Impossible to authenticate with Google

Hello, I have used “Courriel K-9 Mail” (in French Language) for monthes, with several Gmail accounts. Since today, it is impossible to authenticate with Google, because Google suppressed less secure applications access. What is the issue, please?

You need to set an app password in your Google settings as explained here.
Google decided months ago already that what THEY consider “less secure apps” would not be able to have full access any longer.
K-9 is working on implementing OAuth and having Google accept them as secure and worthy of full access again, but no idea how long that will take.

Please see How to use a Gmail/Google Workspace account with K-9 Mail?

The change was supposed to go into effect on 5/30/22, but I saw no change. On 6/1, I saw an error authenticating (I assume during syncing or polling or something), but I just dismissed it. After that incident, I had to swipe down to refresh, but that didn’t last long. Now 6/5, it’s all fine and has been for a few days. I’ve done nothing. I’m receiving my email and notifications just fine. Maybe my use case is different? Or my version is older (I rarely upgrade). I haven’t touched settings in many years and I forget what they all mean.

I don’t want to bother with an app password because that may be deprecated in future too. I don’t want to introduce MFA to my google ecosystem. The gmail android app is not as bad as it was originally when I first found k-9. I think I could use gmail direct if necessary. Would have to figure out notifications. I’m not sure what features k-9 has that I really need – even though I’ve been using it forever!! I do like it, but mostly because I’m just used to it and generally oppose change.

What a mess, I just want to have and use a simple E-Mail program as I did it for x years, what the hell is the reason for this SHIT?

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Whew… I followed How to set up a gmail account and it worked a treat. I did struggle a bit as my alternate email server that I keep an eye on got selected as my primary account and I couldn’t understand why, but then I figured out how to re-order them and now it works perfectly again.


Is the only way to get this to work is to authorize 2FA in google settings? If that’s the case I’ll be looking for another email app, I will not allow 2FA, it’s just another way for google to track your info.

If I may ask: How does 2FA track your info?

You could use a different OTP app other than Google Authenticator if you don’t trust them… But the app really only generates the OTPs. Thus, you can use any OTP app, e.g. Microsoft Authenticator.

If your mistrust is aimed at OTP apps in general, how about using a hardware token. I can recommend Yubikey.


“Authy” is another great authenticator app that I’ve been using myself since I enabled 2FA on a few sites, incl. Google.
It’s available for pretty much all operating systems and the best bit about it: You can use it on several devices simultanously, so no more worries about losing/switching devices.
I have it on my PC and all Android devices, so I’m all set :grinning:

I suppose I wasn’t specific enough, using a text for 2FA allows them your phone number which leads to additional tracking info.

Then use an app like Authy = no additional tracking info.

And for what it’s worth: I’d rather risk additional tracking but have my accounts protected from dubious people than have someone gain access to any account just because I’m afraid of some tracking, regardless of there actually being any or not :slightly_smiling_face:


Maybe I derailed the topic a bit, the bigger issue here is that I can’t access one of my gmail accounts on K-9. One account works fine but the other isn’t syncing, regardless of 2FA on or off.

It’s a trap!
If you can, please just wait for version 6.200. It does things the “right*” way, and uses OAuth.

Google does this because they want you to enable what they falsely call “2-factor authentication”. They’ve been pestering people about sharing their phone number with them for years.

In reality, since the so-called second factor is on the same exact device, it’s not two-factors but twice the same factor, and adds no security whatsoever. It is very good at looking like it does, though.
In reality, the purpose of this is, to link your phone and e-mail address more tightly in their ad profile about you, to know more about you, so they know better how to manipulate you (“advertisement”) to effectively steal more money from you (by making you pick inferior choices to their advantage and buy stuff you didn’t need).

* Of course, the actual right way, is to run a ~$20 home server with your own e-mail client, or at least rent from a provider where you’re the client, and not the product. Especially since it’s gonna cost you anyway, whether through privacy prostitution or just by paying honest provider.


My earlier post that k-9 was still working was premature… I guess it was a slow, intermittent rollout of enforcement.

Sorry to the k-9 devs, but I have moved on to another email app. Thanks for the good times!

Maybe I’ll check back in the future, but so far this other app is just fine. A little busy on the eyes, but I’ll get used to it or try other themes.

I was able to access Gmail on K-9 up until this Tuesday (07 June 2022) I’m sticking which K-9 as I am using de-googled devices and do not have Google sign in on any of them. I hope we can have a solution soon for K-9 being “a more secure app”

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I was able to access Gmail on K-9 up until this Tuesday (07 June 2022) I’m sticking with K-9 as I am using de-googled devices and do not have Google sign in on any of them. I hope we can have a solution soon for K-9 being “a more secure app”

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K9, as is, works fine with gmail, you just need to set up a google app-password and use that in K9, rather than your google site-wide pw. See @cketti’s post toward the top of this item for pointers to the information you need for doing that.

This no longer works as the option to enable less secure apps is no longer available.If you had it enabled before the cut off it continues to work but for how long ?

You do NOT need that option. You need an app password. See How to set up with a Gmail account

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Just to reinforce this, and to cut to the chase … all/what you need to set up is an “app password”. That option is available, whether you had one set up previously or not*. Just follow the instructions under “Create & use App Passwords” at:

You do have to have 2fa enabled.

To confirm that this was all still the case I just followed the steps outlined in the document I referenced above to set up an app password on an account that had 2fa on, but which had never previously had any app passwords. It worked as described.

  • app passwords may not be available for certain account types - see “3.” in the document above.
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