When an app needs to sign in to your Google Account, there are two primary ways to do so — securely with an OAuth token or directly with your username and password. Apps that use the latter method are considered “less secure apps” by Google, and G Suite accounts will begin to lose access to them starting in June 2020.

Announced on the G Suite Updates Blog, Google is making a move toward further securing G Suite accounts by turning off a long-available method of signing in “less secure apps” to your Google Account. While most apps have moved forward with supporting Google’s secure OAuth flow for gaining access to your account, some legacy apps still rely on using a username and password to log in.

Some examples of this include older desktop versions of Microsoft Outlook, certain IMAP email clients, and calendar apps that sync through CalDAV. Other apps, like the included mail and calendar apps on Mac and iOS, also allow you to choose to sign in with just your username and password, and therefore use them as a “less secure app.”

Starting on June 15, 2020, G Suite accounts will no longer be able to sign in to a “less secure app” they haven’t used before. More critically, starting on February 15, 2021, all apps that sign in with just a username and password will cease functioning with G Suite accounts, with no admin policy available to reverse the change.

If you still use a legacy application that doesn’t offer OAuth to connect to your G Suite account, you’ll need to either find an alternative program or persuade the developer to offer Google’s secure sign-in method. Of course, neither of these are particularly great options for anyone who has used the same email or calendar program for years, but at the very least Google is offering fifteen months to find a new solution.

Thankfully, for now, only G Suite accounts are affected by this, and personal Google Accounts can continue to use “less secure apps” for the time being.

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About the Author

Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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