Checking a Google Workspace Email in a Personal Gmail Account

I recently had a client who set up a new Google Workspace account for a non-profit they are part of. They wanted to check their new Google Workspace email account in their personal Gmail account so that they could check everything in one place through the Gmail web interface. They tried adding the address to Gmail, but kept getting an authentication error. Here’s how I solved it.

When adding the new Google Workspace email to Gmail, we kept getting this error message:

Server denied POP3 access for the given username and password.
Server returned error: "[AUTH] Username and password not accepted."

and this error message:

Authentication failed. Please check your username/password. Server returned error: "535-5.7.8 Username and Password not accepted. Learn more at 535 5.7.8"

We could use the username and password to log in to Gmail in a private browsing window, so we knew the username and password were correct, so why wasn’t this working? It turns out, this is because Google requires secure app connections, but Gmail (despite being a Google product) cannot handle secure app connections. *sigh* Here are the steps we took to get the email address connected:

  1. Log in to the Google Workspace Admin account.
  2. In the left menu, click on “Security”, then on “Authentication”, and then on “2-step verification”
  3. In the “2-Step Verification” box, make sure that “Allow users to turn on 2-Step Verification” is checked. Enforcement does not need to be turned on. Make sure to scroll down to the bottom and click “Save” after checking this.
  4. In the left menu, click on “Apps”, then “Google Workspace”, then on “Gmail”
  5. In the “End User Access” box, make sure that “Enable POP access for all users” is checked and then scroll down and click “Save”.
  6. Now log in to Gmail with the Workspace email. Click on the Gear icon, then on “See all settings”, and then on “Forwarding and POP/IMAP”.
  7. Under “POP Download”, in step 1, choose “Enable POP for all mail (even mail that’s already been downloaded)” if you want to download all mail ever into the personal account or choose “Enable POP for mail that arrives from now on” if you only want to download new mail that comes in starting now into the personal account.
  8. In step 2, for “When messages are accessed with POP”, choose “Keep Gmail’s copy in the Inbox” if you want it to keep the message and leave it as unread in the Workspace account. Choose “Mark Gmail’s copy as read” if you want it to keep the message but mark it as read in the Workspace account. Choose Archive or Delete if you want the message to be archived or deleted respectively in the Workspace account.
  9. Scroll down to the bottom and click “Save Changes”
  10. In the upper right corner, click on the account icon and then on “Manage your Google Account”
  11. In the left menu, click on “Security”
  12. Under “Signing in to Google”, click on “2-Step Verification” and then click “Get Started”
  13. Enter your phone number, choose if you want to get the verification code via text or phone call, and then click “Next”
  14. Enter the verification code you get from Google, and click “Next”.
  15. Make sure the phone number has been verified, and then click “Done”.
  16. Under “Signing in to Google”, you should see a new option for “App passwords”. Click on it.
  17. Under “Select app”, choose “Other (Custom name)” and then enter something that will remind you what this app password is for, like “Gmail Personal account”. What you choose here is not important, it’s just to remind you what the password is being used for.
  18. Click “Generate” and a new window will open with a password in it (currently 16 characters long). You will need to write down this password. The screen shows the password in four sets of four characters, but this is just to make it easier to read on the screen. The password does not actually have any spaces in it. I will refer to this as the App Password from here on out.
  19. Click “Done”
  20. Now log in to Gmail with the Personal email, Click on the Gear icon, then on “See all settings”, and then on “Accounts and Import”
  21. Under “Check mail from other accounts:”, click on “Add a mail account”
  22. This will open a new window.
  23. Enter the full Workspace email address and click “Next”.
  24. For “Username”, enter the full Workspace email address.
  25. For “Password”, enter the App Password (not the account password, but the 16-character App Password you just generated in Step 18)
  26. For “POP Server”, enter “” and choose “995” for the “Port”
  27. You have to leave “Leave a copy of retrieved message on the server.” as unchecked, but Google will honor what you chose in Step 8.
  28. Check the box for “Always use a secure connection (SSL) when retrieving mail.”
  29. For the last two options, you can choose if you want to assign a label to incoming messages for the Workspace account and if you want them to bypass the Inbox and go straight to the Archive.
  30. Click “Add Account”.
  31. It will then ask if you want to be able to send mail as this email address. If you do, you can set that up at this stage. After you add the information for the Send As step, it will send a verification code via email to the Workspace Account. You will need to get that code, enter it in the Send As step, and click the Verify button.

After all of this, you can finally receive your Workspace email (and if you set it up in Step 31, also send from your Workspace email) in your Personal Gmail account. Phew!

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