Ok – so it is a worst case scenario, and yeah, it will like never happen I thought. And if it does, I’ll lose access to some of my emails, but nothing major, right? WRONG
Recently after having annoying prompts coming up on Google Accounts (in Gmail), I tried to make Gmail happy, and give it my ‘recovery phone’. I added this, and it asked if I wanted to turn on two step verification. It simply told me that when I logged in on a new computer, it would send me a txt. Perfect, I thought and secure too!
My whole little online world came crashing down the other day, when I ran CleanMyMac. I refreshed Safari, and it deleted a whole lot of random information. (I ended up deleting 70GB of random stuff I didn’t need, which changed my spare space on my 256GB SSD from 3GB to 73GB!).
When I opened Safari after my cleanup, it wanted me to sign into Google again. Fair enough, I guess. I logged in, and up popped the 2 Step Verification page. It said a code had been sent to my phone. I waited, and waited. I pressed resend code. I waited, and waited. Getting slightly nervous, I tried again, and again. Nothing came through. At all. I tried for 3 days. Nothing came.
I went onto Google’s help section, and could not find anything about codes not being received. It said to use recovery codes to regain access – this is all very well, but I didn’t know what these were until I first read about them on the page.
I had never been prompted to print recovery codes or the like, and simply put, this meant I had straight up lost access to my account. I needed help, and filled out the lost access form. It said that someone would be in touch. I waited, and waited. I wasn’t able to log in to GAE or any tools like Webmaster Tools etc.
Three days later, I got an email, and someone from Google had removed the verification! Hooray, I got my account back! I have since reenabled 2 step verification, and started using Google’s authenticator App. I have also printed recovery codes! I’m never making this mistake again.
Why did this happen?
I can’t figure out why I didn’t receive my codes, since I had never had this problem before. I have my cellphone number, which is an 027 (originally Telecom), with 2 Degrees. I wonder if this had something to do with it.
The day I lost access to my Google Account is one that I never want to happen again.