How to log out of your Gmail account remotely

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Sometimes you have to use a public computer to check your email.  Maybe you are at school or in a library and the only access you have is one of the public computers.  Or, you might be at a friend’s house and log in to your email account.

Then later that day, after you’re back home, you realize – you forgot to log out of your email on that other computer.  What do you do now?  After all, anyone that uses that computer could just sit down and read your emails.  Someone could even send emails to your contacts, pretending to be you.  Is it time to panic?


First step: stop worrying.  Chances are good that no one has even noticed it yet (depending on how much time has passed of course).  And even if someone does see that there’s a computer that is already logged into someone’s email, it doesn’t mean that they will start thinking of malicious things to do.  If I came across a public computer like that, I would just click “Log out” – problem solved.

However, you do still need to take some action to make sure your account DOES get logged out on that other computer.

– If it is a library or other public computer, you could call the library and ask the librarian to go check the computer and log out for you.  Or if it is close by, you could just go there and do it yourself.

– If you were using a friend’s computer, and you trust that person, you could call and ask him or her to log out of your email account.

If you use Gmail, there’s an easier way.

Gmail gives you a way to log out of your email account – remotely.  So you don’t have to be sitting at that other computer in order to log out of your email account.

Here’s how you do it:

1. Log in to your Gmail account at

2. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page, and you will see this:

remote Gmail logout

3. Click on “Details” and you you will see this:

Gmail remote logout

4. Click “Sign out all other sessions” and you’re done.  Whatever computers had you logged in, no longer will show your account as logged in.

As a precaution, it’s a good idea to check the “Recent activity” log that is shown, and see if there was activity on your Gmail account that doesn’t match with what you know was your own activity.  You could also check the “Sent” emails and see if anything was sent out by someone other than yourself.

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Moe Beaudin
August 12th, 2013

If you logged in at home and then logged out immediately, wouldn’t that
automatically log you out of any gmail account that was open? So if
someone at the library tried to do anything they would get a new sign in
page before they were allowed to do anything on that account.

Scott Johnson
August 15th, 2013

I don’t know if logging in and logging out would also log you out of other computers. But following the procedure listed in the post would definitely do it.

Pam Costa
August 28th, 2013

Thanks a million for your great tips and info that you share Scott. Always timely and easy to understand. I appreciate you.

Pam Costa

Scott Johnson
August 28th, 2013

Thanks Pam!