PSFS Family Directory - Email: How to configure a Google Account to facilitate using Gmail to email through ParishSOFT Family Suite

How to configure a Google account to facilitate using Gmail to email through ParishSOFT Family Suite

After a parish has had its custom Gmail domain configured  (or a new user using a regular Gmail account) into ParishSOFT Family Suite, there a couple of changes that need to be made.

If you use two-factor authentication in your Gmail account, you must choose one of the following options to send email through ParishSOFT Family Suite using your Gmail account:

  1. Update the Google Account Settings to stop using 2-factor authentication
  2. Sign in to your Google Account using App Passwords which will allow you to send Gmail through ParishSOFT with 2-factor authentication still turned on. Then, complete the setup.
  3. Once these settings are in place you may email your members through Family Directory. See How to send an email message.


Update Google Account Settings to stop using 2-factor authentication

In addition to a password change, there are two settings in the Google Account settings that need to be set a certain way in order to successfully send mail through ParishSOFT Family Suite.

  1. Set 2-step verification to Off. 
  2. Set Allow less secure apps to On. Note: you may want to discuss this with your I.T. manager. If you don't like choosing this option, you may want to instead set up and use an app password and use 2-step verification instead.
  3. If it doesn't have one already, your Google password must be changed to include a special character. A special character is any character that is not a number or a letter.

Below is the section of the Google Account settings (different than Gmail settings) where these options can be found:


The 2-step verification is under Signing in to Google.  Select off.

  • Please note, after turning off this feature, Google may require you to approve your sign-in, to protect you from any suspicious activity.


Continue scrolling down in the Security tab to find Less Secure App Access. Select on.

Once those settings are changed the user should be able to email out of Parishsoft Family Suite.

If you set the above settings and are still receiving the message: "The SMTP server requires a secure connection or the client was not authenticated. The server response was: 5.5.1 Authentication Required," log in to your Gmail account. There will be a warning at the top that a login attempt had been made which you can then click Yes, allow it; and then try the email again. It should work after that. Continue to the next section.

How to complete the steps for setting up ParishSOFT to send email using your Gmail account

When setting your Gmail account to allow less secure apps, you will receive an email from Gmail confirming the change was intentional. The email will include the following image. You must click Check Activity to complete the setup.

This next screen will display. Click Yes.

Note: If you have followed these instructions to set up your Gmail account to work with ParishSOFT and you get error 5.7.0, you must:


Have more questions? Submit a request


  • Are we putting the parish gmail address in? If not, personal email addresses being used go just to owner, not General mailbox?

    Does the "allow less secure apps" option to "on" make address less secure?

    Do most parishes just use their personal emails and copy/paste email addresses of selected members?

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  • Sue, Thank you for inquiring about using the option to send email to your members. I have added the answers to the above article either by adding them directly or by providing a link to an article that answers them. In summary:
    1) See the article, How to send an email message. This shows you how to select the members you wish to email. (Added as the third option at the top of the article.)
    2) Turning on "allow less secure apps" does make your computer less secure. In lieu of that, you may want to create a passcode in Gmail and use the 2-factor authentication. See the last link in the article.
    3) You may do either one. The program allows you to email to selected members. Again, see the third option at the top of the article. Or, to get a list of emails and copy to your own personal email, see the article, "How to get a list of all family emails to copy into your email address bar or bcc bar (mass email)."

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