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Unlinking your email address from a locked account

You can remove the connection between your email address and a locked account. The email address is then available for you to link it to a new or existing account, maintaining your commit history.

Notes:

  • Following these steps will not provide access to the locked account, but instead unlink the associated email address so it may be used for a different account. If you cannot regain access to the locked account, these steps will permanently break the link between the account and the linked email address. Before continuing with this article, be sure you have lost all access to your account. For more information, see "Recovering your account if you lose your 2FA credentials."

  • If you recover access to your locked account, you can re-link an unlinked email address. For more information, see "Adding an email address to your GitHub account."

About unlinking your email address

Since an email address can only be associated with a single GitHub account, unlinking your email address from a locked account allows you to link that email address to a new or existing account. Additionally, linking a previously used commit email address to a new account will connect your commit history to that account. Unless you have chosen to keep your email address private, your account's commit email address is the same as your account's primary email address. For more information, see "Setting your commit email address." Be aware that nothing else associated with your locked account, including your repositories, permissions, and profile, will transfer to your new account.

Note: Backup email addresses are not associated with your commits. Unlinking a backup email address and linking the email address to a different account will not connect your commit history to that account.

Unlinking your email address

  1. Navigate to https://github.com/login.

  2. To prompt two-factor authentication, type your username and password, then click Sign in.

  3. On the "Two-factor authentication" screen, click Use a recovery code or request a reset.

    Screenshot of the two-factor authentication prompt with emphasis on the "Use a recovery code or request a reset" link

  4. On the "Two-factor recovery" screen, click Try recovering your account.

    Screenshot of the two-factor recovery prompt with emphasis on the "Try recovering your account" link

    In the pop-up window that appears, click I understand, get started.

    Screenshot of the "Recovering your account" pop-up window with emphasis on the "I understand, get started" button

  5. To send an email containing a one-time password to each email address associated with your account, click Send one-time password.

    Screenshot of the email verification screen with emphasis on the "Send one-time password" button

  6. To verify your identity, type the one-time password from your email in the "One-time password" text field.

    Screenshot of the email verification screen with emphasis on the "One-time password" text field

    Click Verify email address.

    Screenshot of the email verification screen with emphasis on the "Verify email address" button

  7. To begin unlinking an email address from the locked account, click Start unlinking email.

    Screenshot of the account recovery screen with emphasis on the "Start unlinking email" button

  8. On the "Unlink Email" screen, click Continue.

    Screenshot of the unlink email screen with emphasis on the "Continue" button

  9. In the inbox of the email account you want to unlink, open the email with the subject "[GitHub] Unlink this email."

    • Optionally, to unlink multiple email accounts, in the inbox of each account you want to unlink, open the email with the subject "[GitHub] Unlink this email," then complete the following steps.
  10. In the email, click Unlink this email.

    Screenshot of the email to unlink the email address from an account with emphasis on the "Unlink this email" link

  11. To finish unlinking your email, on GitHub.com, click Unlink.

    Screenshot of the unlink email screen with emphasis on the "Unlink" button

  12. Optionally, to create a new account and link your newly unlinked email, click Create a new account.

    Note: You can also link your unlinked email to an existing GitHub account. For more information, see "Adding an email address to your GitHub account."

    Screenshot of the "Email unlinked" screen with emphasis on the "Create a new account" button

  13. Optionally, if you have any form of payment set up on the locked account, contact GitHub Support to cancel future payments. For example, you might have a paid subscription or sponsor developers through GitHub Sponsors. If you are sponsored through GitHub Sponsors, please mention this so that the team can help you migrate your sponsorships.