Sunday, November 4, 2012

Thunderbird GMail account setup issues

Google has revamped their accounts security by order of magnitudes and they have shown the world security is more than a password. The 2-step authentication is an awesome feature. But sometimes these features can cause some pain. For instance, today I was trying to configure Mozilla Thunderbird to fetch my GMail. I went to File -> New -> Existing Mail Account and put my gmail details. Thunderbird looked up the Mozilla ISP Db and found the settings.But when I tried to connect, it said username or password may be invalid. Then after lots of searching I found out this:

When you try to access your Google account from a new application, Google restricts the application for security. You can unlock this restriction by following the above link.

If you have setup 2-step authentication, you need to create an Application Specific Password(ASP) and then use the new password in thunderbird to login. For this go to:

In the left pane, click Security. Click the Edit button beside Authorizing applications and sites and then scroll down to the bottom in the new page after verifying your password. There, under Application Specific Passwords, enter your application name and click Generate to generate a new password. Use that password in Thunderbird and it will connect to your GMail account successfully.

Not only Thunderbird but all third party non-web apps that connect to your Google account require an ASP setup if 2-step authentication is enabled in your account.