There’s nothing worse than somehow forgetting the key to our online world: our email address.
We need it to sign up and log in to certain websites for full access. We need it to pay for certain products we purchase. We especially need it to receive messages and notices that are sent to us.
For whatever reason, you may need to look up an old email address again. This may prove to be quite the predicament for many who have trouble accessing it once more. It’s even more of a hassle if you forgot the email address itself.
Most of us are juggling multiple email addresses (work, school, social media, and entertainment). Because of this, we may not remember all of them.
Still, you don’t need to sweat either situation anymore.
Whether you forgot your email ID or credentials and find yourself locked out, you can get it back in a flash. There are methods you can use to reclaim your old email address once more and you can learn how.
Determine the Length of Inactivity
It would be nice if you could keep your email address indefinitely once you create it, but it sadly doesn’t work that way. Depending on your email provider, you have a limited span of time to successfully login after several months of inactivity.
For example, if your email is a Yahoo or Outlook account, you are given a year to regain access before it is deleted. With AOL, you are given less than that — give or take 6 months.
Google accounts are the most obscure. While the account is subject to being deleted, there is no time limit provided. Your account will remain active in perpetuity.
Once an email address is fully deleted by the provider, it’s really gone. Ideally, this will not happen because you are given a considerable amount of time to log in and keep it.
Try the Basic Recovery Options
When you want to log into your email account you need two things: The email ID and password. Forgetting one or both will lock you out, but you can easily recover it on your own.
If you look around the login or create new account display, you may find a text that says “forgot email” or “forgot password.” You should click on this first to recover what you need. Depending on your email provider and type of security questions that was asked, logging in will be different for everyone.
Most providers will ask for your date of birth or the approximate time you created the account. There’s a good chance you are required to answer the security questions you completed during the initial signup.
You may also be forwarded the information you need to a phone number or a different email address you added on the account. You are usually sent a 4-8 digit pin you must first confirm before being allowed to change your password or see your email ID.
You may also find this Google account recovery guide is very helpful.
Once you are back in, you will be required to update your old password to a new one.
Did You Store Your Credentials Online?
There is an interesting app we can use on any browser to store just about any credential we use online, even our credit cards. This way, there is not much to do once you revisit an old website. With the click of a button, you can be logged back in as well as look up and change what information that was forgotten.
This only works if you are logged out of an account when the cache has been cleared AND you installed the app beforehand.
You may not even need an app to save your credentials as most browsers will do this for you as an option. If you go into your browser settings and access the security or password page, you will find this.
Make Use of IMAP and POP3
You may want to recover information that is lost from an email address you have trouble entering too. Maybe your credentials for another email address is saved on a different email address you cannot recover. This boggling twist does happen.
This is where IMAP and POP3 come to the rescue. IMPAP, or Internet Message Access Protocol is a type of protocol people can use to access old messages from a TCP/IP connection. Pop3, or Post Office Protocol version 3, is another type of protocol one can use to gain access to old emails over a server.
There is only a minor difference between the two. POP3 allows you to download these messages from a server via your PC or device. IMAP just synchronizes all your older messages between your PC or device with the server.
Most email providers use POP3. If you are tech-savvy, you may find it easy to recover your documents and credentials stored in the form of messages.
Final Thoughts on How to Look up an Old Email Address
Even going back a few years ago, it was a complex deed to recover your email address or password if you forgot it. In those times, you might have even had to consider the possibility of losing complete access.
Thankfully, there is amazing technology available today to help people during those occasional moments of forgetfulness. When you want to look up an old email address, you can do this in a matter of minutes now.
We do not forget our email or its credentials because it is unimportant to us the same way we don’t misplace things because we don’t care about it.
It just happens. Without worry, you can get it once more.
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