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I want to turn off all gmail security and nonsense. Like back to the days when a SECURE PASSWORD was good enough.

I travel a lot and have different cell phone plans for different countries I'm in. However, I keep getting blocked trying to log into my gmail because it 'doesn't recognise where I'm logging in from'. Most of the time the solution is sending a ping or text or something to one of my phones - except I don't always have it on me.

Basically I want to change the Google/gmail settings so that whenever someone enters the CORRECT PASSWORD they can get into my account.

It boggles my mind this is even an issue for a free email service in which you can have unlimited accounts and can use them for many purposes...

  • Simply speaking: You can't. You'll need to find another service. – ale Jun 20 '18 at 20:51
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The short answer is that you can't.

You don't want to disable Google's authentication safeguards - and, generally speaking, you can't (because they not only protect you; they also protect Google - as well as the Internet ecosystem as a whole).

So I'd like to answer your more broad, implied question - how to efficiently use GMail and its security features while traveling and regularly changing devices:

  1. Install Google Authenticator on an extra/fallback device that you will always have with you, even without service. It provides the second factor - even when you are offline and cannot receive texts. Once installed, the phone that holds Google Authenticator requires no service at all (but you still have to have the device with you).
  2. Use a U2F key. This provides the second without having to have a complex device at all - just a sub-US$20, no-power-required USB device that fits on your keychain. This requires that you're reading your GMail on a system that has a USB port. (There are also fobs that speak NFC).
  3. Print the ten backup codes provided by Google, and use them when you don't have the device that carries Google Authenticator. This is sub-optimal because you can only use them once per device/session (so it's probably not really an option, but I'm including it here for completeness)

You might also experiment with creating an app-specific password, but I don't expect this to work well for your use case (because Google's "you are coming from somewhere weird" heuristics would probably activate).

One of the first two options should fit most use cases. To maximize your chances of being able to log in, I'd actually recommend both GA and U2F.

  • how is requiring a phone number making anything more secure? They ask me the same thing, except I have no phone number I even have given to google, so basically anyone with a phone would look as legit as me. – Anne Aunyme Apr 18 '18 at 9:03
  • @AnneAunyme I have the same problem. It's all BS designed to look like it's making things more secure. Times I've had my emails (on any service) compromised after 20 years and over 15 different email accounts? 0. Times I've been locked out of my account because I drove to the airport, tried to log in from there, flew across the country and tried to log in from there? Over a dozen. gmail's algorithm can't even figure out what travel is, and there's no way to warn the system about it. It's a pile of garbage. (All on the same device. They actively sabotage you if you use Outlook/IE.) – JKreft May 30 '18 at 11:53
  • Sorry to hear about your trouble. If you switch to 2FA, it should reduce your lockouts (because Google then has to rely on location heuristics less). Also, as people do more online, taking over their accounts increases in value to the attacker, so 20 years is not representative of the current risk model. Further, this methodology significantly reduces account takeover (and how much work Google has to do to clean up afterwards). security.googleblog.com/2017/11/…. Might it need tuning? Yes. Is it better than not having it? Definitely. (& Use 2FA!) – Royce Williams May 30 '18 at 15:30
  • @RoyceWilliams what's 2FA ? – Anne Aunyme May 30 '18 at 19:52
  • -1 it's not for you to tell him he doesn't want to, he told you he does want to – barlop Jun 20 '18 at 15:29

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