I have a google account that I want to log into from the Gmail App of and android device. I ONLY want gmail, not hangouts, drive, etc. So I am trying to add the account as a standard email address in gmail.

In my gmail account I have gone to settings>Forwarding POP/IMAP and enabled IMAP. Then following these instructions (https://support.google.com/mail/answer/7126229) I try to add the email in the gmail app on my phone.

I open up Gmail>Menu>Settings>Add Account type in my email address and then click Manual set up>IMAP On the incoming settings, I type my email, password, and "imap.gmail.com"

That works fine... but then on the next step...SMTP... On the incoming settings, I type my email, password, and "smtp.gmail.com"

And is says "username or password is incorrect" And then in my gmail account, I get an email titled "Critical security alert" that says "Someone just used your password to try to sign in to your account from a non-Google app. Google blocked them, but you should check what happened."

How can I get a gmail address added to the gmail account via IMAP instead of having to add my whole google account to the whole phone?

Thanks for your help on this!!

  • Maybe it's looking for app passwords? In which case you can try this Email Client and try to log in as you did or set up an app password for this app and login?
    – beeshyams
    Apr 14, 2020 at 1:17
  • I would much prefer to get this working inside the gmail app, other apps I have tried require the 'allow access from less secure' setting turned on in my gmail account
    – eagers
    Apr 14, 2020 at 15:45
  • AFAIK from within the Gmail app you can't configure it the way you want. That's why suggested alternative but yes it comes with a warning. The app I suggested is open source privacy oriented Email by a developer known for such apps and it's worth using any day. Google just assumes any app other than it's own is not secure while they are one of the biggest threats to privacy. It's your choice but wanted to clarify
    – beeshyams
    Apr 14, 2020 at 15:50

1 Answer 1


I have painstakingly found the final answer to this:

Google will ALWAYS block SMTP logins from anywhere, even their own gmail app, unless you turn on the 'allow access from less secure' setting in your google account's security (https://myaccount.google.com/security)

In order to use a gmail account as a non-native gmail account without the allow-less-secure setting is to use an app that actually uses the google pass-through login.

The gmail app does not use the google pass-through login, because, why would it , it's already a google app.

The only way to use a gmail account as a non-google account inside of gmail is to use SMTP, which will require the less secure setting turned on.

  • Looks like "allow access from less secure" will be turned off for non workspace/organisations after 20 May 2022 :(
    – Jay Wick
    May 15, 2022 at 22:19

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