Why is My Google Account Disabled? How to Recover/Re-enable it?

Where information is the yummiest thing on the internet, an open space where the borders are just imaginary lines, security issues raise and companies like Google will take actions to protect and secure its users’ data and privacy.

Having a Google account doesn’t make you an owner of it. You are always a user of the services provided by Google. This means, your account can be disabled anytime the company wants. So, do not freak out when you see the notification saying, “your account is disabled” when you tried to login.

You can stop using our Services at any time, although we’ll be sorry to see you go. Google may also stop providing Services to you, or add or create new limits to our Services at any time - Google Policies

Why would Google disable account deliberately?

“Because they own it”, I’m not going to say this answer. Do not expect it at this point. Google or any other company cannot or won’t disable your account without any serious cause. Your activity on the account is always watched for security breaches.
How Google knows if my account is hacked?

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The universe is a big pattern itself. Likewise, Google observes your behavioural patterns based on your activities.

Location and device:

If you login from a new device or location, it would raise a flag and Google security system notifies you about it, even it is you trying to log in from a different location.

Apps and activity:

We use a lot of third-party apps that add features to the existing Google services. When we had no official Gmail schedule feature, we used a few third-party apps to get it. Likewise, we have used many other third-party apps to add features to existing Google services that we would have forgotten with time. - Google

Logins – The logins are other culprits. While using an app, when it asks for login, we just login with Google account or Facebook account to make the registration process faster. It might make the process faster but will leave your data accessed from your own hands. 

Always better look for what application you are using your Google account with.

Change of account name:

Google allows you to change the name given at the time of account creation. But, this cannot be done often.

If you get an error that says "This setting can't be changed for your account," it may mean:
  • You've changed your name too many times during a short period of time.
  • You're on a G Suite account and your admin doesn't allow you to change the name. - Google

Changing name too many times also raises the flag and the account will be restricted to do other actions to save it.

Sometimes, when the hacker is an insider, it can’t do anything. Suppose you leave your computer with all the accounts pre-logged in and never logged out. And you allowed someone to use it, Google can’t sense it. Even if he tries to change the password or delete the account, it would consider that it’s you doing and sends confirmation OTPs to your phone.

A hacker may always not be an outsider. Insider hacks are more dangerous than outsider hacks.

Google disables account even if you are not hacked

“How can Google be so evil?” – Stop right there. Google isn’t evil. I mean it isn’t trying to be a dictator. Is it? Maybe, sometimes, but not in this case.

As we discussed above, you don’t own Google space. You are just a user of its services. It means that you are just a tenant in their cloud space. You know how tenants are restricted to keep things and all.

You cannot have content related to or communications with anti-social elements or things that disrupt the system of the country and society. The following type of content is not allowed to have on Google. If you post content on your blog or YouTube or reviews with your Google account, it would raise a flag.
  • Illegal activities
  • Malicious and deceptive practices
  • Hate speech
  • Harassment, Bullying and threats
  • Personal and confidential information
  • Child exploitation
  • Spam
  • Ranking manipulation
  • Sexually explicit material
  • Violence
  • Regulated goods and services
  • Impersonation and misinterpretation
  • Account hijacking and
  • Terrorist content

Other reasons:

  • Malware, phishing & other harmful activities
  • Account hacking or hijacking
  • Use of multiple accounts for abuse
  • Creating a false identity to deceive people
  • High call volumes
  • Automatic calls or messages
  • Breaking product policies
Google makes it clear to its users about the reasons why your account is disabled.

I have done nothing, my Google account was disabled

If you had done nothing, do not worry, Google might have temporarily disabled your account to avoid the leak of your private information to hackers and apps upon suspicion. This is not permanent most of the times. It will be automatically reinstated after rechecking with security options when you access it.

How to recover/re-enable disabled Google account?

Google avails effective recovery options for disabled accounts. Re-enabling Google account is more manual actions involved.

Method 1: Go to www.google.com/accounts and sign in. It will prompt for phone number. Provide the phone number given at the time of account creation. It will send an OTP, enter it and login.

Method 2: if you don’t remember your password, click on ‘forgot password’ option and follow the instructions. A phone number attached will make it easy recovering the account. 

I don’t have a phone number linked to my Google account

You would have given security answers while creating the account. Now, it’s time to recollect them. Enter correct answers or else your account will still be locked. Don’t remember your answer to security questions? Bookmark this page and poke us for a notification. When we update more methods here, I will notify you personally.

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