How to use Gmail 2-step verification with your BlackBerry

Google 2-step-verificaiton
By Adam Zeis on 7 Aug 2012 10:27 am EDT

Yesterday a crazy story of how Wired's Mat Honan got hacked was flying around the net. If you haven't yet read the post, you really should. It's a real eye-opener and made me think twice three times about my own passwords and security. One thing I jumped on that I never used in the past is Gmail's 2-step verification. This feature gives your Gmail account added security by requiring a code to be entered along with your password when logging in. The code is sent to you via a voice call, SMS or through an app and makes sure would-be hackers can't get at your email. Keep reading and we'll look at how to setup 2-step verification for your Gmail account on your BlackBerry smartphone.

How to use Gmail 2-step verification on your BlackBerry Smartphone

Setting up 2-step verification on your Gmail account

  • First things first - you obviously need to have a Gmail account to use this feature.
  • Sign in to your Gmail account from a PC and go to the 2-step verification page.
  • Choose your country in the drop down menu, then enter your phone number.
  • Choose SMS or voice call
  • Enter your phone number and select Send verification code.

You'll receive either a voice call or text message (depending on what you chose) with your code. Enter in the box and select Verify.

Next you can choose to remember the computer you're using. If you check the box then you won't be asked for the code for 30 days when using that computer.

Click Turn on 2-step verification to finish the process. That's it! Now when you login to your Gmail account from another device, you'll get a text or voice call with a code to verify your account. Pretty cool right? You can also use the BlackBerry Google Authenticator app (although I prefer just getting an SMS).

Changing your Gmail password on your BlackBerry

Now that you're set up, you'll have to update the password on your BlackBerry. Google provides a special one-time password for this purpose.

  • Login to Gmail and you will see a new screen explaining 2-step verification. On the bottom of the page, click the Manage Application Specific Passwords link.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page and you'll see a password generator. This generator lets you create passwords for applications that don't use 2-step verification like BIS, Google Calendar on other devices and Google Talk.
  • Enter a name for the device in the box (Adam's BlackBerry) and select Generate Password.

You'll get a popup with a 16 character password. Go to your email settings on your device and enter this for the corresponding Gmail address.

Once you do that, you are up and running. You won't have to do anything further from your BlackBerry and you email should come in as normal. If not, you can do the above steps again to create a password for your BIS account.

You'll have to do this for any other apps that need your Gmail login like Google Talk or Google Sync as well.

For more help and discussion on this or other topics, head to the CrackBerry Forums for more.

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

How to use Gmail 2-step verification with your BlackBerry


I don't think it's enabled for Blackberry, but even better than google auth is the ability to use Yubikey neo - you have to tap your yubikey against the phone to enable last-pass, no key no entry.

(and on the deskptop, you plug it into the usb port).

So glad you did this. People still think the gmail on Playbook repeatedly asking for a password is a bug.

Its not! Set this up on your gmail account and type the app specific password into your PlayBook and BOOM DONE! PlayBook will never ask for Gmail password again!

Thanks Adam.

Great timing, BB! I was just going to ask the question about getting my PB setup for this.

It worked perfectly for me!

It is certainly a bug on my Playbook/Bold 9930. I went through the whole double verification, input the codes into both the Playbook and the Bold and it worked for a few days but now I am back at square one with the two devices asking me to input my username and password. Too bad my place of employment locks out gmail so I can't get another set of codes. What the what. I know I should have tucked a copy into my wallet (like i don't have enough loyalty card crap in there already).

Do I have to go through this every week? Frankly, it is such a pain in the ass that I am not sure it is worth it. I would much rather change my emails once a month and not deal with the double verification codes. Now I am stuck until I get home and then I am sure I will forget because I have my desktop to check and respond to emails. The tablet was supposed to be for when I was away from the desktop. Makes a pretty photo frame though.

Adam, when you said you thought twice, scratch that, three times! I had the exact same reaction. I was like ok ok I gotta get a handle on my accounts now, see what's linked to what, what the passwords are, what's the situation!! Haha this blog post hit the spot.

I am really getting annoyed with Google. They are detected the BlackBerry and PlayBook browsers and they are removing basic functionality like Create New Account and lots of Calendar functionality. They either have no message or a note to say create on your computer. So why can't I do so on my PlayBook? It is definitely a targeted attack on BlackBerry users.

I have 2 gmail accounts and started using this 'feature' 5 or 6months ago on one of them. Although I see the benefit to the added security, it can also be a pain. I've been unable to access my account a couple of times when the text or phone call won't come through for up to 10 minutes.

I would suggest using the Google Authentication App then. No waiting is involved. You just hit the app icon on your BB and the code is generated on your BB immediately.

I will check that out when I have time. So what happens if you lose your phone, and you haven't checked your email on your computer for over 30 days? My wife's gmail account got hacked and Google was the one to lock it down and inform us. I was impressed.

yeah after reading about this on friday i turned it on and google sync has its own password and Gmail has its own too

I used two factor authentication with Gmail for a while, and it was more of a pain than it was worth, IMO. Virtually no apps are able to work with two factor authentication, so I was constantly creating one-time passwords and trying to find the one-time password for the app.

Maybe it's time to take another look at it so it's harder for someone to jack my Gmail account.

Once you create the specific passwords for each application you will never have to sign in again. Unless you use other people's devices this is not a pain if it's setup correctly.

very neat feature. now i can safely use third party apps to sign-in to gtalk without them having access to my email password.


I did it on my playbook. The password works but only for few hours, them the mail app ask again for a password.
I have created passwords for the mail app, and the calendar app, and both ask me to log in again.
Do you have any idea ?


how does 2 step verification help if I push my gmail to my blackberry inbox?
Am I correct in that this is only if you use gmail in a web browser?

I set this up no problem on my Bold and Playbook and I am delighted with this great tip.

However, a few days later my Playbook won't access Gmail and I cannot sort it out.

Bold 9000
Playbook 16MB

Hi to everyone,
I am trying to authenticate my Z10 by using the SMS code, I received as well as confirmed it but it won't work. I altro tested Authomator with no success.