Is it possible to use application-specific passwords on Google without going through all the hassles of the 2-step verification authentication?

What if I don't want to tie myself to a phone number on a PSTN, but still want to have some application-specific passwords?

  • That's not possible.
    – Sathyajith Bhat
    Jan 20, 2014 at 4:36
  • 2
    @Sathya, why not?
    – cnst
    Jan 20, 2014 at 4:37
  • 4
    because it isn't supported. because app-specific passwords get flagged on your Google account only when you enable 2fA. Also, if you have a smartphone, you can install the Authenticator app, allowing for 2fA code generation, without the need for a data plan or for a constant phone number
    – Sathyajith Bhat
    Jan 20, 2014 at 4:56
  • 7
    I still haven't seen any explanation for this policy anywhere except "because that's how it works". What is the reason for this decision by Google?! Isn't it obvious that app-specific passwords are valuable on their own so you don't have give your password to every app? Sep 20, 2016 at 13:04
  • 1
    It is indeed very stupid these two features are linked like that. My guess: Google wants to push you to use 2fa.
    – tcurdt
    Jul 25, 2018 at 23:58

1 Answer 1


I was able to work around this by turning on 2-step verification, setting up app passwords, then turning 2-step verification back off. When you turn it off, it asks if you want to clear verification data. I said no; I don't know whether that matters. After turning it off, the app passwords link is still available, and my applications still login fine.

  • Sounds great! I haven't tested this, but doing a +1 for you as you're a new user, and it sounds like this might indeed work. If someone else could confirm or deny this claim, that'd be great!
    – cnst
    Jul 17, 2014 at 18:19
  • 3
    I suspect Google may have disabled this workaround this week. I had been using it successfully until now. Can anyone confirm? Dec 4, 2015 at 17:11
  • 4
    Can confirm. I used to have an app-specific password like this from a few months ago. Today I tried to add a new app-specific password, and when I turned off 2-step verification (the last step in this process), the app passwords page says "The setting you are looking for is not available for your account." and the app-specific passwords do not work anymore. Dec 11, 2015 at 14:44
  • As of 2019 this workaround seems to be working again. After creating the app-specific password and turning off 2-step verification, I still see "App Passwords" in the security page (so far, at least for an hour an counting).
    – Jimmy He
    May 14, 2019 at 1:32
  • 2
    I can also confirm this does not work anymore as of 2020/05, what a shame. Jun 7, 2020 at 22:11

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