Apps that use iCloud will require app-specific passwords starting June 15

Two-factor authentication: Everything you need to know!
Two-factor authentication: Everything you need to know!

Apple has sent out a support email explaining that, starting June 15, third-party apps using iCloud to store data will require app-specific passwords across the board. If you want to continue using your favorite third-party app with your iCloud account, you'll have to enable two-factor authentication and generate individual passwords for each app.

The email was reported on originally by MacRumors.

Beginning on 15 June, app-specific passwords will be required to access your iCloud data using third-party apps such as Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, or other mail, contacts and calendar services not provided by Apple.If you are already signed in to a third-party app using your primary Apple ID password, you will be signed out automatically when this change takes effect. You will need to generate an app-specific password and sign in again.

I know this sounds like a serious inconvenience, but in light of how many malware attacks have been taking place around the world, and with such severity, app-specific passwords will ensure your private data is locked down with a deadbolt and protected with a body guard. In other words, it's worth it.

With two-factor authentication set up no one can access your Apple account without you knowing about it, even if someone has your password. You'll get a notification on a trusted device requesting your confirmation that you're the one trying to access your data.

With app-specific passwords required for third-party apps, you'll be able to allow your favorite apps to link to iCloud without having to enter your Apple ID password, potentially exposing you to attack.

If you don't already have two-factor authentication enabled, you'll need to do so if you want to continue using apps that access iCloud.

How to enable 2-factor authentication

Once you have two-factor authentication set up, you'll be able to generate app-specific passwords from Appleid.apple.com (opens in new tab).

How to generate app-specific passwords

Lory Gil

Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books.  If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).

15 Comments
  • Well this is going to be a pain in the @$$ 😔
  • You had better believe it. I’m already thinking of turning off 2FA as it often quirks out.
  • I am so sick of passwords!!
  • Moving in the wrong direction unfortunately. The Apple initiated pop ups and password requests we get now is painful as it is. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • This is nuts. Apple devices are already difficult to use. I get so many password prompts now for what appear to be no good reasons (other than to annoy me endlessly). As an aside, my "favorite" is the one that says I need to enter my device password at some unknowable interval even though I have TouchID enabled. I understand the need for security. I have 2-factor enabled (never enabled 2-step... that implementation was stupid). I don't think I use any apps that use iCloud. If I did, I'd probably check to see if could stop using them when this change goes into effect. This is getting out of hand.
  • I've used iCloud mail for 3 years and been happy. But I had so many hassles on my non i device for work, I turned off 2FA. May need to switch to different mail provider as well.
  • So, this is just email, right? Things were you have to sign in. I don't sign into iA Writer to use iCloud, Documents, or Pixelmator. I do use contacts with Spark, but I don't sign in with it. It just comes from the system. I don't think that will require an extra step to sign in… will it?
  • More passwords? I'm running out of sticky notes :-(
  • So Apple are now implementing app passwords, something Microsoft and Google did about ten years ago and have since moved onto using authenticator apps or device notifications. Apple really, really need to invest some of their mountains of cash in their software as the user experience is falling way behind the competition now.
  • Pretty sure Apple's user experience has been to a very high standard, of course you can always ask the users for their own experiences
  • I was speaking as an Apple user. The UX on iOS compared to Android just isn't as enjoyable or productive anymore, whereas barely 3 years ago iOS was so much better. This is including the stock apps, settings, notifications, camera. The only thing that iOS trumps Android on is with 3D Touch.
  • It depends whether you're referring to the level of features rather than UX itself. iOS hasn't decreased in usability, iOS is still very intuitive and easy to use. It might not have the flexibility of Android, but for what it does have it does it really well
  • You're right, iOS hasn't decreased in usability: it's stagnated.
  • Inelegant, but necessary, I suppose.
  • Wow...this is really dumb. This is another example of Apple not finding a way to deal with security issues other than put them on the backs of users. What happened to the Apple that took the user experience as a first priority?