How to check the country that Google associates with your account, and how to change it
Some Google customers are receiving emails by the Internet giant currently that inform them about an update made to their Google Account".
In the email, Google states that it is associating customers with a country or region, and that the associated country is being changed in 30 days.
The email lists the current and new country that is associated with the customer.
Google claims that it does so for determining which "Google company" is responsible for the account, and which Terms of Service govern the relationship.
Here is the email that users may receive. This particular customer would have the associated country changed from Germany to Malaysia.
We associate your Google Account with a country (or region) so that we can better provide our services to you. This association is used to determine two things: The Google company that provides the services, processes your information and is responsible for complying with applicable privacy laws
The version of the Terms of Service that governs our relationship, which can vary depending on local laws.
Your country association will change within 30 days:
from Germany to Malaysia
Bear in mind that Google services are essentially the same, regardless of your country association. Also, any purchased content and banking information that you might have in your Google Account will remain the same.
The association is important for customers, as some countries or regions may offer better privacy and legal protections than others.
Check the associated country of a Google account and change it
You can open this link to open the Country Association inquiry page on the Google website.
It may display the associated country for the Google account, and enables you to request it to be changed if it is not correct.
In my case, Google did not list any country, but the majority of Google customers should see a country listed on the page. A click on the "Google's Terms of Service" link may display a specific country version as well. In my case, Germany was shown, which is correct.
The very same page has a form that you may submit to Google to request that the associated country is changed.
You select a country or region under "where do you live" and then one or multiple of the reasons for the change. Reasons include traveling a lot, using VPNs, moving to another country recently, or none of the above. The form lacks a text field to provide a custom explanation.
Google informs you that it may take weeks before you will get a reply after submitting the form, and that there is no guarantee that the country will be changed. If Google believes that the country that it associated with the account is correct, it will keep the association.
“The association is important for customers, as some countries or regions may offer better privacy and legal protections than others.” and, in the above example, “because the privacy laws in Europe are stronger than Asia” to quote the example’s concerned user.
“Google informs you that it may take weeks before you will get a reply after submitting the form, and that there is no guarantee that the country will be changed.” : dubious
One thing seems plausible : the relationship with Google’s FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts).
I don’t use any Google services, all Google requests are DNS-blocked here thanks to DeCloudUs, increasing day by day satisfaction of this decision when observing Google’s struggle to elaborate by all means its seizure on us all, together with Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft.
Melanie Safka’s “Look What They’ve Done to My Song” becomes “Look what they’ve done to our Web”. And sedition is really not my credo, but the WWW is really, already and increasingly the World Wild Web. My hope is that today’s dinosaurs get removed as those of the pas have been, as a metaphor need to say.
The problem with blocking Google that way is that services which depend on Google Pay to process transactions no longer work.
For example, I use the Japanese LINE app and they have some very comical stickers. You have to buy Coins to purchase these and Google Pay is the entity which processes payments. So blocking Google via DNS is out of the question as much as I would like to do it.
@TelV, I wasn’t aware of a Google Pay issue given I’ve never used that service. This said, blocking Google completely (as well as YouTube by the way), blocking in fact any ‘institutional’ service (those which extend far beyond their own sites) implies a certain number of consequences most of which require a bit of search & determination to find and use work-arounds; these exist but not always.
The DNS resolver I use, above mentioned DeCloudUs, has a very interesting Custom DNS feature (USD 2.33/month) which allows the user to turn on/off services (Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and many more) but also to fine tune with white and blacklists. For instance, and concerning Google, I had to add to the whitelist [translate.googleapis.com] simply because an extension I use (Translate Web Pages) needs it to translate a page, that it does handle deepL but DeepL doesn’t translate whole pages.
What I mean is that the Black & White lists feature is the exact contribution to a highly customizable DNS blocking system. And Google Pay could be as well be added to the whitelist.
I’m experiencing this no-Google, no-YouTube environment (others, such as facebbok and twitter, whatever social service has never been of my concern) and I realize this is more than feasible. Fed up with Google’s increasing inquisition, even with its bloated Web Search which gives the feeling the company considers that service as an encyclopedia when a basic user wants links for his quest not built-in quest tuning, fed up with YouTube, its consent, its bloated pages… we use Invidious instances to access YouTube videos, Google gets excited once in a while about that and tries to block several servers, these recover, others arise. We also have DailyMotion, Vimeo, nice rediscovering them but YouTube has a quasi monopoly so slightly modifyinc access to their videos (Invidious ‘proxies’) doesn’t disturb my morality. I previously had a mountain of scripts and CSSs to control Google and YouTube, all sent to garbage now. Breath, the air is nice and sweet, again.
I mean, really : I’ve had it.
Fortunately talented people arise just in time to avoid the nervous breakdown. Believe me, GAFAM is avoidable and as far as i’m concerned : avoided. Not hard finally.
Sure, it’s possible to avoid direct contact with these services, fairly easily, really. Even fairly easy to use one or some of their services without incessant hounding. Takes some digging, patience and focus with a mindset many who have experienced an entire life of phone appendaging just don’t have.
Very difficult to destroy ingrained ideas, far too simple to exploit them.
No? Then VPN’s don’t work, proxies don’t work, firewalls don’t work, secure DNS doesn’t work… Same concept, different uses.
Getting their data slaves out of GDPR-land?
While this is off course questionable in terms of privacy and data protection; apparently Google can and will transfer your account to another country (‘s data protection laws) by their own disposal. But there is also a plus side: if you receive this mail stating Google will transfer your account to Malaysia or some other country you never have been to, you might want to check if your account was not compromised by someone from that country. Just to be sure.
Didn’t list any for me as well so I changed to United States, even if that might mean no GDPR. I am rarely signed in and the content from my real country offends me when I see it on Youtube. I really am embrassed by my people.
You’re really embarrassed by your people and you chose to impersonate an American? Talk about jumping from the pot straight into the fire.
My language barrier helps a bit i guess, much like with music.
Given that you might be a professional or native speaker you don’t profit from the effect.
Google claims: “We associate your Google Account with a country (or region) so that we can better provide our services to you.”
I call 100% smelly bug-ridden B.S.
This is obviously some crap written by their nasty lawyers to protect Google’s well-exposed and ugly backside. Google couldn’t give a rat’s ass about any of us. They’ve made that clear by their actions time and time again.
It would be one thing if they were honest about their motives. But once again, Google chooses to shovel some B.S. at us hoping we can eat it and thank them for the experience.
Were they really sitting in a room and thinking “hmmm… let’s make some changes that will be a big hassle and cost a bunch of money just to help out the commonfolk.” I think not. The fact that they think we will believe their obvious B.S. is condensing and insulting.
>You can open this link to open the Country Association inquiry page on the Google website.
This one: https://support.google.com/accounts/troubleshooter/10082950?hl=en#ts=10082748
To find the country associated with your account, using any desktop browser or the Android browser:
Go to google.com
Sign in if needed
Click on your icon
Click Terms of Service
The Country is listed on the secnd line.
For those who wish to conceal their location from Google, keep in mind that you use Google services under license agreement. That’s a contract.
Google is within their legal rights to know under which country’s laws that agreement is being made. Google is liable for honoring each country’s laws.
If accounts make it impossible for Google to determine location by IP, Google can force a method of MFA that can’t be concealed by tunneling. Simpler, they could deny access to all but the services that don’t require accounts. Those services are already being systematically reduced in scope.
“Google is within their legal rights to know under which country’s laws that agreement is being made”
Legal rights? You mean in the US, am I right to assume?
What Google is legally entitled to do changes depending on where they attempt to ‘do’ whatever it is they are doing. Is that correct or am I way off? Maybe someone with better knowledge than I can confirm.
I can’t believe the nonsense I am reading in the comments.
Priceless article, I will bookmark it.
Google associates your account with a country.
They have a payment system (Google Pay) and digital stores.
Prices of products could differ from country to country, countries have different currencies, banks etc.
They allow the change the country 1 time a year.
There are many reasons for it, for example it’s important for people who migrate to another country. New country, new banks, new currency.
I have shocking news for you, people assocate their bank accounts with Google Pay and Apple Pay.
>I have shocking news for you, people assocate their bank accounts with Google Pay and Apple Pay.<
Yeah, it's simpler, buy stuff with no effort. Entering all the info with a tiny touchscreen is "Haaaaarrrrrdddd!"
Then get hounded by usery services that display pics of fuzzy small animals. This is considered fun by many. Sad.
Would we stop getting those stupid and annoying Google security messages if they knew our location. Just about every very time l sign in they say “we noticed you signed in on a new device” with a link to verify. It’s the same os , browser & network when signing in so what is their problem.
No, they’re phishing. Looking for more personal data. It’s not like their god-like targeted ads or much else they do to users works.
Google says my country is Canada but it is not I live in United States Pensacola Florida somebody is using the VPN and it’s making me look like my country is Canada but it is not it is the United States I live in Pensacola Florida Google is dumb they don’t know anything of what they’re talking about saying that. My country is corrected ITS Canada it is not I live in Pensacola Florida United States Google’s obviously corrupt when it comes to this kind of stuff.
Great article! I tried to buy an app 3 days ago and kept getting the “you have to be in the same country” error message, however it showed the correct country. I gave up as couldn’t fix it. Then 3 days later I see the email from Google that they will change my country within the next 30 days! There should be an easy way to stop this, rather than the above, hope they email me soon!
(Seems the issue is my country was set to null as just showed a “.” Maybe due to me using a VPN)
I’m having a big issue with my account and phone numbers and identity. I don’t know where to turn someone else has taken over my account and has setup all her accounts on my phone and in my name and identity. I love in the United States and have all my life and my account was in Ireland once and the United Kingdom and the Netherlands and I have no association’s with any other country. I don’t work or go to school and I don’t belong to any organization. .I have a YouTube channel and Facebook business page and I never setup any of these accounts. I am being asked to sign in to my account and it’s not my account. If I had a YouTube channel and a business I think I would know. since someone else has taken over and setup all her accounts on my phone. I don’t think I will be signing into this account. because it’s not my fault.
This article contains very specific and useful information regarding associated country of Google account, i did not find elsewhere. Many thanks for Martin Brinkmann!
THANK YOU SO MUCH for this article!! After an hour wasted trying to contact Google about this email, I finally stumbled across this article, and clicked the link. Why Google is doing this or whether or not they will actually “get back to me within a few weeks” or abort the incorrect country change does not affect how thankful I was for the link. It is criminal that Google does not simply include this link in that stupid email they send out, instead of stating that the info can be found in the TOS (it can’t). I am also bookmarking it, as someone else said. Thank you, Martin Brinkmann!!
It worked as recently as Nov 2022 ??
Link is no good anymore. Now it just goes to https://support.google.com/accounts/
I just got the notice my account will now be associated with Finland.