Gmail Server Rejects Password from Email Client and Mobile Apps

If you encountered problem when login into gmail account (using IMAP) from your email clients such as Thunderbird, Live Mail, Apple Mail, Mail apps in iPhone and iPad, and any other email clients or apps; you are not alone. The problem you encountered is not a bug but it is a security feature implemented by Google. The solution is as follows:


When you add a gmail account in any email client using IMAP, you might have an error that says "your id and password has been rejected by the server". Another situation occurs when you previously working gmail account suddenly stops working and it produce a similar message that you id and password has been rejected by the mail server.

Possible Causes

1. Google Security Feature
Google has turn on a feature that prevents less secure apps and devices from logging into the server. This might includes emails clients and mobile apps.

Under the section Less secure apps, access for less secure apps is disabled. This is the more secure option. However, you might not be able to use your other email client such as Apple Mail, Windows Live Mail, Thunderbird, Mail apps from iPhone and iPad and mobile apps. You can still use your gmail apps in iOS and Android.

If you clicked enabled for "Access for less secure apps", you allows email clients and mobile apps to access. This is the less secure option. You can use any other non Google products to access your email.

2. IMAP Not Enabled
IMAP is disabled by default. If you have been accessing your email by web or Google apps, you might not notice that IMAP is disabled by default.

3. Your Email Access is Locked
After multiple tries, you access to the email server is being locked. Even if enabled the previous two options, you might still encounter problems because you have not unlocked your account. To unlock the email access you need to go to this site:

Solutions (Step by Step)

  1. Remove any configuration from you emails clients and mobile apps.
  2. Goto 
  3. Click "Continue
  4. Login to the email site using web mail.
  5. Click the drop arrow next to your login id (on the top right corner) and click Accounts
  6. Select the tabs "Security" 
  7. Find the box under "Accounts Permission" 
  8. Click Settings.  You will see the following.
  9. Click Enable. Click "Done".
  10. Go to gmail site, click "Settings" (i.e. the gear) and select settings. 
  11. Click "Forwarding and POP/IMAP" as shown. 
  12. Check the IMAP settings. Click "Enable IMAP" and Click "Save Changes" at the bottom.
  13. Make sure that IMAP is enabled. 
  14. Configure your email client or mobile apps again. It should be working. If it is still not working, repeat step 2 and 3. Check to make sure that all settings are changed and wait for a while before you configure you email client again.

That's it and good luck.



  1. What if the account doe not have an option to select less secure apps. A .edu account does not list this option.

  2. A .edu account means that you are using "Google Apps" account. I do not use "Google Apps" account, however, I learned that your system administrator can enable similar function. You might need to check with your IT administrator. Please check the following articles:


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