Has anyone ever successfully changed Gmail password and not broken Delta Chat?

My brother and I both have used Delta Chat for over six months both using Gmail accounts. It has worked very well up to now, but then my brother changed his Gmail account password to be a little more secure. That broke Delta Chat and he and I have worked on it for six or seven hours but could not get his account to reconnect back to Gmail. Finally he deleted everything on his desktop and tablet having to do with Delta chat and reinstalled it and basically reconnected it to his Gmail account all over again, but in the process lost access to all of the thousands of encrypted messages that are still there in his Gmail account but that he cannot read, and are not shown by the newly installed delta chat.

The question is very simple: is there any way to change a Gmail password and not destroy Delta chat which is using that account? If anyone has successfully done that, could you say how you did it? it must be trivially easy, but he and I have not found any way that can be done. Both of our Gmail accounts do NOT use multifactor authentication but rather simple straightforward passwords.

Hi @infohighwy – bummer to hear of the troubles, sorry about that! Changing the gmail password in Delta Chat should be possible and work, for sure. Next time please try to reach out here immediately and ask for help :slight_smile:

First of all, you can always “export” you Delta chat data into a file and later import it. This exported file represents all the chat messages and media, and also the encryption keys etc. You can also use this file to have multi-device installs (eg on Mobile and Desktop).

Was the Desktop install a standalone install? Did you enable “insecure apps” in the gmail settings? Did you try to change the password in the account settings of Delta Chat?

Once I changed my Gmail password, I totally lost access using Delta Chat. Of course I can login Gmail with my credentials no problem, so I know my new password is valid. No matter what I try, I get the following message when I attempt to do anything like read or send messages using Delta Chat:

“Response from SMTP smtp.gmail.com:465: SMTP: oauth2 error [my gmail email address is named here] Some providers may email you additional information about this problem; you should be able to check your inbox using your regular email app or website. Consult your provider or friends if you run into problems.”

I am using the desktop and I also have android. I am not using TFA in Gmail and I did enable “insecure apps” in the Gmail settings. I have tried changing the password in the account settings of Delta Chat and that has done no good. When I import the previously exported Delta chat, Google won’t let me in because the password has changed. That is actually what you want in case your Gmail account is compromised you don’t want someone accessing your Gmail account through a back door like using oauth2. So apparently when you change your Gmail password it closes most of the back doors. Oauth2 as well, no doubt!

What I’m ideally looking for is a recipe and the order to do everything in the proper sequence so that it works properly. I thought that changing your Gmail password and then going into Delta Chat and changing that password to be the same as your new Gmail password would be sufficient, but apparently it is absolutely not. I am going to abandon Delta Chat because while I can delete it from my computer and start over, I lose all previous chats. Possibly one could import the old version but never use it because the password no longer works, but that seems an unworkable work around! And then you would have multiple accounts and that would be a mess! Obviously I’m totally missing something here and am willing to learn the proper way to change a Gmail account password and not lose everything regarding Delta Chat. I got to believe someone out there has successfully done it!

Thanks for your response. I added some additional info about the error message. On paper, changing your Gmail password should be a piece a cake, and still have Delta Chat continue to work properly. But as we all know things on paper don’t always translate to real life! I would be shocked if I was the only Gmail user using Delta Chat, but that may be the case. My biggest fear is not that I will change my password to be secure, but that Gmail may force me to change my password because of some compromise somewhere and they require people to change passwords even against their will. As you know, once you change a Gmail password, you can never go back to it. So if you do it, it is done permanently!

In case of OAuth 2 authentication, Delta Chat stores OAuth 2 token inside the password field, not the password. When reconfiguring account, Delta Chat should redo all the OAuth 2 procedure that it does during initial setup to get a new token, but apparently it does not and simply tries to use the password in place of OAuth 2 token. Looks like a bug in Android.

What you can do for now as a workaround is enable application passwords and use them instead of OAuth 2: Sign in with App Passwords - Google Account Help

Thank you for your information. App passwords REQUIRE TFA, which I avoided because TFA can be problematic for some apps. But I could turn on TFA, then Gmail would allow me to generate a 16 character app password, but what would I do with that that would not be identical to me changing my Gmail password, telling it to allow weak passwords, and then putting that weak password into Delta Chat (which in fact is exactly what I did, but that error message listed above keeps popping up)?

In other words, how can I disable OAuth? As I see it, having a app password with TFA is functionally identical to having a “regular” Gmail password, but disabling TFA. How do I kill OAuth on Delta Chat completely? Have not seen how to do that. Thanks! I notice that when I have gone into Delta Chat and viewed my password, it is a huge string not at all like anything I’ve ever put into Gmail. I’m guessing that is the special “OAuth” password because what else could it be that Gmail might possibly understand? My guess is that when I change my Gmail pw, that also breaks the OAuth between Delta and Gmail. At that point one is hosed and has to start over, even though all my previous chat messages are clearly still in Gmail, it’s just that Delta Chat can no longer read them since they were written out using the OAuth credentials that are now broken thanks to me changing my Gmail password. Very frustrating.

Easy Solution: Use some other provider than Gmail if you have an problem with gmail’s requirements for imap access.

Also if you used DeltaChat with others and encrypted you message, but then deleted deltachat and your private key, there is no way to get them back.

That might be you problem, that DC android has currently not a way to redo the oauth2 procedure:

Also if gmail still allows login in via the google account password, you can try putting it into the password field.

Thanks for your feedback. I’m certainly not married to Gmail, and something like ProtonMail won’t work, so does anyone know of any solid email services which play very well with Delta Chat? I would like something that if the email provider forces me to change my password due to an issue on their side, that it is a fairly painless and trivial matter to keep everything flowing and in happy sync! I know that Linux probably has some solutions, but I need to be able to recommend this to friends and family who are not really into email servers, operating systems, etc.

Unless Delta Chat formulates a fairly bulletproof way of changing one’s Gmail password and not have everything take a dive, I and other family members are abandoning that email provider for Delta Chat because of the risks of losing everything. Too bad Delta Chat and Protonmail could not get in bed together and come up with the best of both worlds. Proton does not offer a chat/SMS-type subsystem, so maybe Delta Chat could help provide one and work with them to make it extremely reliable. Thanks to everyone who offered ideas and suggestions!