iCloud App-Specific Passwords: Authentication Failure


Upon generating an app-specific password through appleid.apple.com, I enter this into the password field and iCloud still returns an authentication failure. I’ve tried both iCloud and IMAP “Add Account” options, and tried both app-specific and iCloud master passwords, with no luck. I see others had this issue in 2021 and 2022 based on previous support requests, but neither seem resolved.

I’ve spoken with Apple Support and they insist that it’s a Mailspring issue, however at the very end of a 45-minute call with Apple, the woman informed me that “Apple is moving toward only allowing app-specific passwords for Apple products, not 3rd party apps.”


Easy to reproduce:

  1. Download Mailspring: getmailspring.com
  2. Generate an app-specific password: appleid.apple.com
  3. Add account in Mailspring and select iCloud
  4. Enter your creds (name, email, pass)
  5. Submission gives the auth error
  6. Try the IMAP instead of iCloud option when adding an account
  7. Submission gives the auth error
  8. Try both options above using iCloud master password instead of the app-specific password
  9. Submission gives the auth error

Email Provider

Apple iCloud


  • OS and Version: MacOS Sonoma 14.0
  • Installation Method: Installer
  • Mailspring Version: Version 1.11.0 (1.11.0)

Exact same thing on Windows 11.