How to unlock an email password

Updated March 23, 2017

To prevent someone else from stealing your password, password forms for e-mail sometimes lock if you attempt to enter your account with the wrong password too many times in a set period. If you find that a password form is locked, there are a number of ways that you can unlock it. The easiest thing to do is to wait for it to clear.

Read the email program's terms of use and services, usually found on the bottom of the login page, to find out the amount of time you'll be locked out for. Sometimes it is an hour and other times a day. Wait that amount of time, and the form will be automatically unlocked. However, if you continue to try with the wrong password, it will lock you out again.

Use the "Contact Us" link on the bottom of your e-mail login page. Call or e-mail (from another account) the customer service number for the email program. Explain that your account has been locked and why. They might be able to unlock it for you, if you can prove you own the account.

Clear the cache of your computer, as sometimes the password lock appears as a saved or cached page, when in reality you are not locked out of your account. Clearing the cache is done in different places depending on the browser you use, but you can find the option under "Options," "Tools" or the main menu for your browser.


You might want to try another computer or another location, as sometimes the password lock feature is activated by IP address, and you might be able to access the form from a different IP.

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About the Author

Terrance Karter has served as a reporter, reviewer and columnist for "The Exponent," as well as a contributor to the "Shelterbelt," both based in northeast South Dakota. Karter holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from Northern State University in South Dakota.