How To: Recover A Hacked or Compromised Email Account


Today, my email account was compromised and used to send out spam.  Thankfully, I was able to login to my account which is hosted with Google Apps and change the password before most of the spam emails were able to be sent out, thus successfully minimizing the amount of potential damage.  That being said, if you did receive an email from me containing a single link, please disregard and delete the email – I didn’t send it!

But what if you aren’t able to login to your account and change the password?  Well, all web based email services such as Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo Mail all have password recovery options which you should use as soon as you are aware that your account has been compromised.  Most of the time by using the password recovery/reset feature you should be able to regain access to your account.

However, if for some reason you are still unable to access your account, I would recommend checking out the following links: for Gmail, for Hotmail/Live Mail, for Yahoo Mail.  Once you have regained access to your account the first thing you should do is change your password.  Choose a strong and unique password.  We’ve written a few articles on password security and how to create good passwords in the past which I would recommend you read.

After you have changed your password, the next thing you should do is check your email signature to ensure it hasn’t been modified in any way to include spam links.  Along with your signature you will want to double check your automated response setting to make sure it hasn’t been switched on.  If it has been enabled, make sure you turn it off and remove any message that has been set.

You will also want to check that the Send Mail As feature (may not apply to all email services) is using the correct email address.  In addition, check that your mail forwarding feature (if used) is using the correct email address.

After completing all of these steps, you should have complete control over your account once again.  For some more tips on protecting your email account, check out this useful information from Google (it applies for all of your accounts on the web).

Have you ever had an email account hacked or compromised?  Do you have any other advice on what to do to recover a hacked or compromised email address?  Leave a comment!

— Jeff Weisbein

Jeff is the founder & CEO of BestTechie. He has over 10 years of experience working with technology and building businesses. He loves to travel and listen to music.

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  1. Someone hacked my Livemail account and changed my security question. I have emailed customer service for help but I haven’t gotten an answer.

    I would like to add few more things here:

    I have already changed my password as soon as I got know that my account being compromised. 

    But now am not able to send emails I have control on my account  but cannot send any mails and other skydrive activity.

    Please hlep me!

  2. I’ve got the same problem….i need help ,i need my email adress back someone can help?

  3. Anonymous says:

    My hotmail account was hacked.  Hacker had already changed my password by the time I found out 3 hrs later when I contacted the help center . Help center is a joke. Cannot find an address or phone # for customer service. I just want my mail & pics back the hacker can have the account. Isn’t there a faster way to recover the account?????? HELP!!!!

  4. i got hacked the other day on my gmail account and they changed the recovery password and phone #.  I know google uses the recovery form to determine if they should give back your account, but does anyone know how google determines this as some of the security questions i can not remember or are irrelevant.  do they use ip address as a consideration?  any feedback would help!

  5. Deanasmith says:

    my email Hotmail account has been hacked.  the hacker has already sent out letters to my contacts asking for financial assistance.  I have tried numerous times to reset my password . The help centre keeps saying too many attempts to recover try later.  Help center is a joke I just want my mail back. 
    Isn’t there a faster way to recover the account?????? HELP!!!! .T

  6. My account ”[email protected]” has been hacked any that bastard has changed the security question and Password too…how can i regain it after everything lost…plz plz if someone who knows how to regain or regained that accounts password…Do mail me plz…”[email protected]”  to this account.

  7. Junecaunt says:

    My yahoo account was hacked and contacts asked for money.  It seems easy for the hackers and hard to recover the account BUt Yahoo have been working on it since Saturday hope is eternal

  8. please my account has been hacked, the password changed and the security question. pls help me out

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