How to login to Gmail with Outlook 2013 and earlier

It IS possible for Outlook 2013 (and earlier Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2007) to connect with Google Gmail accounts, despite what you may have heard. We’ll explain what’s happened, why and how login is still available for older Microsoft Outlook’s.

There’s a lot of misinformation about changes in Gmail’s login requirements and Outlook 2013 (and older).

We’ve heard reports of Microsoft Support trying to generate sales instead of helping, by saying that Outlook 2013 can’t login to Gmail and customers need to buy a new copy of Office.  That’s wrong, as the support people should know from Microsoft’s own public help pages ( go here and scroll down to “Outlook won’t accept my password”)

Save some money and keep Outlook 2013 working with Gmail.

What happened

Google improved the login security by implementing “OAuth” which requires two-factor authentication.

Outlook 2016 and later can login to Gmail accounts with two-step verification and OAuth.  Outlook will take you through the steps including a one-off extra verification code.

But Outlook 2013 and earlier aren’t directly compatible with the new login security system.  However, Google has provided a workaround called “App Password”.

This isn’t just a Microsoft problem, older versions of Apple Mail, iOS Mail and other email clients have the same login issue.

Gmail login with older Outlook’s

These instructions work with Outlook 2013 (which is still supported by Microsoft until April 2023) and older, now unsupported, Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2007.

Ensure Outlook (Office) is up to date with the latest version and fixes, usually via File | Office Account | Update options.

Go to https://myaccount.google.com/security and setup Two step verification, if you haven’t already.  Make sure you have a valid recovery email and phone number.

Once Two factor authentication is setup for your Google account, get an ‘App Password’.  This is a special password, generated by Google, to bypass the usual two-factor requirement. The App Password is different to your usual Google account password and only works on the app and device you nominate.

Go to your Google Account | Security | App Passwords |  Select App choose “Mail” |  Select Device choose “Windows computer” and finally Generate.  Copy the 16 character password. Google support has more details.

In Outlook software, paste the App Password to the Gmail account password prompt. Make sure “Remember password” is selected.

Outlook should connect OK. If not, carefully check the Outlook connection settings such as server addresses, port numbers, SSL etc.  

Again, Google support has the details under “Change SMTP and other settings in your email client” and also on this page.

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