Google Account Disabled: Why It Happens and How to Recover It

In this blog post, I'll dive into some of the reasons why your Google account might be disabled and how you can recover it again.

Google Account Disabled: Why It Happens and How to Recover It
Photo by Rajeshwar Bachu / Unsplash

Google is one of the global leaders in mailing services and best in class with its suite of other digital products. To be the best, they have to be strict about security and have tight policies and regulations. So, often users find themselves penalized and their accounts blocked for violations. So why did your Google account get disabled and what can you do to recover it?

Your Google account was likely disabled because of policy violations, age restrictions, suspicious activity, or a valid legal request. To recover your account, you will need to access the restore account page.

When your account is disabled, you can find out why it happened and learn how to recover your Google account. There are different reasons for your account being disabled and ways to recover. Read on for more info.


Why your account has been disabled

Google doesn't disable your account for no reason. In most cases, your account has been disabled due to:

(The links above will take you to the specific section)

Let's take a closer look at each of the reasons.

Suspicious activity

Google tries to keep your account as safe as possible at all times. If they see activity that might look suspicious, they can choose to disable your account for a given period to check up on things. It's really for your own good.

Some of the signs of suspicious activity may include:

  • Unfamiliar chances to your security settings
  • Changes in your two-step verification details
  • Changes to bank accounts, credit cards, etc.
  • Unusual traffic from unknown IP addresses
  • Sending or receiving a ton of mails
  • And lots of other signs of suspicious activity...

Luckily there's a solution to the problem. Click here to read about what you can do to regain access to your Google account.

Age restrictions

Google has an age limit for anyone trying to create an account. If Google somehow finds out that you lied about your age, they'll disable your account.

In most countries, children who are 12 years or younger can't create a Google account. This is because Google and its parent company collect and markets user data. In most jurisdictions, collecting and marketing data on minors is illegal. For example, according to the US Federal Trade Commission, kids are protected by the Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule.

However, with the increased use of social media, YouTube, and online learning, it has become necessary to have Google accounts for minors. These accounts offer tighter data security and more stringent data privacy. Kids under 13 can now use their own accounts, as long as a parent approves the account and acts as a supervisor.

If your account is disabled due to age restrictions, you can follow these steps to regain control of your disabled Google account.

Policy violations

Back when I was starting my entrepreneurial journey, I had the bright idea to use my Google account to make phone calls. Plus, I could just automate and send my prospects a voice recording to save time. It was the wrong call to make.

Robodialing is the use of computerized autodialers to send pre-recorded messages. Google frowns upon autodialing and flags it as a violation of their service policies. Some other policy violations that could result in your Google account being disabled include:

  • G Suite and Google Workspace acceptable use policy.
  • Child grooming and sextortion.
  • Using your account for social engineering. For example, creating a false identity to trick people into taking some action.
  • Traffic pumping, or using your Google account to send high volumes of calls to a telephone exchange.
  • Using bots to create multiple accounts.

If your account has been flagged due to policy violations, click here to find out what you can do to successfully gain access to your account again.

Yikes! Looks like you're not going to get access to your Google account anytime soon. Google takes legal requests very seriously, and if your account has been issued with a valid court order, you likely won't see it again.

Any other reason

Google has full discretionary power to decide whether or not to remove an account. Google will sometimes disable or remove an account for no apparent reason. In such cases, the Google review team uses their best judgment to determine whether an account should be removed.

In most instances, Google will not issue a notice of its intent to close the account.


How to regain access to your Google account

Hopefully you now have a somewhat idea of why your Google account has been disabled. In most cases, Google will send you an email with the subject line: Your Google account has been disabled.

Regaining access to your account is as simple as submitting a request to restore your account which you can do by clicking the button inside the mail you received.

Be patient with the process. It may take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks depending on the issue.

However, that's not always enough. Let's go through some of the other things you can do to regain access to your Google account.

Fix the suspicious activity

To fix an account that's disabled due to suspicious activity, you will first need to sign in with your regular device. Use the same phone and same browser, and possibly the same internet network or IP address.

If you are using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) encryption tool to mask your location, switch off the VPN. On the Google account recovery page, select the "Try to restore Google Account" link. The option sends you further to more account verification instructions. Answer all questions without skipping any. A recovery request form will pop up.

Insert your account details in the spaces provided. The details will include the account holder name and phone number. Submit and wait for further contact from the Google team. Check your account every day until you hear back.

Fix the age restrictions

If you're under the legal age, which is 13 years in most countries, then Google may temporarily disable your account. If it's a mistake and you're of age, you can recover your account by identifying that you're old enough.

If your Google account is disabled due to wrong suspicions of you being underage, you can follow these instructions:

  1. Before starting the process, you may need a digital copy of a document showing your age. Acceptable documents may include a driver's license, any government-issued ID, a passport, a birth certificate, or other.
  2. Go to the official Google login page
  3. Enter your sign-in credentials for the disabled account
  4. Click on the option "Try to Restore"
  5. Google will take you to a new page where you will be asked to enter your personal information
  6. Follow the on-screen prompts to restore your Google account

Fix the policy violations

If Google suspects your account of policy violations, you may receive the message “Google Accounts are usually disabled because Google detects a policy violation”. Once your account is disabled, you will need to provide identification and show that you're the owner of the Google account. You may also have to show that you've not violated any Google policies.

To fix an account that's disabled due to policy violations, take the following steps:

  1. Go to the official sign-in page of Google.
  2. Use your regular device and regular browser. Switch off any VPN tools.
  3. Click on the link that says "Learn more."
  4. Click on the link that says "Ask us to restore your account."
  5. Choose one method for restoring your Google account. The page will offer a few options depending on suspected violations.
  6. A pop-up form may appear where you will need to answer security questions. Answer all questions.
  7. Click on the 'Submit' button.

What happens if your Google account is disabled?

A disabled Google account could be devastating. If you've integrated Google products into your business and personal ecosystem, you could lose access to your Gmail, G Drive, Google Photos, and even your wallet on Google Pay.

For android users, losing access to your Google account could also mean losing access to your phone. With a disabled account, you would no longer be able to sync your data, access Google Contacts, access apps that require a Google sign-in or get notifications from your apps.

Consider this list of digital properties owned by Alphabet, Google's parent company.

When Google notices a violation of its terms, it might notify you of its intention to disable your account. If you don't correct the issue on time, your account may be disabled or even banned.

If your account is disabled, you will get an error message when you try to log in. You may lose access to some of Google's digital services. You may also lose access to files and data stored on your account.

If you take too long to recover your account, you may lose your data permanently. To avoid data losses, take steps to restore or reactivate your account immediately.


How long does a Google account stay disabled?

A Google account may stay disabled for 24 hours or longer, depending on the type of violation. With that temporary ban, you may receive a warning that says, “Action Required: Your Google Account is Temporarily Disabled”.

Google eventually deletes disabled accounts. So you could lose your account if you don't act fast soon after it's disabled.


What's next?

In case Google doesn't reactivate your account after trying the above methods, you can directly contact Google customer support for instant help. Once your account is reactivated, you should try and identify why your account was disabled in the first place.

Check your Gmail, YouTube, and payment history for any suspicious activity. Improve your security by changing your passwords. If you've not done it yet, enable two-step verification. The next time Google disables your account they might delete it permanently, so abide by their policies and the law.