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setup gmail accountI’ve been the proud owner of a Windows Phone since October 2010. For the majority of that time it has enabled me to access emails from my Hotmail account (where my contacts and calendar are also synced) as well as some self-hosted emails under my own domain name.

However, due to a severe spam issue (and to take the storage load away from my PC) I decided to migrate my email accounts to Google Mail. This has had an interesting effect on my ability to collect messages on my Windows Phone.

While it isn’t a problem to set up a Gmail account if your email address ends in @gmail.com, the situation is a little different for Windows Phone users if they’re trying to access an email service that uses Google Mail but has its own domain name.

Setting Up a Standard Gmail Account on Windows Phone

If you’re in possession of one or more standard Gmail account this can be setup with relative ease on a Windows Phone. From Windows Phone 7.5 onwards contacts and calendars can also be fully synced.

setup gmail account

Setting up a Gmail account means opening Settings > Email + accounts and selecting +add an account. From here, select Google, enter the email address and password and tap Sign in.

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setup gmail windows phone

Over the course of the next few minutes (depending upon your connection speed), your phone will download recent messages (go to Settings > Synchronization settings to change this period) and synchronize any relevant contacts and calendar items.

Dealing with Issues Syncing

At least, that’s what’s supposed to happen.

Unfortunately when it comes to syncing a Gmail account with Windows Phone, there are a couple of problems that you might face.

The first, and most common, is the captcha issue.

Problems arise because Windows Phone doesn’t have an option to enter the Google captcha puzzle solution. As a result, the entered credentials might be correct but no mail can be synced.

Fortunately there is a simple way around this. First, ensure your Gmail account is setup with the correct credentials on your Windows Phone.

setup gmail windows phone

Then, head to the Google Captcha Unlock page at: https://www.google.com/accounts/DisplayUnlockCaptcha Once there, click Continue, and on your phone tap the Synchronise button. With the captcha unlocked manually through the browser your Windows Phone can then successfully sync with Google Mail!

setup gmail account

If this doesn’t work first time, delete the Gmail account on your phone (Settings > Email + accounts, tap and hold the offending account and select Delete) and set it up again.

The other problem potential problem you might encounter is an issue with your phone’s connectivity. Naturally this will prevent syncing so you will need to connect to a mobile or local Wi-Fi network to complete synchronization.

Syncing a Hosted Gmail Account

If you have migrated the email account from your own domain to Gmail, you may run into problems setting it up on Windows Phone.

Fortunately, again, there is a way around this.

If you’ve approached the matter of setting up your account by selecting and opening Settings > Email + accounts > +add an account and selecting Other account, you’re approaching the problem in the wrong way. Indeed, you’re actually creating the issue!

You only need to select Google and setup the account as if it were a standard Gmail email, entering your email address and password as normal (i.e. myemail@mydomain.com).

Note that the instructions concerning the captcha page above may also be required in order to successfully setup this account.

Setting Up Gmail Accounts on Windows Phone: Easy!

Getting your Gmail account configured and syncing on a Windows Phone is one of those tasks that should be simple, can be simple if you’re lucky, but also extremely frustrating if you run into problems.

Deleting the account and retrying with the captcha puzzle disabled is a very good fix that should resolve the issue for the majority of users.

In the end, however, the issues are down to an incompatible approach to authentication between Microsoft and Google, something that should improve in future with Windows 8’s use of the tile-based user interface seen on Windows Phone.

  1. Olivia Tallarita
    June 24, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    I tried this, to no avail. My issue is no matter how many times I try putting my email, that I use frequently and that's set up with my Google+ profile, in my phone, it keeps saying "Attention required" beneath it. Syncing won't work. I tried the captcha puzzle, I tried restarting the process. Nothing is working. And when I check the settings on the email (account name, user name, password, etc), the password is longer and incorrect no matter how many times I put in the correct one and save it. Either I'm dumb, and there's a simple way around this, or this is just an issue I can't fix. Because I can't find any mobile settings on my PC on my Google+ and email account to fix it and help sync. Connecting to my WiFi was a fail as well.

    • Christian Cawley
      June 24, 2016 at 9:19 pm

      Hi Olivia, what device and OS version are you using?

  2. Dallas
    May 3, 2016 at 8:45 am

    None of this worked for me, i just got a nokia lumia, it just doesnt work, silly really, makes you wish you still used iPhone

    • Christian Cawley
      May 3, 2016 at 9:32 am

      Sorry to hear this didn't work for you. What model Lumia are you using? Is it Windows Phone 7, or WP8? They have slightly different methods for setting up Gmail.

  3. Deepa
    February 19, 2016 at 4:28 am

    I forgot my gmail password and i have used 2-step verification. and its damn irritating me since 2 months. but i have connected to my gmail in my windows phone since 2 years. what should i do.....pls help me. two step verification is not working.

  4. JOSE MIGUEL BELLO VALERA
    April 23, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    Many thanks!! its works

  5. richard hagan
    February 14, 2013 at 12:45 am

    your app takes too murch time,something should be done to it.

  6. Jacob
    October 26, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    When I had a Windows Phone, I always had an issue with my gmail account syncing with mail on my mac. When I would delete an email from my windows phone it would not delete on my mac, and when I would read an email on my windows phone it would still be unread on my mac. Syncing worked fine with my iPhone, so the windows phone got pretty annoying. Did you have any similar problems like this?

    • Christian Cawley
      October 26, 2012 at 5:58 pm

      Hmm, only time I've had that problem is when I've been in battery saver mode, which tends to override email. Otherwise no problems.

      I recently migrated all of my personal emails to hosted Gmail accounts, so use it quite extensively. However when WP was first released I did have a few problems with Gmail...

  7. Suhas Gokhale
    October 22, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    I am trying out your Tasks App for Windows 7.5 phone.

    Here are my comments and requests:

    1> App takes too much of a time to load.

    and

    2> I want to synchronize this App with my personal Gmail or Hotmail account , so that Task added in this App can get updated in the respective calendars. Is there any way out?

    Regards

    SUhas Gokhale

    • Christian Cawley
      October 22, 2012 at 12:56 pm

      I'm sorry, Suhas, I don't see the relevance of this question to the article. Perhaps you could ask the question in MUO Answers? http://www.makeuseof.com/answers/

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