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Help getting a gmail account set up on a different computer

Posted: Sun May 20, 2018 10:06 pm
by June bug
My husband's gmail account is on our Apple iMac. We're going to need to use it on a PC laptop instead for a couple of months. But my husband has forgotten the password that he used when he set up the account and the "recovery e-mail account" they refer to on gmail help is one that isn't operable anymore because it was tied to an ISP we no longer use.

The help page just sends me round and round. They also say the account "may not be recoverable". The account doesn't actually need to be recovered - it works just fine on our iMac - it just needs to work on the PC laptop.

Do any of you brilliant Fogbowzers know a way around this or do we just have to set up a new account for him, forward all the mail and notify all his contacts?

Re: Help getting a gmail account set up on a different computer

Posted: Sun May 20, 2018 10:15 pm
by Skip Intro

Re: Help getting a gmail account set up on a different computer

Posted: Sun May 20, 2018 10:24 pm
by MN-Skeptic
I'm not a Mac user, but I know that browsers can save your passwords. Do you typically have Safari save your passwords? If so, you can have Safari show you your passwords - How to Manage Your Passwords in Safari.

Re: Help getting a gmail account set up on a different computer

Posted: Sun May 20, 2018 10:25 pm
by Dolly
I just went to one of my gmail accounts. I ignored where they showed **** which is the default for my password. Am I making sense?

I clicked underneath... FORGOT PASSWORD.

And I kept clicking until I got to an option where I was allowed to Update recovery email

It seems like I would be able to change my old address to a new one at that screen.

So I think if you do have another email account (gmail or yahoo or whatever) - you would be able to get new verification code sent to that account and then be able to access your current gmail account and then change the password.

I think. I hope.

ETA: If you don't already have another email account... FIRST set one up. Then change the recovery info on your current account (that you don't remember the password to)

Re: Help getting a gmail account set up on a different computer

Posted: Sun May 20, 2018 10:28 pm
by SLQ
The website linked below is somewhat convoluted but gives you help on various ways to reset your gmail password, including security questions or phone, if you set those up.

https://www.techytab.com/2017/11/reset- ... sword.html

Re: Help getting a gmail account set up on a different computer

Posted: Sun May 20, 2018 10:31 pm
by Bill_G
If you've lost the password, and your recovery address is gone, and the suggestions above fail, then you get to start over!

And then come up with a password strategy that can be used on all of your accounts so you never forget the password again, or you can at least figure it out because of your strategy. Common word phrases have proven to be just as secure as complicated passwords with mixtures of letters, numbers, and special characters. You could have a core nonsense common word phrase password, always capitalize your vowels, and add something unique for each site.

So for example, you could have gmAIlslOwpOpcOrn for gMail.

A good password strategy works for a long time. I've returned accounts I've built something, and could still login years later without having to refer to my notes.

Re: Help getting a gmail account set up on a different computer

Posted: Sun May 20, 2018 10:54 pm
by Mikedunford
June bug wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 10:06 pm
My husband's gmail account is on our Apple iMac. We're going to need to use it on a PC laptop instead for a couple of months. But my husband has forgotten the password that he used when he set up the account and the "recovery e-mail account" they refer to on gmail help is one that isn't operable anymore because it was tied to an ISP we no longer use.

The help page just sends me round and round. They also say the account "may not be recoverable". The account doesn't actually need to be recovered - it works just fine on our iMac - it just needs to work on the PC laptop.

Do any of you brilliant Fogbowzers know a way around this or do we just have to set up a new account for him, forward all the mail and notify all his contacts?
If the password is stored on the Mac, you may be able to recover it from the Mac. I think they're stored in an app called keychain.

Can't remember more than that right now, but googling something like "Mac keychain passwords" might get you there.

Re: Help getting a gmail account set up on a different computer

Posted: Sun May 20, 2018 11:00 pm
by SLQ
Google says:
How do I access my keychain passwords on my Mac?
Launch Safari, open Safari's preferences, and click the Passwords tab. All the websites for which you've saved passwords in Safari will appear in a list. Enable the Show Passwords option and enter your login password when prompted. Passwords will be listed to the right of each site.

Re: Help getting a gmail account set up on a different computer

Posted: Mon May 21, 2018 12:57 am
by JohnPCapitalist
Bill_G wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 10:31 pm
If you've lost the password, and your recovery address is gone, and the suggestions above fail, then you get to start over!

And then come up with a password strategy that can be used on all of your accounts so you never forget the password again, or you can at least figure it out because of your strategy. Common word phrases have proven to be just as secure as complicated passwords with mixtures of letters, numbers, and special characters. You could have a core nonsense common word phrase password, always capitalize your vowels, and add something unique for each site.

So for example, you could have gmAIlslOwpOpcOrn for gMail.

A good password strategy works for a long time. I've returned accounts I've built something, and could still login years later without having to refer to my notes.
The highlighted portion is exactly what I do. I have 6-7 nonsense words, a different 2-digit number at the end and a different punctuation character. Then when I write down the password in a notebook I keep in my desk, no one can guess it.

For example, if my password for Amazon were Slartibartfast93@, then I would write it in the ledger as "Amazon.com: xxx@xxx.com, S93@" where xxx@xxx.com is a mnemonic for which e-mail address I used. If I wanted to be even trickier, I could engage in a simple transposition cipher, increasing the digit by 1 and/or the punctuation character to the digit key to the right. So S93@ could refer to Slartibartfast04# instead of the apparent Slartibartfast93@. But since the root words in the password are made up, these passwords are resistant to a dictionary attack.

Don't have any advice for what you can do this time, but Bill_G's advice and my similar suggestion will help prevent a next time.

Re: Help getting a gmail account set up on a different computer

Posted: Mon May 21, 2018 4:12 am
by Sam the Centipede
Not a Mac user, so this might all be pointless: if you can currently check email from the Mac, then the email program must have a record of the password for the account (as you clearly don't type it yourself). Is that recoverable? I suspect that it might be stored in some encrypted format, but the email program must have the code to decrypt it. Is there someone who has hacked some code that says "please tell me the passwords I have stored"?

If you are accessing through a web browser, will that display stored passwords? Firefox certainly wil, very, very easily. I know nothing about Safari.

Alternatively, is there a tool (probably a hacky type tool such as a network sniffer) that would show the password as it is transmitted onto t'internet?

Re: Help getting a gmail account set up on a different computer

Posted: Thu May 31, 2018 10:38 am
by RTH10260
Unhelpful suggestion for this case but for the future.

Use a password manager to save your secret. Most current ones will also include a password generator with options on length and composition of password/passphrase.

I personally in the past used a certain number of memorable passwords for certain classes of sites (eg all emails, websites,, all personal accounts, accounts under my acronym, etc) After I found that one of my email addresses used for sign-in had landed on the dark web I have chosen to alter all my logins web-wide (an effort still in progress) to a generated one, newly generated for each sign-in. My password manager keeps track of them and I don't even know what the passwords are (except I take a peek in the app). My password manager is hosted on the web with tools on PC, Mac, Android, IOS and a browser web interface. I now only keep one password in mind, the one that allows me to access the password manager.
► Show Spoiler

Re: Help getting a gmail account set up on a different computer

Posted: Thu May 31, 2018 4:10 pm
by woodworker
I use a 16 character password, comprised of the birthdate of a girlfriend from long ago that no one in my family ever met or knew of, two letters for the site I am visiting, and the birthdate of another very long time ago acquaintance. When a site forces me to change I flip the last and the first.

Re: Help getting a gmail account set up on a different computer

Posted: Thu May 31, 2018 4:11 pm
by woodworker
Either that or I use Stern's birthdate -- but that has to be written in roman numerals.

Re: Help getting a gmail account set up on a different computer

Posted: Thu May 31, 2018 8:30 pm
by Northland10
woodworker wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 4:11 pm
Either that or I use Stern's birthdate -- but that has to be written in roman numerals.
(X)(X)M(V)DCLXXIII ?

Re: Help getting a gmail account set up on a different computer

Posted: Thu May 31, 2018 9:02 pm
by Mikedunford
woodworker wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 4:11 pm
Either that or I use Stern's birthdate -- but that has to be written in roman numerals.
Most sites don't allow single-digit passwords.

Re: Help getting a gmail account set up on a different computer

Posted: Thu May 31, 2018 10:02 pm
by Sam the Centipede
Mikedunford wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 9:02 pm
woodworker wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 4:11 pm
Either that or I use Stern's birthdate -- but that has to be written in roman numerals.
Most sites don't allow single-digit passwords.
Surely the BC shouldn't be omitted?

Re: Help getting a gmail account set up on a different computer

Posted: Thu May 31, 2018 10:51 pm
by MRich
never mind.... :oops: