I have setup Two Step Verification for my Google account and all is well getting into email from a browser, or from the Safari browser on my phone.

However, I cannot get Mail.app to work. It just tells me the password is wrong. I am using an application specific password generated from the account access page in Google, tried two, still no go.

How can I get the Mail.app to actually work with this?


7 Answers 7


Have you setup and install the iPhone App "Google Authenticator" ??


  • 1
    From this Google support page : google.com/support/accounts/bin/… "Google Authenticator cannot generate application-specific passwords. Google Authenticator only generates verification codes, which are used to sign in to Google through a web browser." I don't think this will help with mail.app
    – robzolkos
    Apr 27, 2011 at 14:44
  • It only authenticates the devices, not the program.
    – Kevin
    Apr 27, 2011 at 14:45
  • @RobZolkos If you read what is written in the link you'll need to go to "2-step verification settings page", where you then after step #3 will read this: "Afterwards, you'll need to create application-specific passwords. Learn more" Apr 27, 2011 at 15:39

Open up the keychain application and locate the password that it has stored for your gmail account. Now delete it.

Then retry the process you have, ensure you put in your application specific password, and then ensure you press the checkbox that says to save password to keychain.

Further instructions and Mail.app specific screenshots here.

I believe that mail.app is using an older stored email and this is preventing access. I am assuming of course that mail.app was working perfectly for you before you started using two step authentication.

  • Yes, it was working fine until I implemented two step. Where is the keychain app on my iPhone?
    – Kevin
    Apr 27, 2011 at 14:22
  • 1
    Sorry, misread, thought you were on a mail.app on a mac. My bad. OK, try this, get a new application specific password on your iphone in safari, quickly copy and paste it into the password field in mail.app. I believe the password is only valid for an extremely short amount of time. Let me know if that works.
    – robzolkos
    Apr 27, 2011 at 14:29
  • Still didn't work.
    – Kevin
    Apr 27, 2011 at 14:55
  • @RobZolkos: The passwords are valid until they are manually revoked.
    – user1686
    Apr 27, 2011 at 15:07
  • @gawity - my understanding is that until they are actually being used they remain valid for a short amount of time. Once actively being used, you are right, they remain valid until revoked.
    – robzolkos
    Apr 27, 2011 at 15:10

Got it working by providing an application specific password instead of the usual gmail password. It would be a 16 char password and not the six char authentication verification code.


that captcha thing fixed it


Adding a 16 digit application specific password into the normal password field works fine for me.

  • Your answer is rather vague... Do you mind clarifying it with some more details?
    – Michiel
    Nov 16, 2012 at 8:07

Important note you need to create two passwords one for IMAP and one for SMTP

  • 1
    What if the answer is saying (rightly or wrongly) that you need to set up one password for outgoing email and another password for incoming mail.
    – bmike
    Dec 5, 2012 at 19:51

Two step verification didn't worked for me, I tried both Exchange, and Gmail. The following solves my problem

1) The display captcha https://www.google.com/accounts/DisplayUnlockCaptcha

2) Then using the Mail -> Gmail worked (Exchange still didn't worked).

PS: You always need to use your 16 digit generated password in the above steps.

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