GMail settings

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When using a GMail account, we recommend using the new OAuth2 authentication when possible.  Setup for basic SMTP login is also explained below, but that also requires two additional steps in your GMail account itself to work properly.


As of this writing, GMail is phasing out other options for using SMTP, including "Allow less secure apps".  Creating an "App Password" may still work (see 'Also Important' below), but may eventually go away as well, and may not be as robust as OAuth2.



Server Settings -- using GMail OAUTH2 Authentication


As of version 11.0, support has been added to send mail using OAuth2 through GMail.  While this is much simpler as far as the settings required in Campground Master, and allows you to keep your GMail account more secure, it does require an "Authentication" process to start with.  This is generally a "one time" process and only takes a minute or less, however it will need to be repeated occasionally, if you change passwords for instance.


The one known drawback with OAuth2 is that the BCC function does not work with the current implementation in Campground Master.  You can use CC, though (which is visible).  If BCC is necessary, then try the App Password method instead of OAuth2, if that is still possible in your GMail account.


To use OAuth2, first make sure your GMail E-mail address is being used as the E-mail address in the Sender section.  Then in the Server section, select "GMail OAuth2" for the Authentication Method.  Most other settings will then be hidden since they aren't needed.


Next, click the Request OAuth Access button to start the authorization process.  A window will appear with the instructions (as shown below) -- click "Begin!" to start.


Note:  The exact wording from GMail mentioned below may change from time to time -- the main thing is to make sure you tell GMail to allow Campground Master access for sending E-mails on your behalf.


Note: If you get a pop-up from Windows Defender or other firewall, make sure you tell it to allow Campground Master for both Private and Public networks.


Your web browser will open and prompt you for authorization.  You must:

1. Log into your GMail account (or select the account to use).

.... If you see 'This app isn't verified', click "Advanced" and then click "Go to Campground Master (unsafe)"

2. Click "Allow" on the 'Grant Campground Master Permissions' page

3. Click "Allow" again on the 'Confirm your choices' page.


Important: You will have to complete these steps within a certain number of seconds of when you click 'Begin!' (default is 120 seconds).  If you get an error 'Unable to connect' after those steps, then it took too long.  Close your browser, go back to Campground Master, and click "Begin!" to start again.  If necessary, you can increase this timeout on the SMTP Setup page.



If you decide not to continue before it's done, you can click the Cancel button to tell Campground Master to stop waiting for authorization -- otherwise it will wait until the timeout is finished and show an error.


Once you complete the steps, the window above will close and you will get a confirmation that Campground Master has been authorized.  


Important -- you may also get an E-mail from GMail indicating that a new application or device was authorized.  You should follow the link in the E-mail to "check the activity" and confirm that it was you who did it, to prevent Google from flagging it as a security issue.


Request OAuth Access button -- this is used for initial authorization (shown above), or any time you want to change which GMail account to use.  You can also use it again any time, it doesn't hurt anything to re-authorize.


Refresh OAuth Token button -- this is usually not necessary, since it will be refreshed automatically whenever needed to send E-mail. However if you have trouble sending E-mail, then you could try this to see what error information is being returned.



Gmail Settings example -- when NOT using OAuth2 as described above


If you use Gmail (Google mail) and don't wish to use the OAuth2 authentication, use the settings below.  Reminder -- you can only use the GMail SMTP host if your E-mail address (for the From & Reply-to) is also an address.


Host Name/Address:

Port Number:                465

Use SSL:                Checked

Use TLS:                Unchecked

Authentication method:        Automatic

Username :                (your Gmail login)

Password :                (Gmail App Password, see below)


Also Important: GMail is securing access to SMTP and the only way it currently seems to work without using OAuth2 is with an "App Password".  You may also need to have "2-step verification" enabled.  Use this procedure (details subject to change by Google):


1. Go to your Google Account:

2. On the left navigation panel, choose Security.

3. On the "Signing in to Google" panel, choose App Passwords. If you don’t see this option, then one or more of these may be the reason:

2-Step Verification is not set up for your account (enable this if needed).

2-Step Verification is set up for security keys only.

Your account is through work, school, or other organization.

You’ve turned on Advanced Protection for your account.

4. Below, choose Select app and choose the app you’re using (e.g. Mail).

5. Choose Select device and choose the device you’re using (e.g. Windows Computer).

6. Choose Generate.

7. Follow the instructions to enter the App Password. The App Password is the 16-character code in the yellow bar on your device -- you can copy that and paste it into the Password field in SMTP Setup.

8. Choose Done.




Additional Topics:


 SMTP Setup (other settings)


Send E-mail (Preview)


Batch E-mailing options


Confirmation E-mail Text & Options


Invoice, Receipt and Statement E-mail text



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