Google has prevented the creation of new accounts without entering your phone number for some time, at least on its pages in the browser. Today, however, I came across discussions on Hacker News, which show that the restrictions in this regard will go even further.
You can find this discussion on Hacker News, I decided to check it on one of my test accounts and well… it will indeed be so that without adding your phone number to your Google account, we will not be able to do big thing soon.
I found the Google post mentioned by user HN on my account in the tab responsible for allowing access to less secure apps. These are mostly external email clients that only use a username and password to log into Gmail, with no two-factor authentication. This includes the Mutt text messaging client. I know this because I recently tried to add another Gmail account to it and had to enable this setting to log in.
From May 30, this will no longer be possible according to Google’s announcement, which reads:
To protect your account, starting May 30, 2022, Google will no longer allow the use of third-party devices and apps that require users to sign in to their Google Account only with their username and password. pass.
Please note that this term does not apply to Google Workspace or Google Cloud Identity customers. The term for these customers will be announced later on the Google Workspace blog.
For more information, see the rest of this article.
A special note on connecting to Apple devices. Starting February 28, 2022, users who haven’t recently signed in to their Google Account with just their username and password will need to sign in again. Existing users will be able to continue logging into their Google Accounts with their username and password until May 30, 2022.
What does this mean exactly? Let’s go all the way that the aforementioned Hacker News user checked out.
At the beginning I mentioned that one will not create a Google account without entering his phone number, at least in the browser, because it is still possible (yet) when creating an account on pure Android – checked March 9, 2022 in this guide – How to create a Google account in several steps?
However, in the event that you create an account this way, just to be able to use it on an iPhone without having to enter your phone number with Google, that is no longer possible – checked today. After logging in with your username and password, Google asks you to enter your phone number, and clicking any other authorization method brings you back to the same window.
Ok, so what if we want to allow access to Gmail in an external email client using in-app passwords generated on the Google account? This will not be possible, as this option is not available in the account without enabling two-factor authentication (you can find it at this link – https://myaccount.google.com/u/1/apppasswords) .
The above message is displayed on an account without 2F2. So let’s try to enable two-factor authentication, for example by using a Microsoft authentication app or Google Authenticator.
It is also impossible without providing a phone number. In short – to enable two-factor authentication with the app, we need to enable basic SMS verification on the account, i.e. we need to provide a phone number. Alternatively, it is also possible to authenticate with the U2F key.
The second option on the projection, i.e. confirmation on the phone, also requires entering the phone number – on the iPhone this is no longer possible without a phone number, and from the 30 May also on Android it will no longer be possible to skip this step. So, from this day forward, we will no longer add our Gmail account to any external email client without our phone number.
Does Google require users to add a phone number, as the Hacker News user suggests? It is difficult for me to judge unequivocally, Google explains it by caring about the security of users who do not necessarily care about it themselves. What about security-conscious users? Well, for them, Google leaves authorization with U2F keys by default. And, of course, there’s also the option to add a phone number, enable verification with the app, and then remove the phone number.