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gmail clear captcha

Repeatedly prompted for your username and password or 'invalid credentials' error.

    Verify your password and clear the captcha. If you're a Google Apps user, visit Be sure to replace '' with your actual domain name.


I have always recommended everyone I know to use only the webmail. Why bother using POP or keeping a  redundant copy of the emails in your hard disk? However, many people are still too fond of their POP access on their Windows Mail, Outlook Express or Outlook 2007 and to change, it will never be an easy task.

Yesterday and today, on the same account on one of my client’s PC which was configured correctly and have been functioning without any problems for as long as I know since I setup Outlook 2007 with Gmail’s POP access, for some reason, the POP access was locked out! Same issue, twice on two nights.

What happens when POP access is locked? There will be this really annoying message that keeps on prompting and popping up on the screen asking you to “Enter the username and password” in Outlook 2007. Of course, the username and password are correctly entered!  As soon as you clicked Enter, in a few seconds, you will be prompted the same error again. It will continue doing this unless you cancel it.

This is a nightmare especially for my client who has never use Gmail’s webmail service. And you wouldn’t be able send or receive any emails if you are locked out! Imagine all the work you have to do is forced to put on a pause!

Personally, this is the first (and second) time encountering this error, so this is also a something new to me as well. Read on to fine out the solutions to this problem.

The Solutions

First of all, do not bother setting up and re-configuring your account with the same settings (Yes, why would you want to change something you never change in the first place?). The problem will still persist even if you do that.

After a few searches on Google (plus a little bit of frustration and impatience), I found out that this problem is a “common error”.

Repeatedly prompted for your username and password or ‘invalid credentials’ error.

Verify your password and clear the captcha. If you’re a Google Apps user, visit Be sure to replace ‘’ with your actual domain name.

So yes, you need to clear the captcha. According to Wikipedia, a CAPTCHA or Captcha is a type of challenge-response test used in computing to ensure that the response is not generated by a computer. It is a contrived acronym for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart.”

Basically, what you need to do is simply follow the characters you see in the picture to unlock the account. Your POP access will work again right after that! The character are made to be difficult to read, so if you entered the wrong character, just try again with a new set of words.

To avoid your email program like Outlook 2007 locking your Gmail’s POP access again (like in my case, two nights in a row), below is a solution provided by Gmail.

Why am I locked out of Gmail after enabling POP?

To ensure that you aren’t locked out of Gmail while your messages are downloading to your email client, adjust your client’s settings so it won’t check for new messages too frequently. If you’re locked out of Gmail, please wait one hour and then try logging in again.

Again, I want my emails to arrive in my Inbox immediately. Not adjusting it to 15minutes or 30minutes later. Or more, considering you wouldn’t want to get locked out again, you have to set the frequency even slower!  Another reason why you should use the webmail.

I hope this article is helpful to you. Feel free to leave your comments if you have any questions! :-)