Outlook and 2-Step Verification for Gmail accounts

With Google moving away from Basic Authentication and recommending to use OAuth instead, I want to enable 2-Step Verification for my Google account to increase security.

How do I best approach this and what changes do I need to make in Outlook to keep receiving my emails?

Gmail Secure buttonCurrently, Outlook doesn’t offer native support for OAuth and 2-Step Verification yet. There are plans to add support for this but until then, you’ll need to use an App-Specific Password which you can create on the Google Account website.

This is similar to the process of enabling Two-Step Authentication for Outlook.com accounts.

Step 1: Enable 2-Step Verification

First, enable 2-Step Verification for your Google Accounts:

  1. Logon to Google and open your Account Settings page. This can be done by visiting: https://myaccount.google.com
  2. Click on: Sign-in & security. 
  3. In the “Password & sign-in method” section, click on: 2-Step Verification.
    This direct link should also take you there.

    Google Account Security - Currently 2-Step Verification is disabled.
    Google Account Security – Currently 2-Step Verification is disabled.

  4. On the introduction page, click on the “Start setup” button.
  5. Enter a phone number on which you want to receive the verification codes.
    In a later stage, you can safe-list trusted computers and also install an App so you won’t have to deal with SMS messages to log on each time.
  6. Enter your received verification code.

    Configure 2-Step Verification for a Google Account - Verify your phone.

  7. Select whether or not you want to trust this computer.
  8. Confirm that you want to enable 2-step verification for your account.

Step 2: Get an App-specific password for Outlook

Now that you have enabled 2-Step Verification for your Gmail account, you’ll start getting Send/Receive errors and/or password prompts in Outlook.

As mentioned before, you’ll need to generate a special “App-specific password” for Outlook instead of trying to logon with your current Gmail password.

  1. On the 2-Step Verification completion page, select the “Reconnect my apps” button.

    Google Account Security - Currently 2-Step Verification is enabled.
    You can also access the “App passwords” page by pressing the “App passwords” link in the “Password & sign-in method” section or via this direct link.

  2. Use the dropdown lists to select: Other
  3. Type: Outlook.
  4. Click the Generate button.
  5. Copy the obtained password code.

    Generated app password for Google 2-Step Verification.
    Note that the app password doesn’t actually contain spaces, the separators between the code blocks are just to improve readability.

  6. Go to Outlook and paste or type the obtained app password when being prompted for your password.
    You can also do it directly via your Account Settings.
    • Outlook 2003
      Tools-> E-mail Accounts…-> Next-> double click on your Gmail account
    • Outlook 2007
      Tools-> Account Settings…-> double click on your Gmail account
    • Outlook 2010, Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2016
      File-> Account Settings-> Account Settings…-> double click on your Gmail account
  7. Once you’ve updated your password, Outlook will be able to connect to Gmail again with 2-Step Verification enabled for your account.

Optional Step 3: Get codes via a mobile app instead

Even though it is not needed for Outlook, you might want to use an App to generate verification codes rather than using SMS messages.

  1. Click on the “Switch to app” button on your 2-Step Verification settings page.
  2. Select your smartphone type.

    Switch to the Google Authenticator app.
    If you are using a Windows Phone, just select “Android” to continue.

  3. Install the Google Authenticator app on your phone.
    If you are using a Windows Phone, download and install the Authenticator app by Microsoft instead.
  4. Open the app and when adding the account, use the camera of your phone to scan the barcode and add the account without needing to type anything.
  5. On the webpage, enter the generated verification code on your phone to complete the app configuration process.
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