How to Unlock Gmail for a New Email Program or Service

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Authenticate a new email program's "fingerprint" for accessing Gmail. © José Luís Agapito; CC BY-ND 2.0 license

If an email program refuses to connect to Gmail even though the password is correct, it may be blocked; follow these steps to unblock the email client for Gmail.

Is Gmail Over-Protective with Your Email?

It is good, of course, that Gmail protects your account from obscure and dubious attempts to log in—even when the user name and password appear all right and legit.

Not all log-on attempts that seem spurious to Gmail are illegitimate, though, and warranting protection.

If you've just tried to set up Gmail in a new email program (or service) and got but slightly obscure and possibly dubious error messages (in addition to the message in Gmail on the web: "Warning: We prevented a recent suspicious login attempt") though you checked and re-typed your username and password more than once, you may have but to authorize the new client with Gmail.

Preventing Gmail from blocking wanted access is, thankfully, mostly straight-forward an affair.

Unlock Gmail for a New Email Program or Service

To allow a new email program that Gmail has blocked as suspicious access to your account:

  1. Have the email program or service that has failed to access your Gmail account ready.
    Important: If you use 2-step authentication with your Gmail account, make sure you create an application password for the new client.
  2. Visit the Allow access to your Google account page at Google.
    Note: Log in to the desired Gmail account if prompted.
  1. Click Continue.
  2. Within 10 minutes, have the previously blocked email service or program check for new messages.

Gmail will remember the email client, device or service, of course, and allow it access to your account in the future (so long as it uses the correct username and password for logging in).

Allow Gmail Access for Less Secure Email Programs or Services

To have your email program or service access Gmail, you may need to also enable legacy email applications to log in.

By default, Gmail blocks these apps from access.

To enable "less secure" email programs to access Gmail:

  1. Click your photo, avatar or outline near Gmail's top right corner.
  2. Select My Account on the sheet that has appeared.
  3. Now select Sign-in & security.
  4. Make sure Allow less secure apps: is ON.
    Note: If you have 2-step authentication enabled for your account, this setting is not available; you will have to create an app password for each application.