Google's Increased Security Causes Email Clients Stop Synching Gmail

Google's Increased Security Causes Email Clients Stop Synching Gmail

Google has made changes to its security measures, effective today, to block unauthorized access to Google accounts. If you use one of the email clients listed below to sync Gmail, you will not be able to receive email without making a setting adjustment.

The error message that is emitted may be confusing. Instead of providing a note that the email client doesn't meet Google's new security standards, you will most likely receive just a "Password Incorrect" message. I can see many Gmail users thinking their account has been hacked with such a simplistic message. And, many will jump out to Google to change their password, only to find that changing the password wasn't the solution.

Google has made a new Settings page available to alter how applications access Google accounts. Changing the setting to "Disable" will enable your email client to sync Gmail again. You must be signed-in with your Google account to make the change.

The Settings page is here: Allow less secure apps

Here is a shortlist of affected email clients:

  • Email app on iPhone or iPad with iOS6 or below
  • Email app on Windows Phone versions prior to 8.1
  • 3rd party email apps on Android devices
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Mozilla Thunderbird

The problem with these email clients is that they work with Basic Authentication. Google has increased its security measures to block access to Google accounts after July 15, 2014 if those accounts are being set up or synced in apps and on devices that use Basic Authentication. So, while the list above is good, it probably will not cover all the apps affected by the switch. If your specific email app isn't working with Gmail, try altering the Settings page.

Once you've made the change successfully, you'll receive an email confirmation (to an alternate account) like this one:

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