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How to solve the Apple mail Unable to verify account name or password issue

by Simon Cox

2017-10-05

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How to solve the Apple mail Unable to verify account name or password issue

Have you been unable to verify account name or password on High Sierra, or changed your keychain password recently and then had issues with Apple mail and other services such as Linkedin, Google, Flickr, Vimeo? I have had exactly this situation and I solved it with a quick fix that will save you a lot of time.

Changed your keychain password recently? It may have wiped your passwords in Internet accounts

Recent­ly I upgrad­ed to High Sier­ra — the Apple OSX released in August 2017 and all appeared to go well with the upgrade — it cer­tain­ly looks fresh. Dur­ing the install a new secu­ri­ty check came up — appar­ent­ly, you can­not have the same pass­word for your Mac log-in and your iCloud log-in. I was not expect­ing this so didn’t have my 1Password avail­able on my iPhone to help gen­er­ate a new one so I mud­dled through and thought I would change that again lat­er. When I opened Apple Mail all my email accounts failed to con­nect — all were ask­ing for the pass­word. I have quite a few email accounts for dif­fer­ent side projects and luck­i­ly I have the pass­word all stored in 1password. How­ev­er, none of the pass­words would ver­i­fy. I checked online web­mail for a cou­ple and the pass­word worked just great so it wasn’t that.

I got onto Apples very respon­sive and help­ful help desk, who in turn asked me to do safe restarts and oth­er things but noth­ing would change so they asked me to rein­stall High Sier­ra. Sev­er­al hours lat­er (rur­al broad­band…) I had the Mac back up and run­ning and all seemed to be ok. I was able to get emails and life was back to happy.

That was until I shut down the Mac a few days lat­er. On reboot­ing it I was back to square one when the OSX asked me to reen­ter my pass­word for Google ser­vices — I imme­di­ate­ly checked Mail and sure enough none of the accounts were con­nect­ing — same Unable to ver­i­fy account name or pass­word’ issue yet again.

This time I was not going to rein­stall the OSX — I’d had this issue years ago and had solved it then but could not remem­ber what I did — just remem­bered it was sim­ple but not obvi­ous. After a lot of tri­al and error, I found the solu­tion and am writ­ing it up as much for myself as for any­one else who runs into the same issue. here you go:

Process to recov­er your OSX Mac Mail and Inter­net Accounts from the Unable to ver­i­fy account name or pass­word’ issue.

  1. Open your email account in sys­tem preferences
  2. Choose the email account to verify
  3. Note that your pass­word field is blank
  4. Fill in the password
  5. Press Tab to move to the next field (Impor­tant!)
  6. Enjoy your email life

Details on how to fix OSX when you are unable to ver­i­fy account name or password

Let’s go through the process in more detail. It took me a while to sort this out but it is in fact very simple.

Open Sys­tem Pref­er­ences and then Inter­net accounts.

You will have a list of your email accounts and oth­er inter­net ser­vices on the left.

Apple System Preferences - choose Internet Accounts

For account where you have your own server:

Click on your account and a few sec­onds lat­er you get the pop­up ask­ing for your password.

Press can­cel here as noth­ing you enter will validate.

Once you have can­celled you will see the Mail account details:



Please note the pass­word field is blank — enter your account’s pass­word here and then press the tab but­ton to move the focus out of the pass­word field — the sys­tem will then check the account and pass­word and if you have the cor­rect pass­word it will validate.

Do the same for each email account.

Eas­i­er than rein­stalling OSX

For accounts like Google mail, Face­book, Linkedin etc I delet­ed the account and cre­at­ed a new one.

Sum­ma­ry

So it looks like the key­chain is used to val­i­date your pass­word — and because I had changed my login pass­word, all the pass­words stored for those accounts had been delet­ed. This is a very frus­trat­ing bug in OSX and I would have expect­ed bet­ter from Apple but it may be an edge case that rarely hap­pens and oth­er fac­tors may be at play with key­chain keep­ing us secure.

And there is more...

From the amount of traf­fic and com­ments I have been hav­ing this might not be such a niche issue! Come on Apple!

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