Tech

What is a Gmail app password and how do you create one?


Gmail icon with unread message notification dots and other Google app icons

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Gmail is one of those widely used email service on the planet. And with the number of third-party apps and services available to connect to Gmail, Google had to come up with a reliable method to secure those accounts. Part of that security comes from two-factor authentication (2FA)considered a must use for anyone working with a Google account.

Also: How to set up two-factor authentication (2FA) and for what

The problem with 2FA is that third-party apps aren’t always set up to authenticate with an extra layer of security.

That means once you have 2FA enabled for your Google account, connecting third-party apps or services won’t work.

So Google created a feature to solve this problem, called App Passwords.

An app password is a password created so that a third-party app can connect to your Gmail account. You then use it in place of your Google account password when using that app. It’s really simple. And for anyone who has added 2FA to their Google account (which you should definitely do), the App Passwords feature is necessary to connect third-party apps and services.

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I show you how to use the App Passwords feature to generate an app password for Gmail. Just remember that this is only required if you have 2FA enabled for your Google account and if you need to connect a third-party app or service to Gmail. If you are not in that case, you do not need to do this.

Request

To create an app password, you need a valid Gmail account. I assume you have 2-factor authentication enabled and are looking to connect an app to Gmail.

Create App Password for Gmail

The first thing to do is open a web browser and sign in to your Google account.

At the bottom of the page, you’ll see two drop-down menus, one titled “Select application” and the other “Select device”. Click the “Select application” drop-down menu and select More. You will then be prompted to name the app password. I recommend naming the app password for the app or service you’ll be using. After naming the app password, click CREATE.

Gmail App Password Generator.

Generating an app password for Gmail is pretty straightforward.

Screenshots of Jack Wallen/ZDNET

After you click CREATE, a new pop-up will appear providing your new app password. Copy that password so you can use it for the third-party app or service you want to connect to Gmail. Once you have copied the password, click DONE.

You need to understand that these app passwords can only be viewed once. After clicking DONE, you will not be able to view the password again, which is why it is so important to copy the password and use it immediately. I recommend not clicking DONE until you know a working app password for the app or service you want to connect to your Gmail.

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If you disconnect an app or service from Gmail, you should also remove the app password by clicking the associated trash can icon in the App Passwords list. Always better to be safe than sorry.

And that’s all it takes to create a Gmail app password. If you haven’t enabled 2FA for Gmail yet, I highly recommend you do.

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