If you are using Gmail on multiple devices, sometimes it doesn’t let you sign in. You might see this error message: “You’ve tried to sign in too many times. For your own protection, you can’t sign in now.” Faced with this issue recently, I was locked out of my primary Google account for nearly three days. If you’re in a similar situation, follow the steps below to fix the issue and regain access to your Gmail.
Why Gmail Displays “You’ve Tried to Sign in Too Many Times” Status
The root cause of the “you’ve tried to sign in too many times” error is that you may have removed your phone number from your Google account for greater privacy. This makes your device unrecognizable to Google servers. It is a completely new phenomenon, as even in the recent past, you could opt out of providing a phone number to Google. That option no longer exists for security reasons.
Even if you may have provided a phone number, you may experience a similar problem if you had disabled the two-step verification followed by clearing the cookies on your device. In this variation of the error, it says “too many failed attempts”, and the verification code for the phone number is greyed out.
Even after a few hours or even days, the message keeps repeating itself on the problem device with there is no end in sight. You may find yourself blocked out of your own Gmail account if you had carelessly logged out of all the devices before the problem appeared. However, account recovery isn’t all that difficult.
Solution 1: Wait for 24 Hours
The best solution in such a situation is to forget about your Gmail account for some time. It may vary from a few hours to up to a day or more. If you had a phone saved on your account for recovery, then after around six hours or so, you may receive a verification code for recovery or be asked to confirm the recovery phone number.
If you sign in with Google prompts, make sure you don’t lose access to the device. This can create serious problems if you lose your phone, or it suddenly gets damaged. But that device continues to stay on Google’s record forever until you replace it and will be used for future authentication even when you no longer use that phone. To avoid such a situation, it’s safer to stay away from Google prompts and use verification codes for login access.
Solution 2: Enable Two-Step Verification
If you have Google enabled on one device but find yourself locked out of another, you can tweak the two-factor authentication settings on the former to unlock the latter. Go to this link which manages the Google account settings. It will show that sign-in with 2-step verification was turned off. You need to turn it back on to recover access to blocked devices. Click “Manage settings” to set that up.
In the next step, you will be asked to sign with your email and password followed by a phone setup screen. You should be able to use a burner phone if you don’t want to part with your real phone number.
Once two-step verification has been set up on a connected device, it’s surprisingly easy to regain access to Gmail on a blocked device. Just clear the cookies and try to access your Gmail account through a user ID and a password. You will then be greeted by the verification code screen in the previous section. You can continue to remove the two-step verification as long as you’re logged in to Gmail on at least one browser and device (preferably your phone).
Solution 3: Google Account Recovery
Have you completely removed your phone number from Google? In that case, the only option is to go for complete Google account recovery at this link. You will be asked to enter the most recent password you remember followed by a phone number. Even if you didn’t want it, Google never really removes your phone number from its database because that’s what is used for account recovery.
Following the phone verification by text, you will receive a verification code on your backup email with your Google account. Enter this code on the link, and Google will send you another message on the backup email after six hours to change the Google password. As soon as you sign in again with the new password, remember to add a recovery phone number to prevent future login hassles.
Best Practices to Avoid Getting Locked Out of Google
There was a time when having a strong password and due diligence would have been enough to secure your Google account. But it’s no longer possible to manage the access without a phone today. To avoid getting locked out of your Gmail account by the “You’ve tried to sign in too many times” message, follow the best practice tips below:
- Always remain signed in to Google with at least one device: this will be useful for quick account access. Phones are the best.
- Use the “Add another account” feature of Google: if you need a Google account for work or another reason, merge it as a secondary account into another primary one.
- Enable Gmail Access on a Desktop App: if you have Gmail enabled on a desktop app such as Thunderbird or Outlook, you can bypass the two-factor authentication needs. However, you’ll be restricted to only one device.
If you haven’t received the “You’ve tried to sign in too many times” message when tryng to access your Gmail but have faced other login issues or your Gmail is just not working properly, here are some solutions to common problems.