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I use Gmail. Recently I received an e-mail from Google informing me that my account may have been compromised. I verified this by logging into Google itself where I got the same message: that they had recently blocked an attempt to sign in. The problem is, when examining the login history, it just stated "unknown device" - and did not reveal any IP address. I had no way of telling whether it was actually one of my own devices, or someone else who was attempting to access my account.

I decided to play it safe and change my Google password anyway. So far so good. However, when attempting to change it on my iPhone I encountered a problem. When I tapped "Done", I got a pop-up message

Invalid Email address
Please enter a valid email address for this account.

I was unable to save the new password. My e-mail address had not been changed: the only thing I wanted to do was change the password recorded on the account settings. Suspecting that it might be an issue with my iPhone, I tried it on my iPad - with exactly the same result.

The strange thing is that when I typed in my OLD password, it worked (i.e it allowed me to save the settings screen: it did not allow access to mail, because it was the wrong password).

Does anyone know what's going on? Unfortunately I can't include a screenshot from my devices, because I'm unable to e-mail them to myself because of this error. Right now I'm stuck with no access to e-mail on my Apple devices. Grateful for any insights.

Google won't let me revert to my old password because I used it too recently.

3 Answers 3

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I analized this bug in the iOS Settings App further (on iOS 16.7.2):

  • as Sam found, the issue is caused by having multiple email addresses in the "Email" submenu
  • to reproduce it any time, just add another address to any Email account whose type allows for that (e.g. IMAP)
  • the error message "Invalid Email Address" appears not only on password change, but with all changes that trigger a (re-)validation of the connection settings
  • BUT: no online checking for the validity of those addresses is performed. Actually there is no network traffic at all before the error message. I checked that using network dumping, but it is as easily shown by taking the iPhone offline: the error message will still appear instantly

So the solution is to simply remove all Email addresses but one.

It doesn't matter what that address is, as long as it is the only one. Then you can apply the necessary changes and have iOS Settings revalidate. After that you can re-add additional Email aliases.

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In my case this appears to have been due to aliases in the Email sub-menu of the account settings, which were themselves not valid logins. It's not clear to me whether iOS is checking the password against each of these or if it's some other bug. Changing the default address from an alias to one with a genuine login was insufficient - I needed to delete the aliases before it would accept a new password. There were also some issues with it not seeming to save the new password: having appeared to have accept it, checking for new mail would fail and state no password was supplied. I force-closed the Settings and Mail apps a few times and tried again until it worked.

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  • OMG, you’re right. What a mess. For perfectly good reasons my email address is not my username. Yet this prevents updating a minor server detail. I had to add a fake address which was [email protected] and delete the others for it to accept the change. I could then add the real addresses back in. Aug 5, 2022 at 12:23
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I solved this myself - but am posting the answer here in case it is of any use to others.

It's actually a change in how gmail recognises user names. While previously the username had to include the whole e-mail address, with @gmail.com - now it does not have to. So I only had to remove the @gmail.com portion of the username field, and the problem was resolved. The only remaining mystery is why, given the obvious change, it was still working until recently with my own account settings! But that is another question.

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    I've had similar weirdness with outlook accounts. They changed the domain name, but the old one worked perfectly well so long as you never touched the account settings. As soon as you do, you have to fix the domain name. No clue why. Presumably someone, somewhere set it up to work in 'grandfathered' mode until you poke it.
    – Tetsujin
    Jun 10, 2021 at 16:27

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