Gmail Login Help: Email, Forgot Password, and iPhoneEver needed Gmail login help? I know that this probably seems like a pretty basic and easily remedied problem to a lot of you, but trust me, I get asked about it constantly.

And just because you may know the answer to a question doesn’t mean the person next to you does. It’s never too late to roll up your sleeves and help your neighbor out, you know? Or you could choose to roll down the troll road and try to make someone feel small for knowing less than you, but that just eventually gets you chased down by by angry, pitchfork-wielding townsfolk and thrown under a bridge where you’re forced to live out your remaining days dining on fast food castaways and rainwater runoff.

Helpful wins out over hateful every time.

Gmail Login Help: Email

When you’re on your home computer (or whatever computer you tend to use the most), logging into Gmail and staying logged in may be your default of choice. Normally, it should be just as easy as typing into your browser (which will direct you to and entering your username and password into the appropriate fields.

Sometimes, though, the best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men go way, way awry and it’s just not as simple as it should be. Why? Maybe Gmail senses that you’re not on the computer you used the last time you logged in and it’s asking for further security clearance to prove that you are who you say you are. Fair enough. Follow the onscreen instructions at this point (provide your phone number or give an answer to whatever question is being posed) and you should be good to go.

But sometimes it’s not so easy to access your Gmail login because the system senses that there’s been unusual activity on your account (such as excessive outgoing emails to all of your contacts that fall under the spam category), and Google locks down your account for anywhere between one minute to 24 hours. All you can do in this case is just to check back later and change your password as soon as possible once you’re able to get in.

Yes, this can be a bummer, but not as much as what might happen if the system allowed such suspicious activity to continue unchecked!

If you suspect that your account has been compromised by some ne’er-do-well hacker type (or “jerk” in the common parlance) and that your password no longer works, you can fill out the Google account recovery form, cross your fingers, and hope for the best.

Gmail Login Help: Forgot Password

So you forgot your password, you say? You can’t quite remember the complex series of digits, letters, special characters, and the order of capital and lowercase letters that seemed to be a pretty airtight defense against the aforementioned jerks who would try to access your Google login information for nefarious purposes? Well, don’t give up hope just yet. It happens to all of us.

Luckily, Gmail makes it pretty easy to recover a lost password (or navigate around another perceived problem with your Google login). Failing to log in, you’ll see a link below the password field that says “Can’t access your account?” Click on it (but you already knew that, didn’t you?), and then enter either an external email address where password reset information will be sent, or the gmail address you’re trying to access.

“Ah, but Chris, how in the heck can I reset my password if the info is just being sent to the very same email address that I can’t access?”

Clever Google gives you a couple of options in this case. As long as you entered your phone number when setting up your Gmail login (or any of the seven million times you’ve logged in since then, since Google knows that forgetting passwords is a common problem and reminds accordingly), you can get a verification code sent to your mobile phone via SMS text message or an automated call if you’re on a landline (or you just get a kick out of the sound of robot voices).

Gmail Login Help: iPhone (and Other Mobile Devices)

Here, you probably think I’m being an Apple fanboy for only including Gmail login help information for the iPhone, but it just happens to be the phone I use and I’m answering a specific question from Nathan Rutle, who writes: “Hey, Chris! I had to change my Gmail login info on my PC and now I can’t get into my Gmail account on my iPhone. Please help?”

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that the process for Gmail login help is probably similar among all mobile devices — iPhones, Android devices, Windows Phones, BlackBerries, and… whatever else you’ve got in your pocket. But for the iPhone, go to the Settings app, navigate to Mail, Calendar, Contacts, and update your username and password there. Not too rough of a ride, hmm?

If you’ve got two-step verification set up, you have a few more hoops ahead. Google offers more advice about using application specific passwords, which applies to Gmail login help for various mobile devices.

May your Gmail login woes and worries be eternally vanquished to the past tense from heretofore and forever onward!

Image: I Can’t Believe What I’m Looking At shared by Ed Yourdon via Flickr