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How to find the creation date of your Gmail or Google account

Google doesn't make it easy for you though....
September 23, 2022

If you’ve ever lost access to your Google account, one of the recovery questions might have been “when did you set up your Google account?” or words to that effect. Suddenly, your mind goes blank, and panic sets in. When did you set yours up? Can you come up with the exact date? Or even just the year you made it? Does Google tell you how old your account is somewhere?

Read more: How many Google accounts can you have?


The short answer is no. Google doesn't list the account creation date somewhere for your convenience. The Google help pages themselves admit the only two “methods" are to look for the welcome email in Gmail or check your POP and IMAP settings. Both of these are not foolproof if you have neither. Plus, if you're locked out of your account already, checking for these needs to be proactive.


Look for the “Welcome to Gmail” email

gmail welcome email

When you set up your Google account, Gmail is automatically made at the same time. The first email you will receive will be a welcome email from Google. Check the date you received that email, and that will be the date Google set up the account.

But honestly, how many people still have that email? Google assumes you’ll never delete a single email ever. But if you’re a neat freak like me, you would never keep emails stretching back years. My first email in my account, which I’ve had since 2004, dates back only six months.

Check your POP and IMAP settings

If you can’t lay your hands on the Gmail welcome email, the next step is to check the Gmail POP and IMAP settings.

Google thinks that perhaps when you set up your account, you immediately set up POP or IMAP to redirect mail from that account to another account. So assuming you haven’t changed those settings since (the weak spot right there), you can get the date from your Gmail POP and IMAP settings.

gmail pop imap settings

But as you can see, I switched on my POP settings a few minutes ago. So if you haven’t had yours on until now, you’re not going to get an accurate creation date.

Can you think of another way to get a Google account creation date?

Read more: How to recover a Google account if lost or hacked