Does the Gmail website support Microsoft Exchange server and Modern authentication?

Based on my research, Gmail on the web currently does not support Modern authentication for connecting to Microsoft Exchange server without using POP or IMAP. It seems that the Gmail app for Android and iOS supports Modern authentication, but not the Gmail website.

Microsoft has been encouraging users to transition to Modern authentication for enhanced security, and has now phasing out Basic authentication, which is less secure. However, it appears that Gmail on the web has not yet added support for Modern authentication with Exchange server. 

If you need to connect your email account to Gmail on the web, you may need to use POP or IMAP for now. It's possible that Gmail will add support for Modern authentication in the future, but there is no specific timeline available at this time further information. Please consider sending feedback in Gmail.

Note that Microsoft started to permanently disable Basic authentication for Exchange Online around January 2023.

Since it's deprecated, you need to transition to Modern authentication. Any clients or apps using Basic authentication with affected protocols (such as POP or IMAP) will receive an error and will be unable to connect to Exchange Online. To avoid issues, update your clients and apps to support Modern authentication or switch to a client or app that already supports it.

How to use Gmail “plus addressing” to quickly create unlimited unique email addresses?

Plus addressing is a simple but powerful feature that can help you get even more out of your Gmail account and have unllimited email addresses.  In Gmail, you can add a “+” symbol and any word you want to the end of your email address, and it will still reach your inbox. For example, if your email address is, you can use,, or and still receive the emails to the same inbox to filter them.

You can quickly create unique email addresses that can receive mail in an existing email account. All you have to do is add a "+" symbol and any word or combination of characters after your username and before the "@" symbol. You can then Create rules to filter your emails, like for example with your banking statement emails, and Create labels to organize Gmail with your filtering.

Does adding random dots change an email address for Gmail, do you still get the emails?

Adding dots doesn't change your address, so dots aren't why you got someone else's mail. Instead, the sender probably mistyped or forgot the correct address. For example, if someone meant to email but typed, the message went to you because you own

If someone accidentally adds dots to your address when emailing you, you'll still get that email. You do own all dotted versions. If you use Gmail through work, school, or other organization (like or, dots do change your address. To change the dots in your username, contact your admin. Reference Gmail Help center:  Dots don't matter in Gmail addresses.

If Gmail address was created or deleted in past, can it be reused by anyone in the future?

Any previously used or deleted Gmail address can’t be used by anyone else in the future. Check if you deleted the Google account or deleted the Gmail service, if so, there is only a relatively short period allowed for recovering to get your Gmail address back or reversing the account deletion.  If you change your mind or accidentally deleted your Google account, you might be able to recover it within a certain amount of time. Learn how to recover your account.

If you try creating a new account using the same email address, you will get the message, 'the username is taken', as this is due to Google's policy of not recycling deleted email addresses. It will not be possible to create an email identical to a previously used email address. 

How does my Photo EXIF and metadata work with Google Photos and in Google Takeout?

This is related to questions about Takeout and also EXIF data uploading Photos again into Google Photos.

Simply, that information stored inside the Photo itself (the photo EXIF data), would be used with uploads.

EXIF stands for Exchangeable Image File Format. Every time you take a picture with your digital camera or phone, a file (typically a JPEG) is written to your device's storage which contains EXIF data. In addition to all the bits dedicated to the actual picture, it records a considerable amount of supplemental metadata as well.

The Google Takeout .json files contain information about the photos which was added in Google Photos. For example Captions (Descriptions) added in Google Photos are not added to EXIF metadata of the photo itself but stored in a database and linked to the photo. Same is true for any modified Date/Time or Location changes done in Google.

Nothing you do in Google Photos will actually change the file's metadata. So, for example, if you change a picture's date by clicking on it in the Info panel, then download that image, the file's EXIF data stored in the photo will still show the original date taken information. Photo or video file EXIF data is not altered by Google Photos.

Changing the time and date of a picture in Google Photos does not actually modify the photo file's EXIF metadata. The time and date you set in Google Photos simply allows you to rearrange your pictures into the proper date/time order. You would have to modify the EXIF metadata stored inside the photo before uploading the photo into Google Photos, Google doesn't modify any EXIF original photo or video file data.

You can also modify the date / time online in Google Photos related to details and sort.

You can can view the EXIF internal date / time in your photos using a computer. There is free software available and also free websites that allow you to view the EXIF metadata stored in your photos.

So basically, the EXIF data of the photo will be used upon uploading.  You can also modify the details.

Steps:  ( reference help Change date & time stamps )
You can change the Google Photos sorting date and time stamps for photos and videos using a computer. When you change the date and time of your photo, the edited date and time will appear in Google Photos. But if you share it to other apps or download it, it may show the original date and time saved by your camera or software used to edit the photo prior to uploading.

  1On your computer, go to

  2Place your cursor over a photo or video. To select the items you want to update, click Select .

  3At the top right, click More .

  4Click Edit date & time. If you selected more than one item, you'll see two options.

--->  To specify a date and time for the first item and automatically adjust the dates and times for the other items as relative to that, click Shift dates & times.

--->  To set the same date and time for all the items you selected, click Set one date & time.

  5Follow the instructions to finish.

Does Google Photos allow you to upload and store duplicates for your photos or videos?

Google Photos avoids uploading exact duplicates of photos and videos. Google Photos prioritizes efficient storage. Avoiding duplicate uploads saves on space. It uses both duplicate detection and hashing methods to accomplish this feature.

Duplicate Detection: Google Photos uses a system to identify duplicate photos based on their content and metadata (data like creation date, resolution).

Hashing: Each photo is assigned a unique "hash" based on its content. If the hash of a new upload matches an existing photo's hash, Google Photos recognizes it as a duplicate.

If Google Photos detects an exact duplicate during upload, it won't re-upload the duplicate. While Google Photos tries to prevent uploading exact duplicates, there might be some situations where it happens due to variations in filenames, editing, internal photo metadata details, or upload methods.

How do I troubleshoot issues related to changing my account Google Play Store country?

Please make sure to use an Android device and reference below details, checks and steps for country change.

Advice for issue:

--->  The biggest obstacle is usually that you may be currently in or have a Google Play Family group.
--->  Try to leave or delete the current family before having any option to change Google Play country.
--->  Country changes can take up to 48 hours, but you may notice the Play country change sooner.


--->  At under Settings, the Country/Region and address must show the new country.
--->  At web under Account, Country at bottom of the screen must show your new country.


This help center article Change your Google Play country states you may not see the option to change the Play country if: 
    1.  You have changed your country within the last year.
    2.  You aren’t currently in a new country. This is based on your IP address.
    3.  You’re part of a Google Play Family Library.

(If you created a family or are part of a family in the wrong country, delete or exit your family first.)


    1.  Follow the steps to Change your home country with website.
    2.  Follow steps to Change your Google Play country using cell data on Android device.

Steps to view or screenshot your country and family group:

Google Family -

  1.  Using a computer open an incognito Chrome browser window.
  2.  Log into using the correct Google account.
  3.  Copy/paste this line into the URL.
  4.  Hit enter. This will display your current family group or "Get started".

Google Play Store subscriptions and location -

  1.  Using a computer open an incognito browser window.
  2.  Log into using the correct Google account.
  3.  From the Profile menu, click on Payments and Subscriptions.
  4.  Under Payments and Subscriptions, click the Subscriptions tab.
  5.  Scroll to the bottom of the next screen to show the Location: setting.

How do I restore with standard Android backup to get back my SMS and MMS messages?

Under standard Android, the only way to restore your messages is via factory reset of the existing device. There is also an option to use a compatible secondary device to restore during the initial Android setup process. Basically, you can restore messages on a new device or on the same one, but everything in the standard Android backup does get restored.

If any type of third-party app for SMS and MMS message backups was being used also, check with that third-party app developer for any options. For Android backup restoration, make sure to restore from the Android device cloud backup and not set-up the Android device as a new device or to copy data directly from another device.

Restoring data varies by phone and Android version. You can't restore a backup from a higher Android version onto a phone running a lower Android version. The Drive backup may be encrypted with the screen lock present on the phone at the time the backup was created. If you don't know the screen lock, there is no way to restore the backup. You will have to then set up the phone as new.

Android Restore Steps:

On a new device or after performing a factory data reset on the device, you would follow these steps:

   1.  Select the language and hit the Let's Go button at the welcome screen.

   2.  Tap Copy your data to use the restore option.

   3.  Connect to a Wi-Fi network to get started.

   4.  At the next screen, you'll see all the restore options available. Go with the A backup from the cloud option.

   5.  Sign in to your Google account.

   6.  Select I agree to Google's Terms of Service to proceed.

   7.  You'll see a list of backup options. Select the relevant one to restore data.

   8.  Hit Restore if you want all the data and settings from your previous device restored.

   9.  Hit Apps to choose what apps to install on your new device.

 10.  Your data will be restored in the background. In the meantime, you can set up a screen lock and biometric authentication.

 11.  Choose a mode of screen unlock and add your fingerprint options, etc to finish the setup.

During setup, to restore your data, follow the on-screen steps.  The process can take up to 24 hours.

If your backups are uploaded in Google, they're encrypted with your Google Account password. For some data, your phone's screen lock PIN, pattern, or password is also used for encryption. Your backup data (except what you back up to Google Photos) is erased if you don't use your device for 57 days or if you turn off backups.

Helpful references:

Google One Help - Back up your device

Google Drive Help - Manage & restore your mobile backups in Google Drive

Android Help - Switch to a new Android phone , Restore data from the cloud

Android Help - Back up or restore data on your Android device

Android Help - Reset your Android device to factory settings

How can I use Google self-assist tools and forms to help in fixing related account issues?

Below are a list of helpful Google self-service tools and forms:

Easy, automated self-service tool that lets you cancel a subscription within minutes:  Cancel a Google Play subscription

Easy, self-help flow to skip the line and submit refund requests with Play purchases:  Request your Google Play refund

Helpful self-service tool for fixing issues related to Google Payments:  Payments profile and verification troubleshooter
Helpful self-service tool for fixing issues under Google Payments:  Request a payments profile name or address update

Form to report unauthorized purchases with Google that are showing in your banking:  Report unauthorized purchases

Form to submit request for personal data not available after checking in other Google tools:  Data Access Request Form

To check and verify date of birth and age issues, use this helpful self-service tool and verify :  Check for age verification

If the country associated with account doesn’t correspond to country of residence:  Country Association Change Request

Recover your Google account using account email for the password:  Google account recovery, using your Google email

Recover account by entering phone number, also recovery email:  Google account recovery, by phone or recovery email

Google Workspace self-service tool with related domain name, Sign in:  Google Workspace/Cloud Identity: Sign in Issues

Report issue with redemption of a Chromebook offer with your new Chromebook device:  Redeem a Chromebook offer

Helpful self-service to to equest a payments profile name or address update

What are orphaned files in Google Drive and what can I do to help in fixing their issues?

An orphaned file in Google Drive refers to a file that exists in your Google Drive but is not properly linked to any folders. This can happen if the file was previously in a folder that was deleted or if the file was shared with you and then removed from the owner's Drive.

These Drive files do not show up in your standard list of Google Drive files but still take up space and be hidden on your Google account.

To help fix this issue and organize your files properly, you can review the below suggestions:

  1Search for the orphaned file: Use the search function in Google Drive to locate the file. Since it's not associated with any folders, searching for the file name or using specific keywords related to the file content can help you find it. 

  2Move the file to a folder: Once you've located the orphaned file, you can move it to an appropriate folder in your Google Drive. Right-click on the file, select "Move to," and choose the desired folder from the list.

  3Create a new folder: If you can't find a suitable existing folder to move the file into, you can create a new folder by clicking on the "New" button in Google Drive and selecting "Folder." Give the folder a name and then move the orphaned file into it.

  4Check for sharing settings: If the orphaned file was originally shared with you by someone else, make sure that the sharing settings are still valid. If the file was removed from the owner's Drive or if the sharing settings were changed, you may need to request access again or ask the owner to reshare the file with you.

To fix orphaned files in Google Drive, you can attempt the following advanced steps listed below:

  1Search for Orphaned Files:

   - Open Google Drive in your web browser.

   - Use the search bar to search for "is:unorganized owner:me" or "is:unorganized" to find files that are not located in any specific folder.

  2Restore from Trash:

   - If you find the orphaned files in the search results, it's possible that they were moved to the Trash. Right-click on the file, and select "Restore" to move it back to its original location.

  3Check Activity Log:

   - You can check the activity log in Google Drive to see if there are any recent actions that might have caused the files to become orphaned. Click on the "Recent" tab on the left sidebar, then click "View details" to see the activity log.

  4Reorganize Files:

   - If you can't find the files in the Trash or the activity log, consider organizing your files by creating new folders and moving the orphaned files into these folders. This helps re-establish a connection and prevents them from being considered orphaned.

  5Review Shared Folders:

   - If the orphaned files were originally in a shared folder, check the shared folder to see if they are still there. If not, ask the owner of the shared folder to re-add the files.

  6Check and Reconnect Sharing Settings:

   - Ensure that the files have the correct sharing settings. If they were shared with others, double-check the sharing settings to make sure they are shared with the right people or groups.

  7Recreate Links:

   - If the files were linked from another location, recreate the links by generating new shareable links and updating any references.

Remember to take caution when moving or organizing files, especially if they are shared with others, to avoid unintended consequences.

How can I schedule regular Google Takeout export archives of my data for one full year?

Google Takeout is a service that allows you to download a copy of your data stored within various Google products like Gmail, YouTube, and Drive. You should use it to create a secure backup of your important information in case of accidental deletion, account problems, or if you decide to leave Google's services. This ensures you always have control over your valuable data.

To schedule regular Google Takeout exports, follow these steps:

  1.  Visit the Google Takeout website. It is recommended to use a Google Chrome browser for the best experience.
  2.  Sign in to your Google account.

  3Select the data you want to export. Google Takeout allows you to choose from a variety of data types, including contacts, photos, Google Keep notes, Gmail, and bookmarks.

  4After selecting the data, click on the "Next step" button.

  5Choose the destination for your exported data. You can either send the download link via email or add it to Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, or Box.

  6Choose the frequency of the export, file type, and file size. Unfortunately, there is currently no fully automated way to schedule regular forever exporting. However, Google Takeout introduced a feature in May 2019 that allows you to automate the creation of one backup every two months for one year (six backups total). This can be done by filling out the archive request form on the Google Takeout website. Note that if you’re enrolled in the Advanced Protection Program, scheduled exports aren’t available. 

  7Click on the "Create export" button to initiate the export process.

  8Depending on the number and size of the files you requested, the archive creation process may take from several minutes to several days. Once the archive is complete, Takeout will send you an email with a link to the archived files. From that email, you can select "Download Archive" to begin downloading the files.

Please bear in mind that the availability of the archive is limited. You have seven days to download an archive before Google deletes it if you don't add to a storage service. Remember to regularly check the Google Takeout website for any updates or changes to the export process. Be mindful of where you store your Google Takeout archives, as they contain potentially sensitive data. Encrypt and store them securely. 

When you add your Google Takeout to services like Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, or Box, the data will remain there indefinitely unless you choose to delete it. These services don't automatically remove your Takeout after a set period. Be mindful that each service may have its own storage limits, so consider those if you have a large Takeout archive.

Remember that when you download your data using Google Takeout, it doesn't delete it from Google's servers.

Workarounds for more frequent exports:

--->  Browser Extensions: Some browser extensions claim to help automate the process of downloading multiple Takeout files in sequence. However, these can be unreliable, and Google sometimes requires you to re-enter your password, breaking the automation.

--->  Scripting: If you're comfortable with scripting (e.g., Python), you can write a script using Google's APIs to initiate Takeout exports and potentially handle the download process. This requires some technical knowledge.

--->  Third-Party Services: There might be third-party services specializing in Google data backup that offer more robust scheduling options. Do your research to find a reputable one if you choose this route.

Can I restrict or change purchases from automatically being added into a Family Library?

Eligible purchases can be automatically added to the Family Library, or you can add them yourself after you buy them.  By default, eligible purchases are automatically added to your Family Library after you create or join a family group.  You can change this setting. 

Everyone in your family group can see all the content that's been added to Family Library.  You can set up parental controls to restrict the content family members can see.

NOTE:  If you can't add content you bought to Family Library, it might be because:  (1) The content isn't eligible to be added to Family Library.  (2) You used your personal credit or debit card instead of the family payment method to purchase the movie or TV show.

View details in the related Google help center:  Use Google Play Family Library.

Change your Family Library settings:

By default, eligible purchases are automatically added to your Family Library after you create or join a family group.

To change the Family Library settings, or remove all purchase of a certain type:

  1.  Open the Google Play app.

  2At the top right, tap the Profile icon.

  3Tap Settings > Family  Family Library settings.

  4Select Apps & Games, Movies & TV, or Books.

  5Tap Don’t add automatically, I’ll do it myself, or Add items automatically when purchased > Yes, I'm in.

How do I report content found I'd like removed or updated regarding Google's services?

You can review and follow the related product steps within Removing Content From Google help center article.

For Help:  Removing Content From Google , Remove information from Google , Remove outdated content tool

How can I report a Google scam, violation or a Gmail account that is impersonating me?

Please review this help center article avoid and report a Google scam. You can report a person violating Gmail policies here.  If you believe someone has created a Gmail address to try to impersonate your identity:

--->  File a report with the Internet Crime Complaint Center

--->  Contact your state's Office of Consumer Protection

Unfortunately, Gmail is unable to participate in mediation involving third parties regarding impersonation. Learn more in Gmail Terms of Use.  

Google Safety:  Avoid and report Google scams , Google Safety Center

Help:  Create a Gmail account , Section:  Someone is impersonating me > Internet Crime Complaint Center.

If you believe an account has violated Google's Program Policies, there are multiple ways to report it:   

( Related reference: Gmail Program Policies )

--->  For general abuse use this form

--->  For child grooming use this form

--->  For copyright violations use this form

Can I get a printed receipt with tax amount and details for my storage purchase orders?

For purchase activity, Google doesn’t generate a "statement" that comes out monthly.  Google does email a receipt for each purchase. Google keeps all transactions and details on those transactions in a permanent history list.  The history is online and can be viewed or printed at any time, the steps are listed below.  Some countries get invoices generated, based on their laws.

If you can’t find the purchase confirmation email, you can get a receipt online:

 1.  Visit and sign in with your Google account.

 2.  On the left, click Subscriptions and services.

 3.  Click on View purchases.

 4.  Click each order line to view the order details and receipt.

 5.  You can print each receipt or the entire transactions page to a printer.

Print order receipt to a PDF using Google Chrome:

  1.  Go to website.
  2.  At the top, click on Activity.
  3Select the order to see the receipt.
  4.  The receipt panel will open to the right.
  5.  Click just in front of the Transaction details text.
  6.  While holding down the mouse button, select to the end.
  7.  The entire text in that panel should highlight.
  8.  Right click, a pop up menu appears, choose Print.
  9.  In print dialog, choose Destination "Save as PDF".
10.  In print dialog, choose Pages "All".
11.  In print dialog, choose Layout "Portrait".
12.  Click the Save button at bottom of dialog box.
13.  This will save that receipt correctly as a PDF file.

To convert that PDF file into Google Docs:

  1.  Upload that PDF file to the website.
  2.  At the website, right click on the file.
  3.  In the pop menu, choose Open with, then Google Docs.

How can I share with Google docs and have people prompted for 'make a copy' option?

The only way to do what you're trying to do is to share the URL but change the end of the URL after the last slash to the word copy. Here is an example using a fake URL:

Original URL: 


Delete everything after the last slash: 


Type the word copy after the slash: 


Now when you share the URL your collaborator will then be asked to make a copy of that document.

Can I share my Google account data assets to an heir in the event of a death/disability?

It is possible to set a Google account to automatically delete (or share) upon death or disability if inactive. Use the "Inactive Account Manager".  Here is the related help center reference link:  About Inactive Account Manager.

Inactive Account Manager is a way for Google users to share parts or all of your account data or notify someone if you’ve been inactive for a certain period of time.  To set it up, go to your Inactive Account Manager page and click Start.  The contacts you choose to share with will be able (after the timeout period is up) to download specified data for three months

Google’s servers will automatically either notify your trusted contacts and/or share specified data with those select contacts.  Or, at your instruction, Google can wipe the account.  Contacts will only receive notification once the account has been inactive for the specified amount of time -- they will not receive any notification during the setup.

For family or representatives, refer to the section Make a request for a deceased person's account at the help center reference link:  Submit a request regarding a deceased user's account.

Google help resources:  About Inactive Account Manager , Submit a request regarding a deceased user's account

How can I modify the YouTube URL to avoid ads with non-rated content video viewing?

Unfortunately, there isn't an official way to modify a YouTube URL to avoid ads entirely using the Google YouTube website.

Third-party workaround:

There is a specific alternate site that I would recommend that will remove ads and show the video taking up the entire screen in the browser.  You can use this site to show videos in your classroom or when sharing videos with students on personal viewing.

To use the site, simply browse YouTube, and when you want to view a video with no ads or distractions, edit the address in the URL bar. Add a hyphen (-) after the t and then hit enter. The video will play, taking up the entire browser window, and won't show any ads. This also automatically removes the pesky Related Videos sidebar along with the comments section.

URL examples:

---> Showing with ads:

---> With no ads view:

YouTube information:

There isn't a reliable way to modify a YouTube URL with Google to avoid ads entirely. Here are some reasons why:

Here are some safer alternatives to consider:

Ultimately, the best way to ensure a completely ad-free and controlled viewing experience, is with paid YouTube Premium.

Alternate YouTube method:

You can attempt to bypass YouTube ads by adding a dot after the domain, specifically on desktop browsers. The redirection happens on the server side.  So, if you want this to work using mobile browsers, use the "Request Desktop Site" feature.

Try getting rid of ads on YouTube videos by placing an extra period after the .com part of the YouTube URL. Instead of navigating to the related, you would enter in order to attempt this method in action.

URL examples:

---> Showing with ads:

---> With no ads view:

It's a commonly forgotten edge case, websites forget to normalize the hostname, the content is still served, but there's no hostname match on the browser so no cookies and broken CORS. Most of the bigger sites use a different domain to serve ads and media with a whitelist that doesn't contain the extra dot. As a note, this may work for many news websites also.

For a guaranteed ad-free experience and more control over the content, consider a YouTube Premium subscription or using the service on platforms with built-in ad blocking (if available). The URL modification methods are more of a gamble, may not work.