, or worse, you’re account has been compromised, you will have to rely on other recovery methods to get it back.

[via Digital Inspiration]


  1. Not very helpful. I (a) do not remember my password and (b) I do not remember when I set up this account which could have been before Gmail started to get generous with the amount of data you used.

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