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How to use Gmail without a phone number

Do you need a phone number to set up a Gmail account?
By
June 17, 2022

Many people seem to think that because you can access Gmail on your phone, you need a phone number to set up a new Gmail account. But is that really the case? While Google does recommend that you add a phone number to your Gmail account for security purposes, is one essential? Or can you get away with not adding a number at all? Can you use Gmail without a phone number?

Read more: How to set up a new Google account on your Android device

QUICK ANSWER

You don't need a phone number to use Gmail or any Google service for that matter. While adding a phone number is recommended to receive verification codes and password reset links, it isn't essential. However, if you add a phone number, you can only add the same number to four Google accounts.

How to use Gmail without a phone number

To put it quite simply, you don’t need to have a phone number on a Google / Gmail account. Google heavily promotes the idea to contact you with verification codes and assist with account lockout situations. But if you choose to withhold your number, nothing bad will happen. Your Google / Gmail account will continue to work as usual.

If you decide to add your phone number for security purposes, you can only use the same number for up to four different accounts. After that, you can use a different security verification process, such as two-factor authentication or a Yubikey.

But if you’ve reached your four account limit, you don’t want to use another verification method, or you don’t want Google to know your phone number, sign up for an account as usual, and keep the phone number field blank. As you can see, it’s clearly marked as optional.

gmail without phone number

It’s recommended, however, to add a recovery email address to all of your other Gmail addresses, so Google has something to contact you with if you’re locked out of your account. You should also set your age to 15 years old on both the account you’re setting up and the recovery email, as this apparently tells Google you likely don’t have your own phone yet. But really, how many 15 year old’s don’t have their own phone these days?

Another option is to use a dummy number to receive an SMS verification from Google. One such free service is Free SMS Verification.

free SMS verification

When you sign up for a Google account on your phone, and it asks you for a number, you can enter a dummy number mentioned above. Or you can tap the Skip link to bypass the need for a phone number altogether.


Read more: How to set up a Gmail account in less than 2 minutes

FAQs

Yes, it can — go to your Google account, then Personal Info–>Contact Info–>Phone. Click the pencil to edit the number, or the trash can to delete the number entirely.

Google asks for these procedures to stop spam robots from signing up. Is there anything in the email address that would make Google think you’re a spam robot? Maybe the email is iamarobot@gmail.com? If so, change the username. Also, switch off your VPN if you have one on, as some web services (especially Google) see that as a possible automated robot signing up.