Two Gmail accounts on an iPhone: incorrect password

Two Gmail accounts on an iPhone: incorrect password

I encountered this problem while helping my sister-in-law Theresa set up here new iPhone 4. She has two Gmail accounts and while she could set up the first account just fine, when she tried to set up the second account, she kept getting the message: “Password is incorrect.” But the password was not incorrect. After she spent quite a bit of time pulling her hair out over this, I gave it a try. I tried setting it up as an Exchange account and a few other things, but kept coming back to the same issue. Finally I searched in Google for two gmail accounts on iphone “incorrect password” and came up with this solution, which was intended for a slightly different problem but applied nonetheless:

What the problem is that [sic] the password you enter in IS correct - but what u don’t see and why it says it is wrong IS because you also have to see a captcha (but the problem is, you don’t see it). But if you click here: And it will unlock all the captchas for ALL your google accounts.

If the muddled grammar threw you, what he’s saying is that when you try to login using two different Gmail accounts at the same time, Google wants to make sure you’re not some nefarious robot and wants to verify you are you. Thus, if you were in a web browser, you would be presented with a captcha (the distorted word-picture that’s intended to prove you’re a human being and not a computer). But since you’re in the iPhone’s settings control panel, no such captcha can appear and it throws an unhelpful error at you. So if you go to that web page, logging in using the problematic Gmail account username and password, and enter the captcha correctly, you will unlock the captcha and it will stop giving you an error on your iPhone.

Hope that helps with your problem, if you came here with the same one. Keep in mind this solution was working as of September 12, 2010. No guarantees that future iPhone system updates and/or Google system changes won’t change all this.


  • In a somewhat similar way, Yahoo decides every few weeks that my authentication needs to be renewed, and I have to log in via a web page (sometimes with a captcha) before my POP access to YMail will work again.

  • My iPhone4’s battery has been draining every few days or so due to this problem I had setup a fairy new Google Apps account for my business and this is the only one on my iPhone. Funny thing is though, when I manually put in the password again, it’ll take it for a few days, then I’ll be back to it being “incorrect”. I betcha the captcha hadn’t been unlocked for this account yet.

    I just unlocked it, so we’ll see if that works. Thanks for the research!

  • Some Android phones are very nice and if the iPhone didn’t exist I would probably have one. But in my opinion the iPhone beats in many ways. And while it’s supposed to integrate seamlessly with Google, two of my co-workers who have had them have had numerous problems. I’ll stick to my iPhone and the minor annoyances I’ve suffered and overcome.