Thunderbird and Gmail with two-factor authentication

Today, Google forcibly switched me to two-factor authentication. In result, Gmail on Thunderbird stopped working. After disabling two-factor authentication it started to work again.

Is there a way to configure Thunderbird or Gmail to have two-factor authentication and still have working gmail on Thunderbird? I haven’t found any useful answer online :frowning: .

It looks like the same problem was for older version and now history repeats itself, but now there is no newer version to update to:

So I’m still left with nothing. I can’t find any setting in Thunderbird to re-autheticate the app.

Yes, Thunderbird does support 2FA (Authentication method = OAuth2). But first, you have to configure your Gmail for 2FA:

:arrow_forward: Protect your account with 2-Step Verification - Computer - Google Account Help

After that, when you add your Gmail account to Thunderbird, a browser window will open for you to follow the usual login process, including whatever 2FA (second step) you have configured.

You should be able to set it up using OAUTH2. Have you tried this?

But that is the issue. Nothing pops up. Thunderbird only claims that he couldn’t successfully verify the password. Once 2FA was disabled, password is accepted. With 2FA password is not accepted. That’s it.

Looks like Thunderbird is not able to recognize the switch to 2FA and is not triggering properly the window. Maybe if I deleted the mail account and set it anew it would work, but for existing account it doesn’t work correctly.

It wouldn’t be such a problem, if there was a setting for gmail, so we could for example refresh or purge current allowance, so we could trigger a new authentication window.

I don’t understand. How? There is no OAUTH2 to set up anywhere.

In the account settings, you can set the authentication method to OAUTH2.

Yes, as @mithrial said, take a look at what your settings say under Account Settings > Server Settings > Security Settings. Mine look like this:


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Ah, that’s it! Thanks. Setting to OAuth2 on both SMTP and IMAP triggered google’s authentication window and now Thunderbird works with 2FA Gmail account.

Still, the bug is, that Thunderbird is not recognizing 2FA switch and not providing proper interface to switch to OAuth2.

Thanks for the help!

I submitted the bug:

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Perhaps an easier solution, visit your page, go to the Security tab, and create an App Password. Use that app password within Thunderbird and other mail clients to get and send emails, as not all will support OAuth2.

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