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This is an issue that I run across every time I modify my two-step verification settings in Gmail or set up a new phone. I've asked this question to Google enough times. Now I think I'm qualified to ask it to myself.

If you've set up Gmail as your default Mail app account and you use two-step verification, then Mail won't work if you haven't properly set up your device (and you might not even know it's not working if you're using the Gmail app as your main mail app until you try to share via email something in another app and realize it never gets sent).

There doesn't seem to be a simple user-friendly answer to this problem out there, so after running into this issue and solving it yet again, I figured I'd write out instructions for others to follow.

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1 Answer 1

So you've already set up two-step verification in Gmail... (If not, now is probably a good time to do so.)

But now you can't use your regular old Gmail password to sync Gmail to your iOS Mail app. You will have to sign into Gmail on your phone using a special designated app password which you can find by signing into Google at your two-step settings page:


Then click the "App-specific passwords" tab, and then the "Manage application specific passwords" button.

At this point you may find that you've already set up an app-specific password for your device, but if you've reconfigured your two-step settings recently, then you'll need to "Revoke" access and set up a new one.

Set up a new app specific password for Mail by selecting "Mail" on my "iPhone" (or other iOS device) in the dropdowns and click "Generate".

Next, follow the directions provided by Google:

  1. Open “Settings” on your iPhone.
  2. Select “Mail, Contacts, Calendars”.
  3. Select your Google Account from the list of available accounts.
  4. Edit your account information and replace your password with the 16-character password shown below.

It's as easy as that.

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Bingo. This is what I do to configure YouTube on my Rokus, Apple TVs, and iOS devices. –  Patrick McMahon Dec 4 '14 at 17:51

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