Do you wish to discover the age of your Gmail account? Knowing the date you established your Gmail account might be very useful if you ever need to use Gmail’s account recovery service. It’s also fun to see how long you’ve had your Gmail account!
Here’s how to determine when your Gmail account was established.
1. Find the Welcome Email
When you initially set up your Gmail account, Google sends you a welcome email. Since the service’s beta launch in 2004, the specific contents of the email have changed.
Go to the All Mail folder to discover the welcome email (to see it, you may need to click More to expand the folders.) Hover over the pagination in the upper right and choose Oldest.
This will prioritize the first email you received. If you imported non-Gmail emails into your inbox before 2004, the welcome email will not be at the top of the list. It will also be missing if you haven’t saved all of your emails.
As an example, consider the following excerpt from the initial welcome email:
First and foremost, welcome. And thank you for agreeing to assist us in testing Gmail. You’ve undoubtedly figured out how Gmail differs from typical webmail providers. Instead of filing, I’m searching. A gigabit of free storage. Conversations are shown as messages in context.
If you no longer have the welcome email, check your sent items—you may have sent an email to someone on the day you started your Gmail account.
2. Check Your POP Settings
This may come as a surprise, but your POP settings may indicate the date you established your Gmail account.
To get to this, click the cog symbol in the upper right corner, then pick See all options, then Forwarding and POP/IMAP. If you’re curious, see our article on the differences between POP and IMAP.
Look at the Status line in the POP download section. If you’re fortunate, you could see the following:
\s1. POP is now enabled for all mail received since [DATE].
However, if you’ve ever altered your POP settings, the date you created your Gmail account will no longer be shown. It will also not be shown if you are using an organizational account that has the option predefined.
3. Try Google Takeout
Google Takeout is a service that allows you to export your Google data in a variety of formats. When Google+ was still a thing, you could export that data to find out when your Gmail account was created. That, however, is no longer feasible.
However, if you don’t need a precise account creation date and are OK with a reasonable estimate, Google Takeout may still be useful—though it may need some manual research.
You may export all of your Google data from services such as Chrome, Drive, and YouTube and then search for the earliest timestamp of activity. Again, this will not give you a specific date, but it will give you a ballpark.
4. Query the Google Drive API
Google offers a Drive API via which developers may communicate with Google Drive. This API may be used to determine when your Google Drive account was established. This is most likely the same date as when your Gmail was established; nevertheless, this is not a guarantee, so don’t take it as gospel.
First, go to the Drive API by clicking on this link. This populates the query’s required fields. Click Execute, then choose the Google account for which you want to obtain the creation date. Allow Google APIs Explorer access to your account by clicking Allow.
Back on the Drive API page, the API query should appear in the bottom-right corner of the window. Find createdTime in the application/json tab. This displays the date your Drive account was created in year/month/date format.
When you’re through using Google APIs Explorer, go to your Google Account and browse to Security > Manage third-party access > Google APIs Explorer > Remove. Take away access > OK.
How Old Is Your Gmail Account?
Hopefully, you were able to determine the age of your Gmail account. If not, we can only hope that Google will ultimately include such information in our accounts.
If your Gmail account is old, you may come to regret the email address you used. Don’t worry—you can establish a new Google account and then transfer your data.
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