How to Fix Problems Synching Gmail with Other Email Clients


If you like to synch a Gmail account with one of the common email clients, you may have started having problems. Today (15 July, 2014) Google has increased its security measures to make access to Google accounts harder. If you use one of the email clients listed below (and maybe others), you may not be able to synch them with Gmail without changing a setting:

  • Email app on iPhone or iPad with iOS6 or below
  • 3rd party email apps on Android devices
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Mozilla Thunderbird 

To enable synching, go to this Google settings page (example shown below),  click “Enable” and “Done”.  Be aware that this setting applies to other apps as well as email clients. Depending on your security concerns and your use of various apps and devices, you may or may not wish to make this change.

Google settings for less secure apps

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Got this prob with Opera Mail. So - Is Opera Mail truly a "less secure app" or is Gmail simply badmouthing the opposition, and will using Opera Mail compromise my Gmail accounts in any way?

After using 2-step verification with App Specific passwords for several days, I decided to turn it off, and enable access for less secure apps again.

The reason being that every time I went to access Gmail/Google Account with my Desktop at home through my browser, I would receive a call or text for the verification code, even when I checked remember my computer.

At this point, simply a PITA but great if you are rarely home, and on the go, and need to access your account through smartphone or public facilities.

I use two-factor verification on my Google account (in my case via a mobile auth-code-generating app called Authenticator). In my scenario each so-called "less secure app" (like Thunderbird) has its own app-specific password. Those apps also have the access to the Google servers they need to sync.

I finally enabled Thunderbird to work with Gmail Enhanced Security. I enabled two-step verification on my Gmail account.

One has to enable two-step verification, and establish an application specific password that you substitute for the regular Gmail password that you inserted in your email client.

I found this link helpful in resetting Thunderbird. Now it works like a charm.

If you want something that will work in the interim for your desktop, there is a Gmail Desktop app called GMDesk which you can use instead of your browser.

Since it is direct to Gmail there is no security setting difficulties.

However, it is not a traditional email client.

Here is the link:

I installed EMClient. This does NOT work with the new Google Security enabled on my gmail account.

Is there a client that does as of today 7/17/2014?

Yes, there is.

Just day before yesterday I set up a Gmail account on a customer's computer in good old Mozilla Thunderbird. Worked practically out of the box.

I have Thunderbird installed but it does not work. What security settings did you use?

It would be very nice if you told us what email client you now use.

He has actually named it in his comment. It's "em client", and here's the site. It's free for home use.

The setting mentioned doesn't exist for those us who use Google Apps! Yet again, Google Apps seems to be different and behind regular Google accounts.

After upgrading to Wins 7 a couple years ago and finding MS dropped outlook express, my all time favorite email client, couldn't configure Thunderbird. Gave up and just used Gmail online. Or Yahoo mail. Or outlook online. Then a friend started sending emails I couldn't open with Gmail online. Tried em client. It had no problem configuring Gmail and opens .eml files. Hope this helps someone else.