Many users who use the Google Account and all associated services have privacy concerns over their data usage or personal information sharing. Some of them don’t want to assign their phone number as a tool for 2-factor authentication via SMS. Luckily, Google offers more than a few alternatives. If you like to use Gmail Account recovery without a phone number, learn how to do it below.
Table of contents:
Use an alternative email address or code to secure your Gmail Account
1. Use an alternative trusted device
The first thing you can do, in case you have multiple devices with the same Google Account, is use one device to verify the other. That way, you’ll avoid codes and there’s no need to use SMS verification.
- Make sure you are already signed in on your other device and connected to Wi-Fi.
- Enter your Gmail Account and password and sign in on your current device.
- When prompted about a new sign-in attempt, tap Yes to allow the sign-in.
2. Use Backup codes
On the other hand, Backup codes are quite simple to use, as well. You get 10 codes and can generate as many as you like. Every code can be used only once. You can take a screenshot of the codes or write them down. Just make sure to keep them safe as this is not exactly the most secure 2-step verification option.
- Open any browser and navigate to your Google Account Management page.
- Select Security from the left pane.
- Click on the 2-step verification.
- Enter your password and press Enter.
- Click on Backup codes.
- Choose to generate codes.
- Now, you can save the codes list to your PC or write it down, and, the next time you try to log in, just enter one of the available codes when prompted.
If you use all available codes, follow the same path, and generate new codes to use.
3. Sign in with the Authenticator app
Alternatively, you can download and use the Authenticator app that’s, albeit outdated, still a useful alternative to SMS confirmation so you’ll be able to do Gmail Account recovery without a phone number.
Here’s how to sign up with the Authenticator app:
- Download Google Authenticator from Play Store.
- Sign in with your Google Account on Chrome for PC (or you can use a desktop mode on an alternative smartphone).
- Go to Security > 2-step verification and click on Set up under the Authenticator app section.
- Open the app on your device and choose Scan QR code.
- Scan the code and you’ll have the temporary 6-digit-long code to use in order to log in.
There are a few more alternatives like the Security key that allows for a one-time sign-in. Google made sure to make user accounts as safe as possible and we highly recommend enabling 2-step verification. That way, you’ll ensure that no one can access your data or hijack your account.
Editor’s note: This article was initially published in November 2020. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.