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Issue #878: May 19-25, 2024

Q: It appears I got caught up in the AT&T data breech and found that my email password was identified as being on the dark web, so I changed it both in the Outlook desktop app and in Microsoft 365.

 My issue is that on my Android phone, when I open Outlook, I get the message, “Please sign into [e-mail address redacted].” I sign in on both incoming IMAP server and outgoing SMTP server and get the error, “Please check your email and password and try again.” I have checked to be sure that the email and password are correct.

 I am able so send and receive emails from the Android, and the calendar correctly updates in both directions. I can live with the sign in error, but it’s annoying. Any thoughts?  Thanks and keep up the good work.

 – David B.
Navarre, Florida

A:  I applaud you for taking action in light of your discovery, David.  I think this is more common than people believe, and that many people would actually be shocked to discover that some or all of their passwords are compromised.  Passwords aren’t always compromised in one of those massive data breaches you read about in the news, and more often than not, individuals don’t get notified of compromises.  The fact that you know, and are trying to take steps to re-secure your personal data is a sign that you’re security conscious, and a good cyber-citizen.

Full disclosure upfront, David:  I am an iPhone Geek, not an Android Geek.  I only know enough about setting up things on Android to get myself (and by extension, you) in trouble, but I also have a Geek brain, access to Google, and several friends and colleagues that use Android, so I hope what I’ve managed to cobble together for you helps you out.

Your list of what you’ve done to overcome this issue, and the fullness of your descriptions leave me with the impression that you know your way around e-mail and devices pretty well.  Now, I don’t like to question the how’s and why’s of the way people use their devices, especially knowledgeable people, but one of the first things that I’m wondering is why you’re using Outlook on your phone?  It’s a personal choice, to be sure, but the mail and calendar apps built-into your phone are full-featured solutions to these needs, without the further integration into which, from the perspective of an Android-based phone, is a 3rd-party application.  That includes the use of multiple e-mail accounts and multiple calendars.  Just some food for thought.

I can’t fully account for why you say you can get in, send and receive e-mails, get calendar updates, and still get re-prompted for password information the next time. It seems like there is an extra level of username and password that you’re not taking into consideration.  As someone who is not an Outlook for Android user, I’m fairly unfamiliar with the setup, but is it possible that you changed the passwords for your IMAP and SMTP servers, but Outlook itself has a password that needs to be updated?  Or rather, Outlook’s stored password for that account?

Here’s what I know: to change an e-mail password, you click the three lines in the upper-left corner, then select the gear icon.  From there, select the e-mail account you want to work with (even if you only have one, you must still select it).  Then click Server Settings, and you’ll find all the password, server, and port settings available.  Make sure they are all correctly updated to reflect your new password.

If the above doesn’t fix the problem you’re having, I have one final suggestion for you, which is kind of a nuclear option, but carries minimal risk to your e-mail data.  Since the account in question uses IMAP, that means none of your e-mails are actually stored on your phone.  All the e-mail should be on the server, and merely accessed by the device on demand.  If you simply cannot work out the password issue, you are free to completely remove the account from your device without worrying about losing anything.  Once it’s removed, proceed to add the account back to the device as if it was new.  In the process, you’ll hopefully need to provide the passwords to anything and everything needed to access the account, and all will be working again, except without that annoying prompt.  Good luck!

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June 2024

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