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May 2, 2014

Changing Android Account Passwords

Filed under: Main — Tags: — admin @ 12:01 am

As you and your Android phone or tablet wander this weary Earth, you carry with you various accounts and online personas. Keeping those accounts and their information synchronized should be effortless — unless something changes.

For example, say you just had to change a password because of the Heartbleed bug. Or perhaps you’re puzzled how you get mail from your online account but not calendar invites or copies of your contacts.

Fret not! A solution is at hand.

ma02-Alert First, when you change an online account password, the phone or tablet should alert you. You’ll either see a pop-up message on the screen or some type of notification or alert, as shown at the left. The easiest solution is to choose that notification and type in the new password.

Do be aware that some account alerts are false alarms. For example, you may be prompted for your email account password when you haven’t changed it. Don’t freak! Instead, visit the Email app and refresh the inbox. That may fix it. Errors such as these happen due to bad connections, not because of anything nefarious.

When you do need to change a password for one of your email accounts, open the Email app: Touch the Menu icon (also called the Action Overflow) and choose Settings. Choose your email account, then the Incoming Settings item. Type your new password on the next screen.

For other accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter, and so on, you have two options.

Start by opening the app and check for a Sign Out command. Sometimes it’s right on the main screen, sometimes you have to dig for the command. As a hint, look on the sidebar (also called the Navigation Drawer) for a Sign Out command. After signing out, sign back in using the new password.

When you can’t sign out, you need to remove the account and then re-add it. To do so, summon the Settings app and choose the account from the list of accounts. Touch the Menu icon and choose Remove Account. Then you can re-add the account and specify the new password.

I’ll confess that these operations are clunky. A future version of the Android operating system may streamline the process, allowing you a more consistent choice for dealing with new or changed passwords. I certainly hope so.

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