Mail.app has stopped accessing several of my gmail accounts. It gives the generic error "Mail can't connect to the account "xxxx". Enter the password for user "myusernamehere". When I enter the correct password, it circles back to this error. Going directly to gmail, I can login with that same password.

One of the two accounts with this problem is a new one I was setting up, but the other is my "main" account which has been in use with mail.app for years.


The fix is to login to the google account affected, and then go to https://www.google.com/settings/security/lesssecureapps and select "Enable" for the question "Access for less secure apps."

Apparently this results from a change Google made several months ago to improve security, which is indeed becoming more and more important as Google accounts are tied to a wider and wider range of uses. It is a mystery to me why it suddenly prevented my logging in now, but I wanted to share the solution I found in case anyone else encounters the same problem.


I think relaxing security is the wrong answer to this problem, which I have just encountered myself. Instead I downloaded EasyMail for Gmail, which supports the 2-step verification now required by Google. It seems fine, though I found the ads annoying so I upgraded for £3.89 to make it ad-free for life.

  • While this may be the issue they are having. I'd recommend using the default Gmail app for mail (or Inbox for Gmail) if they have two-factor authentication turned on. But this question didn't detail that they have it on. – Melvin Jefferson Jun 1 '18 at 21:49

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