How to Allow Less Secure Apps to Access Gmail

How to Allow Less Secure Apps to Access Gmail

Do you get a “password incorrect” error trying to set up Gmail in your email program? Find out here how to allow less secure apps for Gmail access and configure Gmail to work with all email programs using POP or IMAP.

First, Wait and Look Behind

Look behind! Do you see a long line of patient people queueing up? Good!

Waiting in a queue and seeing the line grow behind you makes experiences—at a theme park, say, or the post office?—more valuable. You are gaining access, after all, to something everybody wants.

Want access to Gmail in your favored email program, and all you get is an error message telling you that your password (which you know is correct, because you have just used it to log in to Gmail) is incorrect?

Let’s fix that and allow what Google deems less secure apps Gmail access. Please be so kind and queue up back there.

How to Allow Less Secure Apps to Access Gmail (Mail, Outlook, Pegasus Mail…)

Starting with May 30, 2022, Gmail no longer allows “less secure” access using the account password.

Do create a Gmail app password for each email program instead.

Time needed: 5 minutes.

To allow “less secure apps” to access Google so you can set up a Gmail account in email applications that do not support OAuth2 authentication:

  1. Click your account’s avatar or initials in your Gmail’s top right corner.

  2. Select Manage your Google Account on the sheet that has appeared.

    Tip: You can also open your Google Account page directly; sign in if prompted.
    Select “Manage your Google Account”

  3. Go to the Security category on the left.

  4. Follow the Turn on access link under Less secure app access.

    Note: Less secure apps access does not work with 2-step authentication. With 2-step authentication enforced, do create a Gmail app password for each application instead.
    Click "Turn on access" to allow less secure apps Gmail access

  5. Turn ON Allow less secure apps:.

    Less secure app access off by default: It is best to allow less secure apps only when there is no alternative—and to look for an alternative, then disable access again.
    "Allow less secure apps: ON" for Gmail

Now, you can set up Gmail in most email programs using POP or IMAP; make sure

How to Allow Less Secure Apps for Gmail Access: FAQ

What does “less secure” mean? Am I in danger if I use such apps?

An app is less secure if it

  • sends your account’s password over the internet, in the worst case unencrypted in plain text or
  • stores your Gmail password locally, again without encryption in the worst case.

This makes it easier to intercept or steal your password. You are not necessarily in danger, however, just more at risk.

(How to allow less secure apps to access Gmail tested in Mail for macOS; updated May 2022)

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