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I'm trying to try out BusyCal, but it requires an app-specific password, and provides an outdated link to old information about how to do this.

The page refers to an "App Specific Passwords section" under the Security settings of the Apple ID site's account management page. This section does not exist under Security, or anywhere else on that page.

There is almost certainly still a way to create app-specific passwords, but even Apple can't keep their help up-to-date, and even a company whose main product depends on users finding this information can't provide it, so Stack Exchange seemed like the best place to turn.

How (and where) do I create an app-specific password these days?

  • The screed doesn't help, especially since it's demonstrably wrong. – Marc Wilson Mar 11 at 4:50
  • Do you have two-factor authentication or two-step verification turned on for your Apple ID? If not, you cannot generate app-specific passwords, because they're irrelevant (just use the account's single password). – Gordon Davisson Mar 11 at 7:50
  • @GordonDavisson That is not correct. App-specific passwords are intended for non-Apple services, and Apple's 2FA does not apply. Myself, I have three current app-specific passwords... among them one for BusyCal amusingly enough. – Marc Wilson Mar 11 at 15:04
  • @MarcWilson I'm pretty sure you have two-factor authentication turned on for your Apple ID. As it says in HT204397: "To generate and use app-specific passwords, your Apple ID must be protected with two-factor authentication." App-specific passwords are intended to allow Apple IDs that are set to require two-factor (or two-step) auth to be used by client software that doesn't natively support that Apple's 2FA (e.g. BusyCal). – Gordon Davisson Mar 11 at 18:03
  • @GordonDavisson You know, I read "if not", as "if so". Please allow me to take my foot out of my mouth. – Marc Wilson Mar 12 at 14:09
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The missing information was provided by @GordonDavisson (and if he wants to post an answer I will accept his instead of mine):

To generate and use app-specific passwords, your Apple ID must be protected with two-factor authentication.

This is actually on the Apple Help page, but oddly not included in the section "How to generate an app-specific password" (even though it was the missing step for exactly that question) but instead buried between an explanation of what an app-specific password is (which was of no value to me) and fine print about different OS versions. I used the headers to skip right to the relevant information (which is what headers are generally for) and didn't guess that a critical piece of information would be placed elsewhere.

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It does exist, exactly where the not-outdated-at-all help information says it is.

The support article you link says:

Sign in to your Apple ID account page. In the Security section, click Generate Password below App-Specific Passwords. Follow the steps on your screen. After you generate your app-specific password, enter or paste it into the password field of the app as you would normally.

Doing this leads you to a page that looks like this:

screenshot of security options

And there you can create all the app-specific passwords you like.

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