I had a gmail account and someone accessed it by changing my password. I am extremely angry about this. I changed my password and they accessed it again and changed it once more. I think she was able to reset my password by selecting that she no longer had access to the previous password and secondary email.

I have had a text message from this person who claims she has copies of all the email messages that were in there. Because she accessed it a second time, I have since cancelled the account all together. What can be done about this?

3 Answers 3


I'm very sorry to hear about your experience.

If you are able to access the account, I would strongly recommend going through the Gmail Security Checklist. Since the intruder was able to get in a second time, it's highly likely that they have access to one of your recovery methods (backup email address, answer to the security question, etc) or they have installed a keylogger on your computer. The security checklist will take you through all the steps to check all of these areas and re-secure your account.

However, you mentioned that you have cancelled the account, so I am guessing you are less interested in re-securing the account and more interested in recovering from the situation.

I recommend running full malware scans on your computer, and changing the passwords for any websites associated with your email address, especially if those websites ever emailed you your password in plain text. You might also consider whether pursuing legal action against the intruder is appropriate; depending on the laws where you live, you may have some recourse.


This article has a fairly detailed list of the thing(s) you need to do. I have quoted some of the process below:

Additional Recovery Information

Doing a password reset is the easiest way to regain access to an account. But it can fail if you forgot your secret question, if the recover e-mail address is no longer valid, or it the account was compromised and that information changed.

The Account Recovery Form is the alternative method. It is important that you complete as much of the form as possible, and that the information be as accurate as you can make it. If the form is rejected you can try submitting it again. You can re-submit it as many times as you want, but always wait for a reply to each submission before submitting again. If you don't receive a reply, check your spam/junk folder (especially if it's a non-Gmail account).

It's very important that as you repeatedly submit the Account Recovery Form that you fill in more of the blanks with more accurate information. There is some threshold of correct information you need to prove ownership, so a rejection means you need to supply more. Submitting the same form with no additional information multiple times does not help.

While this system works for many people, there are some cases where it can be very frustrating. But don't give up. There's nothing you can do (like deleting the account) until you re-gain access to it and since Google does not offer live one on one support for the free Gmail product directly these are your options.

Also realize that the more complicated account recover process (that very few people need to use) is one of the trade-offs for not being forced to provide a lot of personal information when you create the account (that everyone has to do). Many people prefer this for privacy reasons.

Hints for successful account recovery It's not about the number of times you submit the Account Recovery Form, it's about providing more and better answers with each attempt. If your submission is rejected, you must work harder to provide more answers, and make the answers more accurate in subsequent submissions. Wait for a response before each new submission (be sure to check Spam). Responses could be delayed as much as 24 hours but you should wait a full 48 hours before submitting another form. If you are not receiving a response, check your Spam or Junk folder on the account you specified for replies. Also double (triple) check that you correctly spelled the e-mail account name. Duplicate submissions, or submissions without waiting for a reply can trigger a submission lock forcing you to wait a few days to try again. Make your best guess on every field of the form. You never know what will help.

There may be one other option for simple password recovery if your account wasn't compromised and you simply forgot your password. If you have your browser setup to remember your account information you may be able to view your saved password. In Firefox, you can use: Tools->Options, Security, Saved Password, Show Passwords. If you use another browser, then (install and) open Firefox, use File->Import to import your settings and then check to see if the saved password is accessible. Again, this only works for people who forgot their password due to relying on the browser's auto-fill function, but if it applies it might be an easier than the above procedures.

  • 1
    When you get your account back, turn on two-factor authentication.
    – ale
    Aug 23, 2011 at 17:49

This article explains how you can see who or what is accessing your Gmail account. If it's a third-party application you can revoke it, otherwise you'll at leath know who has accessed the account so to know what you're up against.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.