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Jeroen W. Pluimers on .NET, C#, Delphi, databases, and personal interests

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“the user name or password for imap.gmail is incorrect” – iPad, iPod or iPhone with iOS < 7

Posted by jpluimers on 2016/12/13

If you ever get a “the user name or password for imap.gmail is incorrect” on an iPad, iPod or iPhone with iOS version less than 7, then don’t waste time about entering captchas or fiddling with URLs: it took me 2 hours to find this is caused by GMail enforcing OAuth2 and blocking less secure apps mid 2014 after announcing it in April 2014.

Note that besides iOS < 7, these are also considered unsafe: the Mail-app on Windows Phone-version less than 8.1, some versions of desktop e-mail clients like (tadaaaaa!) Microsoft Outlook and Mozilla Thunderbird.

Almost all searches for the error message lead you into trying to opening Safari on your iOS device visiting http://www.google.com/accounts/DisplayUnlockCaptcha or switching your servers from gmail.com to googlemail.com (or back), but these tricks don’t help.

What does help is (if you really insist on using a less secure app) to enable these less secure apps in your google account: https://www.google.com/settings/security/lesssecureapps. Note this does not work when you have 2-step verification enabled.

I came across this when donating my old iPad 1 devices and the people could not use it for GMail. Since the GMail app in iTunes doesn’t support iOS 5.1.1 any more basically the devices are now glorious photo frames.

–jeroen

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