Google App password confusion for macOS


I enabled 2 step authentication (2FA) on my Google Apps/Gmail account.  I then added “App Passwords” to connect my iPhone and other devices.

One observation: When I enter the “app password” I get the message “please enter your google account password” but when i enter a random string I get “the email and password you entered don’t match”.

This is within both MacOS system preferences and on my iOS settings. The app password for Apple Mail didn’t seem to work either when i enter it under ‘accounts’ in apple mail.

This didn’t help: If your App Password is still not working, try going to on your phone’s browser. Enter your username and password, then type the letters on the screen. Then go back to the application you’re trying to access and enter your App Password.


So the solution was to enter my regular password first (not the “app password”) – and the next “page” of the authentication process would then ask me for the Google authenticator 6 digit code. It sounds so obvious but in the context of an “App” password it was confusing.

MacOS preferences Screen Shot 2016.jpg


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