Gmail is disabling Less Secure Apps

Gmail Is Disabling Less Secure Apps: What To Do Next

Google has announced that it’s disabling the Less Secure Apps feature on some Google accounts from May 30th, 2022.

If you’re using Gmail SMTP details with our Other SMTP mailer, you may have difficulty sending emails when this feature is disabled.

We know that many of our customers rely on Gmail to send emails from WordPress and we wanted to provide some information so that you can avoid deliverability problems.

What Is Less Secure Apps in Gmail?

Less Secure Apps is a feature in Gmail that allows software and devices to sign in to your Gmail account with your main Google username and password.

Allow Less Secure Apps setting in Google account

Up until now, it was possible to send emails through Gmail SMTP with this setting turned on.

Now, Google has decided to begin phasing out Less Secure Apps from May 30th, 2022. Google Workspace and Google Cloud Identity users won’t be affected right away, but support for Less Secure Apps will still be phased out for those users at a later date.

We’ve recommended app passwords for some time, but some customers have chosen to use Less Secure Apps since it’s a little more straightforward. Now that the feature is being retired, all users will need to switch to app passwords or use a different mailer.

How to Switch From Less Secure Apps

If you’re using WP Mail SMTP, here are the options available.

Option 1: Switch to the Gmail Mailer

WP Mail SMTP has a dedicated Gmail mailer that connects to the Google API to send emails from WordPress.

Our Gmail mailer is available in both the Lite and Pro versions of our plugin.

It’s also more secure than sending emails through the SMTP protocol.

WP Mail SMTP Setup Wizard Choose Mailer

To use the Gmail mailer, you’ll need to set up a free Google Cloud Console account and generate an API key. You’ll find step-by-step instructions in our doc on how to set up the Google Workspace / Gmail mailer in WP Mail SMTP.

Option 2: Use an App Password

If you’d like to continue using the Other SMTP mailer in WP Mail SMTP, you can set up an app password in your Google account.

An app password works like an alternate password for your account. It can only be used by the applications you share it with, so it’s more secure than sharing your primary password.

If you’d like to use an app password, you’ll need to turn on two factor authentication for your Google account first. After that, you can create an app specific password for WP Mail SMTP in the security settings for your Google account.

To do so, select Other (Custom name) as the app on the App passwords screen.

Selecting the Other (Custom name) option to create an app password in Google

Then type in WP Mail SMTP or another name that will help you identify this password in the space provided.

Add a name for your app password

After that, you just need to click the Generate button to create your password.

App password generated for WP Mail SMTP

If you’d like to start now, you can find more details and step-by-step instructions in our doc on how to set up the Other SMTP mailer in WP Mail SMTP.

Note: any time you change your main Google account password, it will deactivate your app passwords as well. If you change your password frequently, this may not be the best workaround.

Option 3: Switch to a New Mailer

If you’re not set on using Gmail, WP Mail SMTP has a ton of other mailers that use secure, API-based connections to send email from WordPress.

Our recommended mailers are listed at the top of the Setup Wizard.

SendLayer mailer in WP Mail SMTP

Here are some more details on our top mailers:

  • SendLayer: Our #1 recommended mailer and one of the easiest mailers to use with WP Mail SMTP. Once you’ve added DNS records to your domain, all you need is an API key. You can start with a trial and send 500 emails for free, then upgrade to a paid plan from $5/ month (paid annually).
  • SMTP.com: Free for 30 days, then priced from $25/ month. SMTP.com is an industry leader and has a track record of great email deliverability dating back over 20 years.
  • Sendinblue: If you’re testing Gmail alternatives, Sendinblue could be a good choice. You can get started without a credit card and upgrade to a plan with more capacity when you’re ready.

To switch your mailer, head to your WP Mail SMTP settings and click the Launch Setup Wizard button.

Launch Setup Wizard button

The Setup Wizard will walk you through the connection steps.

If these mailers aren’t right for you, you can also send through Microsoft 365, SendGrid, Mailgun, Amazon SES, and many more secure, API-based email providers. Here’s a complete guide to all of our mailers to help you decide.

How to Get Help with WP Mail SMTP

We understand that making changes to your mailer can be challenging, but we’re here to help!

If you’re using WP Mail SMTP Lite, you can get assistance on our WordPress.org support forum.

If you’re using any paid version, you can log in to your account and open a ticket. As a valued customer, you’ll get priority support when updating your mailer settings.

Comments

  1. Hi,

    I use both the Pro and Lite versions of your plug-in on several websites. I’d like to confirm if I’m already using Google / Gmail as my Mailer in WP Mail SMTP Settings, then the Google changes for “Less Secure Apps” will not affect me?

    Rgds, and thanks for the heads up on this. 🙏

  2. I tried adding Gmail as per the guide but it didn’t work. I successfully created API and secret key as per your guide.

    But when I tried auhorizing it in WP Mail SMTP plugin, I got this error: “There was an error while processing the authentication request. Please try again.”

    Is it known issue and is there a fix?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Parmeet,

      Could you please open up a support thread with the full error log (WP Mail SMTP -> Tools -> Debug Events -> Error) and our support team should be able to assist you further.

      Thanks!

  3. Important, the 2nd Authentification with Application Password not working too. I tested today and GMAIL is blocking it too because its using the email credential. For not, only customer with Google Workspace or Cloud will work.

    1. Hi Stephane,

      Could you please share your error log when sending a test email with your App Password?

      When you send a test email from WP Mail SMTP > Tools area, you should be able to see the full error. Here’s a screenshot of the option to get a full error log. This will provide you with an idea of what might be going on.

      Also, you can check WP Mail SMTP -> Tools -> Debug Events section to see if there are any errors.

      Thanks & please let me know! 🙂

  4. My phone system sends out VM via email. Gmail with the non secure method worked. Now is there another service or option instead of getting a new phone system?

    1. Hi Terence,

      Generally, we do not recommend sending emails with file attachments, the reason is that it can often hurt email deliverability. Different email providers have different limits on the file types and size of files they can accept. Sending files that don’t pass these rules most often means the email won’t get delivered or will bounce.

      The recommended solution would be to upload those attachments to a server (or to a cloud storage service), and then include those attachment links within your email notifications.

      A plugin like WPForms does this automatically as well (https://wpforms.com/docs/a-complete-guide-to-the-file-upload-field/#notifications). However, please note that you will require to purchase a WPForms basic license to use the file attachment feature.

      I hope this helps. Thanks!

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