How To Get Email When a Password is Forgotten

Retrieving an email password can usually be done quickly and easily, assuming the email account is still enabled by the provider. Some ISPs will close an email account after the customer has left their service, and it is doubtful you will be able to retrieve anything at that point. Many of the free services such as Yahoo will also close an email that has been inactive for an extended period of time, making it impossible to access any information.

  1. Automated Password Retrieval

    • 1

      Open a Web browser and go to the Web mail page where your email is stored. AOL or Gmail are examples of a Web mail site, but many ISPs also provide Web mail in addition to email access through an email client such as Outlook Express.

    • 2

      Click on the "Forgot Password" link just under the "E-mail" or "Screen Name" and "Password" fields on the AOL sign-in screen (using AOL as a specific example).

    • 3

      Enter your email or "Screen Name" in the field provided when you reach the "Password Reset" screen.

    • 4

      Enter the "Captcha" numerals and letters exactly as they are presented to you in the field provided and click "Next." (Captcha is a security feature designed to reduce automated spammers from exploiting the system.)

    • 5

      Enter your birth date, gender and ZIP code in the second "Password Reset" screen and click "Next."

    • 6

      Click "Continue" at the "Password Reset: E-mail Sent" screen. You will see the message that informs you, "An email has been sent to the alternate email address you provided when registering this account."

    • 7

      Collect the email sent to you from AOL at your alternative account and click on the link provided to enter a new password for your email account.

    • 8

      Change the password in your email client to be able to collect your email using this method, if applicable.

    Manual Password Retrieval

    • 1

      Locate the administrator of your email server's email address or telephone number.

    • 2

      Contact the administrator (or alternately customer service) and request a password reset.

    • 3

      Provide whatever proof of your identity necessary to the administrator or customer service for security reasons.

    • 4

      Check to ensure the password reset worked by accessing your email.

    • 5

      Change the password in your email client to be able to collect your email using this method, if applicable.

Tips & Warnings

  • Write your password information and store it in a safe place. Use a technique where letters or numbers are changed so if your password list is discovered, it is still unusable. For example, swap the first and last characters contained in your password on your written list.
  • When creating a password, never use something that can be guessed, such as your birthday, pet's name or the word password.
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