How Old Is Your Gmail Account? Check the Exact Date It Was Created

Do you want to know how old your Gmail account is? Knowing the date you created your Gmail account can come in really handy if you ever have to go through Gmail’s account recovery process. It’s also just interesting to know how long you’ve had your Gmail account!

Here’s how to find the exact date your Gmail account was created.

1. Find the Welcome Email

When you first create your Gmail account, friendly old Google sends you a welcome email. The exact contents of that email have changed since the service began in beta in 2004.

To find the welcome email, go to the All Mail folder (to see it, you may need to click More to expand the folders.) In the top right, hover over the pagination and click Oldest.

This will put the email you first received at the top. However, if you imported non-Gmail emails into your inbox from before 2004, the welcome email won’t be at the top. It also won’t be there if you haven’t kept all your emails.

An alternative method to find the email is to search for “welcome”, “Gmail team”, “[email protected]”, or “[email protected]”.

As a slice of history, here’s what that first welcome email opened with:

First off, welcome. And thanks for agreeing to help us test Gmail. By now you probably know the key ways in which Gmail differs from traditional webmail services. Searching instead of filing. A free gigabyte of storage. Messages displayed in context as conversations.

If you no longer have the welcome email, check your sent items—you might have sent someone an email on the day you created your Gmail account.

2. Check Your POP Settings

This is an unexpected one, but your POP settings might show the date you created your Gmail account.

To access this, click the cog icon in the top right, select See all settings, then click Forwarding and POP/IMAP. See our article on what POP and IMAP mean if you’re interested.

Within the POP download section, look on the Status line. If you’re lucky, you’ll see the following:

1. Status: POP is enabled for all mail that has arrived since [DATE]

However, if you have ever changed your POP settings, the date you made your Gmail account won’t be shown. It also won’t be shown if you’re using an organizational account that may have preconfigured the setting.

3. Try Google Takeout

Google Takeout is a service you can use to export your Google data into various formats. Back when Google+ was a thing, you could export that data to discover when your Gmail account was made. However, that’s no longer possible.

That said, if you don’t need an exact account creation date and are happy with a rough idea, Google Takeout might still prove useful—though it will require some manual searching.

You can export all of your Google data, from services like Chrome, Drive, and YouTube, and then find the earliest timestamp of activity. Again, this won’t necessarily give you the exact date, but it can help to give a ballpark.

4. Query the Google Drive API

Google provides a Drive API that developers can use to interact with Google Drive. You can query this API to find out when your Google Drive account was created. It’s likely that this is the same date as when your Gmail was created; it’s not a certainty, though, so don’t take it as gospel.

First, visit the Drive API using this link. This prepopulates the necessary fields for the query. Click Execute, then choose the Google account you wish to find the creation date for. Click Allow to authorize Google APIs Explorer to access your account.

Back on the Drive API page, the bottom-right of the window should populate with the API query. Within the application/json tab, find createdTime. This gives your Drive account creation date in year/month/date format.

To remove Google APIs Explorer from your account once you’re done, go to your Google Account and navigate to Security > Manage third-party access > Google APIs Explorer > Remove access > OK.

How Old Is Your Gmail Account?

Hopefully, you’ve been able to find out how old your Gmail account is. If not, let’s hope that Google eventually offers that information in our accounts.

If your Gmail account is ancient, you might regret the email address you chose. Don’t fear—you can create a new Google account and then transfer everything over.

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