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I'm trying to log in to a very old Gmail account of mine.

When I enter the correct password, I'm taken to a page that says:

Something seems a bit different about the way you're trying to sign in. Complete the step below to let us know it's you and not someone pretending to be you. Learn more.

The page gives me the option to either enter my recovery email address or answer my security question.

Sadly, I know neither. For people like me, Google offers the option to "Verify your identity by answering multiple questions about your account."

I've tried that option several times, and despite answering those questions to the best of my knowledge, I'm told:

The information you've provided does not match the information on the account. You can try submitting another claim with more accurate information.

Is there any way for me to access my account? Google has a method for accessing the accounts of deceased family members. Is there something similar for situations like this? I'm more than willing to provide them with photo identification if necessary.

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@pnuts Yes, thanks for pointing that out. I've added more details to my question. –  lockedout Apr 25 '14 at 3:03
    
Have you tried Google Account Recovery. It cost me $0.30 (+about 3x that in bank charges!) about 3 years ago, though was for a year of birth error rather than 'long time no use'. I'd guess if you also have a current Gmail account mentioning it may help. –  pnuts Apr 25 '14 at 3:20
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possible duplicate of How do I recover my Google password or username? –  Vidar S. Ramdal Apr 25 '14 at 8:08
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@VidarS.Ramdal Indeed very similar but that one starts I have forgotten the password or username which seems not to be the case here. –  pnuts Apr 25 '14 at 12:47
    
Well, the "solution" is still the same. If you are unable to gain access to your account through Google's account recovery process, you're out of luck, I'm afraid. –  Vidar S. Ramdal Apr 25 '14 at 12:59

2 Answers 2

I travel a lot, and live 6 months in the EU and 6 months of the year in Asia. I have encountered that message many times, on both recently used and unused accounts. It is usually because I am using a different [borrowed?] PC, iPhone etc. (and, possibly, in conjunction with the fact that I am in different part of the world - although I not 100% sure about that).

I have found that (if I am able to and) I go back to the last machine that I logged onto that account with, then when using the same correct password, I no longer get that message, and I can log on without issue.

Try doing that, if, firstly, you can remember the last machine you accessed the account from, and secondly, are still in possession of said machine.

Hope that helps.

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Just keep trying, some people report success with the account recovery procedure after three or four goes.

NB PHoto identification won't help, because it still doesn't prove that you are the person who should have access to the account.

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