Google accepts Gmail not letting Android users access their Exchange mail accounts
Gmail’s updated version 18.104.22.168170480 on Android brought with itself an issue for users accessing Exchange mail accounts.
Those affected say the above quoted version of the app ignores the Exchange Active Sync Security Policy (which permits the use of PIN) and forces the use of a password. As can be seen in the following screen shot, other options cannot be selected as they’re grayed out.
What exactly happens is, when users try accessing their Exchange mail box through Gmail on Android, the app throws a ‘Security Update required’ prompt:
Tapping on ‘Update Now’ asks the user to confirm their PIN. But after successfully entering the PIN, the app prompts the user to enter a password for Secure Startup. All other Secure Startup options are disabled.
The issue is not restricted to any particular Exchange version, as it is being reported with Exchange 2010, 2013 and 2016. Also, removing the exchange/corporate account from Gmail restores all Secure Startup options.
Some users on twitter are also complaining about the issue.
— 4d4m (@4d4mdotnet) July 17, 2017
The problem was first reported on July 12, 2017. With more complaints pouring in, Google officially acknowledged it earlier this month. An company employee addressed the users on the official Gmail forum on August 4, saying:
“The Gmail team is aware of this issue and is working on a fix”
The above mentioned comment confirms that a fix is being worked on, although there’s no information on when it will be rolled out. If you are among the sufferers, keep a tab here as we’ll update when the fix rolls out.
It’s worth mentioning that one of the affected users who tried debugging the issue found that accounts having the option “Password must include this many character sets” value set to more than 1 in their ActiveSync policies were having the issue. This was irrespective of whether the “Require an alphanumeric password” option was enabled or disabled.
Setting the value to 1 did the trick. Several other users tried this, and confirmed that the change resolved the problem. So until Google comes up with a fix, you can try this workaround, as it should work.