What to Do When Your iPhone Won’t Add Your Google Account

For many, their Google account and iPhone are the bloodlines that allow for a smooth workflow. Adding a Google account to your iPhone allows you to sync important data across different services like email, Google docs, and more. But what happens if the Google account just won’t sync with your iPhone?

What to Do When Your iPhone Won’t Add Your Google Account

This problem is usually limited to Gmail, while other apps like Google Drive should work just fine. Either way, there are a few things you can do to fix the issue. Check out the recommended troubleshooting methods below.

Gmail Website Alerts

Before you start tampering with the actual settings, you should check if there are any alerts. Since you have troubles with your phone, it is best to do this via a PC or Mac, though the method also works like a charm in the iOS version of Safari.

Gmail Website Alerts

  1. Launch the browser of your choice, go to gmail.com, and log in to your account with your email and password.
  2. Once you log in, the alert message you are looking for should be something like “We blocked a sign-in attempt” or “Someone has your password.”
  3. If you see an alert like this, click on the That Was Me or Review Your Devices Now button and follow the onscreen instructions to solve the problem.

Notes: If you access Gmail via mobile Safari or Chrome, you’ll be prompted to use the app. This time, though, it is best to proceed with the mobile browser of your choice. The alerts will appear in a small red circle in the upper-right corner.


A CAPTCHA reset is a neat trick that unlocks certain security features on your Google account. It can be really useful if you are struggling to add the account on your new iPhone. To be exact, the unlocked security features make it easier for new devices to connect to Google.


  1. To initiate the reset, go to Google’s Display Unlock CAPTCHA Page. You will get a security message, informing you about the additional sign-in steps that might be required.
  2. Click on Continue to proceed with the reset and grant access to your account.
  3. Then log in with your username and password and try to add the Google account to your mobile device. You should know that it’s better to access the CAPTCHA page on your computer rather than the smartphone.


IMAP is a protocol that’s designed to allow for seamless synchronization between offline email readers and Gmail. However, it might not be enabled by default on your iPhone which makes it impossible to add an account.

For Older iOS

  1. To turn on IMAP, launch Settings, select Mail, and hit Add Account.
  2. Now, select Other and highlight the IMAP tab.
  3. Use imap.gmail.com for the hostname and add your full email address under username. As for the SMTP (the outgoing mail server), use smtp.gmail.com and hit Save once you finish.

For Newer iOS

If your iPhone runs iOS 11 or later, the process is much easier.

  1. Open Settings, select Passwords & Accounts, and hit Add account.
  2. Select Google from the next window and follow the onscreen instructions to complete the process. Once done, the IMAP protocol will be turned on by default.

For Newer iOS

Device Activity and Notifications

When you try to add Google account or sign in with multiple devices, additional attempts might be temporarily blocked. Usually, you get an email about the block, but if there’s no email, you can look for the alert under Device Activity & Notifications.

  1. Go to https://myaccount.google.com/ and check the Recent security events tab for notifications. The Your devices section also lists all the devices that are linked to your account.
  2. If there is an alert under Recent security events, tell Google it was you who tried to connect to the account.
  3. After that, you can proceed and try to add your account again.

Digital Unplug and Plug-Back

The last resort is to remove the Google account from your phone and try to set it up again. To make things clear, when adding an account, your phone remembers most of the data, but the problems start when you want to sign in. The account seems to be there, but it’s completely unresponsive even if you’ve tried all the previous methods.

In this case, your best bet is to delete the account and try to add it back again.

  1. Tap Settings, navigate to Accounts & Passwords, and select the Gmail tab.
  2. Hit the Delete Account button and confirm your choice in the following windows. It is advisable to restart your iPhone before you proceed to add the account again.

Digital Unplug and Plug-Back

Some Precautionary Measures

Although IMAP has largely replaced the old POP protocol, some users might still have an email that uses POP. Once you connect the account to your iPhone, it might get automatically deleted from the server. This happens only if you use the POP protocol and not as a general rule.

As always, it is better to be safe than sorry. You should log into your Gmail on another device to ensure that the email is available on the web. If you cannot verify this, it is better not to proceed with Delete Account.

Hey Google, It’s Me

In most cases, Google sends you an email to inform you about the new device you are trying to add. You shouldn’t ignore these emails since they allow for quick device authentication. It’s also advisable to add your phone number as an extra security step and take advantage of two-step authorization via a text message code.

Are you comfortable with sharing your phone number with Google? And which iPhone model is giving you troubles with the Google account? Share your thoughts and experience in the comments section below.

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