Google Talk Not Working Via OS X Messages App

Kelly Heffner Wilkerson

Categories: macOS | View Comments

If you're like me, you participated in the 2015 Safer Internet Day by completing Google's Security Checkup to get an additional 2GB of quota in your Google Drive plan. (If you have not, you can complete the Security Checkup by February 17th to qualify for the storage increase.) Also if you're like me, when Google told you that you had less secure app authentication enabled, you didn't know what you used that needed less-secure authentication, so you turned it off like a good web citizen.

If you've read this far, I'm assuming you've earned the hat trick of "like me", and you also use Google Talk through the OSX Messages app. The next time you tried to log in to Google Talk via Messages after completing the audit, Google Talk rejected your password.

If you want to continue to use Google Talk via Messages, you'll need to re-enable the "less secure" authentication mechanism in your Google account.

Update 2017-07-04: If you use two-factor authentication for your Google account, and your Google Talk account is not appearing as an account in Messages, here's how to fix it:

  1. Generate an app specific password in your Google Account. I called mine "Messages", but you can call it whatever you like.

  2. Open Messages, and from the Messages menu, select "Add Account..."

  3. Select "Other Messages Account..." and press Continue.

  4. Select "Jabber" as the account type, fill in your gmail address as the username.

  5. Use your app-specific 16 character password as the password here.

  6. Uncheck "automatically find server and port", and fill in as the server, 5222 as the port (which will likely switch to 5223 as you sign in, since we're using SSL.) Keep the Use SSL checkbox checked.

This will add a separate account only for Messages, besides your possibly already-existing Google account entry in your macOS accounts preferences.


  • Herman Melville

    Herman Melville July 7, 2017

    FYI - If you enabled 2-factor authentication in google, you can generate an app specific password for Google Talk and keep your more secure authentication for all your apps.

    • Kelly HW

      Kelly HW July 7, 2017

      I'm going to update this post to add a section for 2FA setup issues as well as soon as I can.

      Did you notice if you HAD to setup a separate app-specific password to get your account in Messages? I just noticed that with Sierra and a 2FA-enabled Google account, checking the "Messages" box in the macOS accounts preferences did nothing, and I had to manually add the talk account separately with an app-specific password. Trying to make sure what I saw isn't a one-off glitch, before I write up instructions for this.

      • Herman Melville

        Herman Melville July 7, 2017

        Hi Kelly -

        Yes, I had to setup a separate app-specific password for Google Talk. I may not have needed to if I had enabled google talk when I first setup internet accounts. I have an app -specific password for my gmail account, but it seems to be possible to look-up an existing app-specific password after the initial creation and use. As a result, a created a new app-specific password for Google Talk.

        • Kelly HW

          Kelly HW July 7, 2017

          Cool, I'll assume that it's normal then :) I updated the post to talk about this situation too!

  • Steve(n) June 6, 2017

    New iPhone. Current iOS. Current OS X. No love.

    Followed your instructions and now I'm back to golden.

    It sure would help if the login in iMessage did something other than just throwing the same login box up after you know you typed the correct password in 100 times...

    Thank you for the help!

    • Decipher Tools Software

      Decipher Tools Software June 6, 2017

      Great news, Steve. We're happy that our instructions were helpful and we appreciate you letting us know! ;-)

    • Kelly HW

      Kelly HW July 7, 2017

      It looks like *maybe* it's ok to turn off the less secure apps setting after getting your (non 2FA) Google account signed in to Messages for the first time on Sierra. I just turned my "Allow Less Secure Apps"off again, and removed and re-added the account a bit. I'll see how long it lasts before I get the useless password prompt again :)

  • buda alin

    buda alin December 12, 2016

    not fixed in sierra, not in 10.12.3 Beta (16D17a) anyway...

  • Steve

    Steve December 12, 2016

    Thanks for this. I don't think I'm going to turn on less secure apps, but now I finally have an answer as to why I can't connect to GTalk with Messages anymore. Maybe it's fixed in Sierra and this finally gives me a reason to upgrade...