A few days ago, a friend of mine who sells Mexican hamacas here in Czechia ran into a problem with his old but beloved Microsoft Outlook 2010. Previously, Google had correctly forced him to turn on two-factor authentication (2FA) for his Gmail account. Suddenly, his Microsoft Outlook stopped receiving emails on the Gmail account, saying:
Password incorrect. Luckily, I remembered the Google App Password workaround, which can also be used to send email via Google Account from third party applications like Plausible or Mastodon.
There have been reports of Microsoft support trying to sell rather than help. Simply by saying that Outlook 2013 can’t sign in to Gmail and that customers need to buy a new copy of Microsoft Office. This isn’t true. It is possible for Microsoft Outlook 2013 and earlier to connect to Google Gmail and/or Google Workspace accounts, just like Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2007, despite what you may have heard.
Google has improved login security by implementing OAuth, which requires two-factor authentication (2FA). Outlook 2016 and later can sign in to Gmail accounts using two-step verification and OAuth. Outlook will walk you through the steps, including an additional one-time verification code. But Outlook 2013 and earlier aren’t directly compatible with the new sign-in security system. However, Google has provided a workaround called App Password. This isn’t just a Microsoft problem. Older versions of Apple Mail, iOS Mail and other email clients like Windows Mobile have the same login problem.
Steps to follow
Important: To create an app password, you need 2-Step Verification on your Google Account.
If you use 2-Step-Verification and get a
password incorrect error when you sign in, you can try to use an app password.
- Go to your Google Account.
- Select Security.
- Under Signing in to Google, select 2-Step Verification.
- At the bottom of the page, select App passwords.
- Under the sentence Select the app and device you want to generate the app password for.
- Select app most likely Mail and Select device with the best option Windows Computer.
- Select Generate.
- To enter the app password, follow the instructions on your screen. The app password is the 16-character code that generates on your device.
- Select Done.