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Email Interaction with Two Step Verification

Two-Step Verification

Most email providers offer an extra layer of security for their accounts in addition to the account’s password. This security type is most commonly known as two-step verification. This extra security layer is enforced by sending a confirmation request through an SMS or phone call to an account holder’s phone number, a push notification to a trusted device or an email to a secondary email address.

If you have enabled the two-step verification on your email account, you will find that if you try to use this account in WinAutomation, you will receive an error unless an app-specific password is created through the email account.

Errors

When WinAutomation tries to access an email account that has the two-step verification enabled but does not have an app-specific password created for WinAutomation, this will result in errors. In the example below, an Email Monitor Trigger is configured to check the inbox of an email account with two-step verification enabled. The correct username, password and IMAP (incoming mail server) settings are entered. WinAutomation attempts to connect to the email account and returns the following error: “Account failed health-check. Proceed with the IMAP configuration specified anyway?”

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In the Process Designer, an error sending an email because WinAutomation was unable to access the email account due to two-step verification would look like this:

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Another example of where a relevant error could occur is in the Logs pane of the WinAutomation Console:

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In the Details area of the Logs pane is a more detailed description of the error shown above:

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How to Create an App-Specific Password:

The solution for errors like the ones in the examples above is to create an app-specific password for WinAutomation, so that it can access and use the email account despite the two-step verification. Below is a step-by-step guide to creating an app-specific password for WinAutomation with three popular email providers: Gmail, Outlook and Yahoo.

Gmail

Sign in to the Gmail account. Click on the icon in the top right and select "Google Account".

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From the Google account page, select "Sign-in & security".

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On the Sign-in & security screen, scroll down to “Signing in to Google” and the "Password & sign-in method" box. If 2-Step Verification is enabled, the last section in this box will be "App passwords". Click on App passwords.

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To display the “App passwords” screen, Gmail will require the account password to be re-entered.

On the “App passwords” screen, click "Select app" and choose the last option, "Other (Custom name)".

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Next, type the name of the app for which you want to create the password, in this case “WinAutomation”, and click "Generate".

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The next box that appears will display the generated password, which you can copy and paste into the screen of WinAutomation that requires the email account's password.

Outlook

Sign into the Outlook email account. Click on the icon in the top right and select "View account".

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On the account page, select "Security" from the top bar or the boxes in the middle of the screen.

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On the next screen, with the heading "Security basics", click on the link at the very bottom, the highlighted part of the sentence: "Explore more security options to help keep your account secure."

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Outlook will require the account password to be re-entered.

On the next screen, with the heading "Additional security options", scroll down to the "App passwords" section and click "Create a new app password".

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The next screen, with the heading "Use this app password to sign in" will display the app-specific password.

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Copy and paste this password into the screen of WinAutomation which requires it.

Yahoo

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Sign into the Yahoo email account. Click on the icon with the account name in the top right and select "Account information". This button can also appear as “Account info” or “Personal info” depending on your location and language settings.

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On the "Personal info" screen, click on "Account security" on the left.

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Yahoo will require the account password to be re-entered before displaying the “Account security” screen.

On the "Account security" screen, click on the last option, "Generate app password".

In the "App passwords" box that appears, click on "Select your app" and select the last option, "Other App". Type the name of the app in the "Enter custom name" box, in this case “WinAutomation”, then click "Generate". The next box will display the generated app-specific password. Copy this and paste it into the screen of WinAutomation that requires it.

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Two-Step Verification and Other Email Providers

In this article disabling two-step verification was described for only three types of account; Gmail, Outlook and Yahoo, but many other email providers offer it as well.