Setting up iCloud email when you have 2 Factor Authentication

Have you set up two-factor authentication on your Apple account, only to find that you iCloud email address stops working? I’ve got the answer for you.

You may already know that Apple’s two-factor authentication (2FA) means that whenever you sign in to your Apple ID or your iCloud account on a new computer, they send a text message to confirm that it’s really you.

This is a fantastic security feature, but it can cause problems with your iCloud email address. Email programs such as Windows 10 Mail, Thunderbird and Android Mail don’t know how to deal with a password plus a text message. After turning on 2FA, you may find that your emails no longer come in, or that you can’t set up emails on a new device.

The answer is quite simple – you need to go to the Apple website and ask for an app-specific password.

To do this, visit https://appleid.apple.com and sign in with your Apple ID and password. Because you have 2FA, you will then receive a code on your phone which needs to be typed in to the login screen.

Once you’re signed in, scroll down until you see App-Specific Passwords. Click on Generate Password. Type in a label to describe the app that you’re generating a password for, such as ‘Windows Mail’. Then click Create.

Apple will then generate a strong password for you. Copy this, or write it down. Then click Done.

Next, sign out of the Apple ID website. Open your email program, and follow the program’s instructions to add an email account. The iCloud email address needs to be set up as an IMAP account. When you are asked for your password, enter the app-specific password that was generated earlier.

That should get your email address working. Please let me know how you get on in the comments below!

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