At some point, while using your Google Account, you will be asked to connect your phone number. This prompt can be both a blessing and a curse, depending on how you look at it.
It’s more commonly used for two-factor authentication.
Two-factor is a highly secure function that allows you to receive a one-time-use code via text, as a means to prevent unauthorized users from gaining access to your account, even if they have your password. It’s useful and helps boost security big time.
Of course, there are other reasons why you need to connect a phone number to your Google account.
It’s used with Google Calendar, Chrome and browser sync, Google Pay, and even to personalize the ads you see. The whole ads thing likens to the curse and is a solid reason why you might not want Google to have your number on hand.
Removing your number — for any reason — is a bit more complicated than providing it. It can be downright frustrating trying to figure out how to get your number unlisted from Google’s backend.
Here are some tips that will help you:
Change How Your Number Is Used
Via numerous Google services — especially on Android — there are many ways in which your number may be used. Luckily, you have full control over this and can stop it outright if you desire.
- Open your device settings by choosing the gear icon and navigate to Google > Google Account
On Desktop or another device:
The next steps are the same for all platforms.
To change how your number is used:
- Choose the Personal Info option. You’ll be presented with a list of your personal information.
- Choose Phone under the Contact Info section. You should see your active phone number listed, and you’ll also see a Usage section that reveals services accessing your number. Some examples include 2-Step Verification, Google Calendar, Google Chrome, and Google Pay.
- Tap on the service you wish to change. Choosing a service will take you to the appropriate account settings page.
Disable Account Recovery Usage and Delete Your Number
When you first sign-up for a Google Account, you’ll be prompted to enter a phone number as an account recovery option.
This means that when you have trouble signing in, you can receive verification messages on your phone. It’s a useful feature indeed, but what if you don’t want it active?
To Delete your number from Google:
- Open your Google account > Security.
- Scroll down and click Recovery Phone.
- Enter your Google password to verify your identity.
- Click the bin to delete your recovery number.
Important: After you remove the recovery number, there is only one failsafe left should you lose access and that’s your recovery or alternate email. If you do not have one specified, make sure to do that now. If you do have one, do not remove it without activating recovery via phone again.
Disable Two-Factor Authentication
If you want to disable two-factor authentication completely, here’s how you go about it.
First, open your Google account security settings.
- On Android: Settings (gear icon) > Google > Google Account > Security
- On Desktop, Mac, Chromebook, and other devices: Visit MyAccount (Google Account Settings) > Security
Next, the steps are the same no matter what device you’re using.
- In the security section, click 2-Step Verification.
- Enter your Google password.
- Tap the blue Turn Off button.
You may also disable or edit Google Prompt here, as well. Just below the Turn Off section, you’ll see Your Second Step with a list of active devices connected to your Google Account. You can either remove devices from the list or disable the prompt function entirely.
When you disable two-factor, Google Prompt will also be disabled automatically.
After following these steps, your number should be safely scrubbed from Google’s services. If you’d like to know more about the phone number storage and usage process, you can read Google’s FAQ.
If you run into any issues during the removal process or still need assistant after deleting your number, feel free to leave a comment below!