Locked out of Gmail
July 3, 2012 2:24 PM   Subscribe

Asking for a friend: Trying to solve a Gmail lockout issue involving moving to another country, deactivating a previous iPhone, and 2-step verification. (Details within.)

Story from my friend:
Before I moved to Kenya, I got a new laptop, and disconnected my American cell phone. I forgot that I had enabled two-step verification for my Gmail, meaning that I cannot log in from a new location without a security code which I receive on my cell phone.

When I tried to check my email- over a week ago- it told me I needed to get a security code from my phone. I clicked the ‘I don’t have my phone’ option, and filled out a form with various security questions, assuring them it was me. However, I then (inadvertently) received emails on my iPod touch when it connected with wireless internet. I then got an email (at my backup yahoo address) from Gmail, congratulating themselves on solving the problem (since they could see that I’d accessed my account.)

I responded to that email, explaining the problem- that I can’t access email from my laptop, and can’t turn off two-step verification because I don’t have my phone. I then sent a separate request through Gmail- similar to my first plea.

I thought I had disconnected my iPod from my email, but unfortunately the same thing happened two days later, and I received another email through yahoo, saying they assumed I had fixed the problem.

I have now disconnected my iPod, and will leave it that way until I can solve the problem. I need to turn off two-step verification, which Gmail tells me I cannot do without accessing my American phone.I have sent a third request, and was told that a response could take 3-5 days. This is discouraging since I use Google services for several different parts of my non profit (email, blog, calendar, docs).
posted by shakespeherian to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
I need to turn off two-step verification, which Gmail tells me I cannot do without accessing my American phone.

This needs some unpacking I think. Is Google requiring that a single particular device be used?I don't see that requirement on the instructions page, at Google's page for turning off 2-step authentication. All it says is that it might ask for username, password, and verification code if prompted. Here's the step-by-step from that page:
1. Visit the Using 2-step verification page under your Google Account settings. Sign in with your username, password, and verification code if prompted. [I use 2-step Auth and have some spare codes in my wallet. You friend can use those if they have them, or get another temp code issued. Though this is probably where the issue is sticking re: the quote I pulled above.]
2. Click Turn off 2-step verification.
3. A pop-up window will appear to confirm that you want to turn off 2-step verification. Click OK.
If your friend can get the Authenticator app running on their iPod, that should work.
posted by carsonb at 5:27 PM on July 3, 2012

@carsonb don't you need to be logged into Google when you setup the Authenticator App? It's been awhile, but I seem to remember my phone requiring a username, password, and a QR code from the Google settings.

But as carsonb mentioned, the best way to do this is to find those spare codes Google told you to write down/print when you enabled 2-step authentication. That's the best way to get in w/o jumping through the support hoops.
posted by sbutler at 7:37 PM on July 3, 2012

Response by poster: Friend says:
I tried that- it asks for a verification code (sent to my phone). I tried it again just now to make sure.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:06 PM on July 4, 2012

« Older Help me beat the heat (in my attic)!   |   Holding Deposit Paid, Apartment No Longer... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.