back to article Google tightens the screw on 'less secure apps', will block most access from June 2020

The clock is ticking for businesses using what Google defines as a "less secure app" (LSA) to access services like its G Suite mail, calendar and contacts. New accounts will be blocked from using LSAs from June 15 2020, and all access will be disabled on February 15 2021. Google's latest announcement is specific to G Suite, …

  1. Peter X

    Thunderbird is fine. K9 doesn't do OAUTH2 yet

    Thunderbird on my desktop is fine.

    Are there any good alternatives to K9 on Android? Hopefully it will support OAUTH2 by the time Google pulls the plug.... but contingencies and all that!

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Thunderbird is fine. K9 doesn't do OAUTH2 yet

      Yes. I used to use K9 but switched to AquaMail a few years ago.

      There are recent reviews citing problems, but I've never had any issues (I paid for "pro")

      You can even merge different mailboxes into one view, which is nice.

      1. NomadUK

        Re: Thunderbird is fine. K9 doesn't do OAUTH2 yet

        MailMate is quite nice if you're on a Mac. IMAP only, but the closest thing to the fabulous but long-in-the-tooth Mailsmith from Bare Bones.

        1. fidodogbreath

          Re: Thunderbird is fine. K9 doesn't do OAUTH2 yet

          At $49.95, MailMate is pricey for an email client.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Thunderbird is fine. K9 doesn't do OAUTH2 yet

        I've been using AquaMail on Android for a few years now, and have nothing but praise for it - regularly updated, and proactive on security (OAUTH2 on Google accounts was implemented agreed ago).

        Handles multiple accounts, and works well with Exchange Server / Office365.

        Well worth a try.

    2. UrbaneSpaceman

      Re: Thunderbird is fine. K9 doesn't do OAUTH2 yet

      There haven't been any updates to K9 for a while, I don't think any work is being done on it.

      1. blackbat

        Re: Thunderbird is fine. K9 doesn't do OAUTH2 yet

        If you look on github there's a fair amount of work taking place on K9, and discussions just today regarding OAUTH2.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Thunderbird is fine. K9 doesn't do OAUTH2 yet

        It was updated 2 weeks ago according to F-droid

    3. DropBear

      Re: Thunderbird is fine. K9 doesn't do OAUTH2 yet

      Well yes but actually hahaha NOPE. Thunderbird still doesn't support OAuth with POP3. And before you go the standard "but whyyyyyyyyy would any sane person want to use POP3 in 2020?!?" route: with all due respect, that's none of your concern.

  2. UrbaneSpaceman

    So .... what about Thunderbird?

    1. Sleep deprived

      Thunderbird OK but

      Thunderbird is fine, but the setting authorizing LSAs gets reset about every three months. Then I have to update my parents' Google account to re-enable their Thunderbird access (at 87, they seemingly can't get used to the Web interface). I foresee the day Google decides they must see ads to access their mail.

  3. Fungus Bob

    Time to dump Gmail...

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Time to dump Google - it used to be a decent search engine but these days it's a data collection empire that's selling adverts.

  4. Martin-73 Silver badge

    This will kill off most of their 'i own a domain but really can't be arsed with keeping up to date that much'

    Oh wait, just identified who they're trying to kill off

    I'm the target. fsck

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Am I being thrown into the dustbin of history?

    For many years I have been using POP3 (IMAP doesn't fit my needs) to fetchmail from and, at times, SMTP to sendmail to This ancient setup has huge benefits for me. Among other things it does not tie me to a specific user-facing client or even a to specific local user on a multi-user system. On top of this the way I filter and organize my mail on the client end is completely detached from the woefully inadequate GMail facilities. And I have many, many years of mail - long predating Google - just the way I like it. The way GMail - or any other webmail - organizes mail is certainly not the way I like it. So I basically use it as a relay/SMART_HOST/whatever, for my personal accounts and a personal domain, with the ability of accessing mail on my phone in the rare cases where I need to and of switching ISPs without changing a bit in my mail setup thrown in for free. User/password has never bothered me one single bit where mail is concerned.

    Now I can't figure out whether my setup will stop working in February requiring me to completely overhaul my whole system - a much more complex proposition than reconfiguring a single user-facing application - and suffer from horrible pain in various parts of anatomy. Does anyone here understand if such a setup will be affected? E.g., fetchmail does not seem to support OAuth. But then it is not a user-facing mail client. The documentation of the change does not seem to cover this case. I have not yet found all the docs or got to the right support channel - the one that will not just tell me to use a modern application.

    Hell, maybe moving away from Google will become not merely a good idea, but a necessary step?

    1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge

      Re: Am I being thrown into the dustbin of history?

      It sounds like gmail isn't really suited to your setup, despite the shoe-horning you've done.

      I strongly suspect that fetchmail will stop working when they implement this change, but remember that it is only targeting g-suite users this time around.

      If you're using your own domain, you'd be better off hosting it elsewhere - basically any hosting provider will facilitate what you need. If you're using a address, this at least gives you time to start migrating to one that you can actually control.

      1. MarkTriumphant

        Re: Am I being thrown into the dustbin of history?

        Do you have any suggestions as to a reasonable host? After all, they could be as bad as Google.

  6. RyokuMas


    "Probably more the former..."

    Google's whole business strategy is built up from leaning on it's monopoly in other areas to force more of it's products down people's throats - these days, I can't seem to get more than a couple of videos on Youtube before an ad (uninterruptable, natch) for Stadia, or G-Suite, or some other Google offering gets foisted on me.

    And then, of course, there's how Chrome became the number one browser: yes, to us in the tech/dev sphere, it was functionally "better" than the competition at the time, but I'm willing to bet that it was the great big "download our browser" button on all the search pages that did it for the masses...

    ... okay, so it's not as bad as the whole Windows/IE tying thing, but it's close...

    1. stiine Silver badge

      Re: Please...

      Actually, it was worse because every time you performed a search, there was an iframe in the upper corner of the screen telling you to switch to Chrome. Every. Single. Time.

    2. quxinot

      Re: Please...

      I can't seem to get more than a couple of videos on Youtube before an ad (uninterruptable, natch)

      YouTube has ads? Ublock Origin fixes that.

  7. Tom Chiverton 1

    That's it for KMail then as Google revoked the API key and won't give a new one...

    1. gnarlymarley

      That's it for KMail then as Google revoked the API key and won't give a new one...

      Well, that is it for me as a customer as my current method is only via password. I might be the only person, but if google wants to ostracize its customers, then so be it. I do not have a smart phone and if I purchase one, it will never be used on google. Oh well, I guess I don't care that much about the internet. I don't need google, but they need me for my data.

      One of these days they will get back to their main goal of two decades ago which was to support the customer before letting big business take advantage.

  8. Kurgan

    Gmail must die.

    I still have customers who use gmail free or gsuite. I will tell them to stop using it.

    1. DropBear

      Re: Gmail must die.

      Out of curiosity, do you have any alternate suggestions that are also free _and_ provide POP3 access - not considering the tyrants running GMX or *gulp* the walking corpse that is Yahoo (if they still do POP3 at all)...? Because, frankly, I do not.

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: Gmail must die.

        Yahoo still do POP3 access - slightly unreliably of course!

        MS (outlook) also provide 'free' and POP3 access but no (obvious) means to bypass the web interface to check for spam (same issue as google)

        I use A&A email service for a small fee (couple of quid per month) and they offer IMAP and POP3 and you can set up a filter in the web interface to force spam-detected stuff in back to the inbox so you always see it in your email client.

        If not UK-based you might want to look at other small-fee email providers like fastmail, etc.

  9. LateAgain

    How will this work with a printer?

    Have to ask. An engineer set up a Gmail account for a printer /scanner so it can scan to email.

    Doubt if the scanner /printer can do anything except name + password

    1. david 12 Silver badge

      Re: How will this work with a printer?

      This change -- designed to force legacy customers off of competition software and on to a system that ties all their activities to a single account, for advertising and identification -- only really affects downloads. Sending mail, as your printer does when it scans to email, is not affected.

  10. fidodogbreath

    Is Google pushing better security practice, or steering users towards its own browser-based client applications and away from alternatives?

    Hmmmm....let me think....

  11. -tim

    Another way to suck data

    Has anyone else noticed how much more data goes to google's servers once you log into one service that uses a google login?

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