Why Can’t I Sign Into Gmail on My Phone With 2-Step Verification?

The Heartbleed bug is a good reminder why having 2-step verification set up on your email account is so important. 2-step verification means that anytime someone tries to log into your Gmail from a different computer than your own, you’ll be sent a text message with a verification code to confirm that this is, indeed, you logging in. By setting up 2-step verification, you can stop hackers in their tracks.

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Unfortunately, many people have discovered that once they change their password and set up 2-step verification on their Gmail accounts, they run into a new problem. They can no longer access their Gmail from their phones. Even when they update the password in their phone’s Gmail app, the problem remains.

The Issue

The reason why this continues to be a problem is that most phone applications aren’t set up to work with 2-step verification. When you log into a new computer with 2-step verification turned on, your phone will be sent a verification code that you have to type in to confirm your identity. This ensures that a hacker can’t log into your Gmail account somewhere else if he gets your password. Unfortunately, phone apps aren’t set up to send this verification code, so they’ll just automatically fail your attempt to log in.

The Fix

Gmail has set up a way to get around this problem with 2-step verification. Essentially, the fix generates a password specifically for your phone’s Gmail app. This way you can still have 2-step verification while also being able to check your mail on your phone.

Installing the Fix

The fix is simple. First, go to the “Account” under your profile name or photo on the top right of the screen when you sign into Gmail. Next click on the “Security” tab at the top of the screen, immediately to the right of “Personal Info.” Next to “2-Step Verifications,” click on Settings.

You may have to sign in again at this point. Then click on the “App-specific passwords” tab at the top of the screen. Click on “Manage application-specific passwords” under the explanation. You may be asked to sign in yet again.

At this point, you’ll be taken to a screen titled “Authorized Access to your Google Account.” At the bottom of the screen is a blank space where you can type in a name for a new password that’s generated specifically for your phone’s app. Name it something simple, like “iPhone Gmail App.” Google will then show you a long password that you must enter as the new password for your phone’s Gmail app. Be sure and include the spaces! Once you’ve entered this new password, you’ll be able to access your email just fine.

Conclusion

With so many vulnerabilities revealed lately, enabling 2-step verification on your Gmail account is essential. Don’t let the small problem of accessing your email from your phone stop you. Google has provided a simple fix for this that only takes a few steps.