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Cannot login to gmail account in Thunderbird, Oauth doesn't authorize thunderbird

  • 10 replies
  • 2 have this problem
  • 146 views
  • Last reply by sfhowes

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Thunderbird Version: Tried on stable 68 and beta OS Version: MacOS Catalina

I'm currently unable to add my gmail account to Thunderbird, upon logging in via Oauth thunderbird does not actually get added to authorized apps after clicking <Allow> at the end of the Oauth flow. Once it fails it then has error "Unable to log in at server. Probably wrong configuration, username or password." however I'm certain that is not correct as I even tried copy pasting password between thunderbird's password field and gmail's oauth one to verify they are identical.

I'm also not sure which end the issue is one given the app doesn't actually get added as authorized on Google account. As a comparison I did try with the builtin mail app on MacOS and it worked correctly so I'm unsure why Oauth is not working through thunderbird. One thing I did notice though is that the served Oauth pages are visually different when using Oauth via the builtin mail app compared to thunderbird.

Thunderbird Version: Tried on stable 68 and beta OS Version: MacOS Catalina I'm currently unable to add my gmail account to Thunderbird, upon logging in via Oauth thunderbird does not actually get added to authorized apps after clicking <Allow> at the end of the Oauth flow. Once it fails it then has error "Unable to log in at server. Probably wrong configuration, username or password." however I'm certain that is not correct as I even tried copy pasting password between thunderbird's password field and gmail's oauth one to verify they are identical. I'm also not sure which end the issue is one given the app doesn't actually get added as authorized on Google account. As a comparison I did try with the builtin mail app on MacOS and it worked correctly so I'm unsure why Oauth is not working through thunderbird. One thing I did notice though is that the served Oauth pages are visually different when using Oauth via the builtin mail app compared to thunderbird.

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All Replies (10)

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This is also happening on my personal laptop running Ubuntu so it seems independent of operating system conditions.

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I'm experiencing it with G Suite accounts on both MacOS and Windows. Thought I would end up pinning it on Apple again since I had to migrate a bunch of users away from Apple Mail last week because Catalina broke the PGP addon they were using.

I've fought for Thunderbird to be the standard in our org so hopefully this gets solved quickly.

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James Browning said

This is also happening on my personal laptop running Ubuntu so it seems independent of operating system conditions.

See the discussion here. The workaround is to enable 'less-secure apps' and apply normal password authentication.

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sfhowes said

James Browning said
This is also happening on my personal laptop running Ubuntu so it seems independent of operating system conditions.

See the discussion here. The workaround is to enable 'less-secure apps' and apply normal password authentication.

I have 2FA on all accounts so "less-secure apps" doesn't work. I tried using an app password but that just failed due to incorrect login details.

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The account I added today with normal password and access by less-secure apps doesn't have 2FA. The Two step verification section here suggests you might get it to work if you delete cookies in TB.

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sfhowes said

The account I added today with normal password and access by less-secure apps doesn't have 2FA. The Two step verification section here suggests you might get it to work if you delete cookies in TB.

Unfortunately this didn't work either, both cleared cookies and tried allowing all third-party ones however it still fails in exactly the same way.

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Chosen Solution

See this bug report about OAuth and Google:

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1592407

Workaround in comment #22.

TB 68.2.1: https://www.thunderbird.net/en-US/thunderbird/68.2.1/releasenotes/

Modified by sfhowes

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This happened to me this morning. I remembered being queried by Google about trusted apps a couple of days ago and agreeing that I didn't want untrusted apps to access my account.

SOLUTION: go to your Google account and allow it to be accessed by untrusted apps.

QUESTION: When/how will Thunderbird get to be trusted by Google?

Modified by Granny Franny

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I guess you missed all the discussion on using Oauth2 authorization instead of normal password. The required Oauth2 protocol required by gmail has been in Thunderbird for a year now. The people that keep delaying the process by turning on the Gmail less secure apps switch at gmail are just delaying the inevitable. Gmail will turn this back off every now and then and you get the error message again.

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Granny Franny said

This happened to me this morning. I remembered being queried by Google about trusted apps a couple of days ago and agreeing that I didn't want untrusted apps to access my account. SOLUTION: go to your Google account and allow it to be accessed by untrusted apps. QUESTION: When/how will Thunderbird get to be trusted by Google?

If you access a gmail IMAP account in TB with OAuth2 authentication, it works even if access by 'less-secure apps' is OFF in Google settings, but for POP access with OAuth2, it appears the setting must be ON. I'm not sure if this is a bug or intentional, but IMAP with OAuth2 is currently the recommended setup.