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How to access your Gmail on your smartphone after you set up 2-step verification for a Google account

Password security presents us all with a vexed dilemma.

Google has come up with 2-atep verification as one way to the solve the problem for your Gmail account.

But, only making matters worse you’ll be locked out of your smartphone’s Gmail account, if you don’t use Google’s  workaround that we guide you through step by step below

Some security gurus would have us create a unique password made up of a lengthy string of jumbled upper and lower case letters, digits and symbols for each and every app and secure website. But hey, this is real life.

To avoid hours of frustration, despite our better judgement, many of us reuse our passwords more than once or  pick memorable words with minor variations that are far too easy to hack.

And even if you are meticulous about setting up incomprehensible secure passwords, downloading software from the Internet or clicking on links in malicious email messages can allow thieves to get hold of this private information.

Enter the 2-step verification, used by some banks and now by Gmail. The feature provides you with that extra level of security by using both your password and a verification code that is sent to your phone.

Since the verification code is remembered for the computer you used to set it up, any hacker who has been able  to filch your password via the internet will still be locked out.

Seems like a great idea. But to be practicable the process needs to be straight forward for users. Nobody wants to be futzing around trying to get into their email, when they are late for a date and sweating to find the address of the meeting place.

Google delivers on making the set up process easy for your PC or Mac computer.

Gmail walks you through the process of requesting and retrieving the verification code from your smartphone by text or email. Once you’ve entered the code you won’t have to enter the code again on the computer.

But, and this is a huge “but,” you will now be locked out of your Gmail accounts on iPhone, iPad, Blackberry and Android versions 2.3  and bellow and the two-step verification won’t work for them.

You will be locked out of your email and are likely to see an error message below or a message specifying a imap.google error.

 

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You will  have to set up an “application specific password” that replaces the one you created when you set up the account.

If you don’t do this for your smartphone you are in for a really frustrating time because reentering your regular password in settings won’t work.

In fact there are a whole host of non compatible programs that won’t work, and for which Google’s workaround required you to generate a specific password. According to Google they include:

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• POP and IMAP email clients such as Outlook, Mail and Thunderbird
• Gmail and Google Calendar on smartphones
• ActiveSync for Windows Mobile and iPhone
• YouTube Mobile•Installed chat clients such as Google Talk and Adium
• AdWords Editor
If there are others put there please let us know.

 

The problem is that these programs don’t have any way to enter the verification code.

How to generate an application-specific password.

To create an application specific password you will need to go to the settings page in your Google account on the computer where you first set up two step verification on your computer.

After signing in, visit your Google Gmail Account settings page using the settings icon from the pull down menu.

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Then click “Accounts” from the menu at top of the window.

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Then under “Change account settings:” select “Other Google Account settings.”

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Select “Security” from top menu, which will take you to  a webpage with a “Password” box. Here click the Settings tab select click “Settings” next to App passwords.

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You will arrive at a page entitled “Authorized Access to you Google Account”where where under “Application-specific passwords” you enter a memorable name for the device and application you want to authorize, such as “Gmail for Android phone.” Then click “Generate password.”

On the next page under, you’ll then be provided with a  a one-time 16 digit random code  in a  yellow box.

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Now since Gmail wouldn’t know from Adam what application or device you want to assign this new password to, you will have to go directly to the settings menu for the app  on your phone or tablet to enter this new password instead of the one that you usually your for your Google account.

If necessary don’t forget to make sure that the  phone or tablet remembers the code for future use. Otherwise you may be required to generate another one each time you enter the app.

Finished? Not if you rely on more than of these applications . You will have to repeat this process for each and every non- compatible device and application you have that is linked with your Google Account.

One final note if you lose your phone or tablet and you don’t the want person who finds it to have access to your email.
At the bottom of the “Authorized Access to you Google Account” page there is a list of apps for which you have set up a special password. You can click ”revoke” on any password and regenerate it. That is why you need to make a memorable label for each app and device.

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