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Google authentication in Nylas v2

After you create a Google Cloud Platform application, the next step is to authenticate your app.

⚠️ Nylas recommends that you avoid using IMAP. IMAP has reduced functionality and will eventually be deprecated by Google.

What you'll learn

In this tutorial, you'll learn how to authenticate your Google app using either Hosted or Native auth.

Before you begin

Before you authenticate your Google app, complete the following prerequisites:

Authenticate your Google application

You can use either Hosted or Native auth to authenticate your Google app.

Authenticate your Google app with Hosted auth

Follow the steps in the Hosted auth documentation to set up Hosted auth for your Google app.

For more information about Hosted auth, see our API reference documentation.

Authenticate your Google app with Native auth

Nylas API v3 includes native support for OAuth 2.0 protocols. To learn more, see the API v3 documentation.

To use Native auth with your Google app, you need to get a refresh token from Google.

Refresh tokens are part of the OAuth 2.0 protocol, and they give you access to Google's APIs. You can use the Google API client libraries to automate the refresh_token implementation process.

📝 Note: Refresh tokens for GCP apps with the Testing publishing status expire after seven days. For more information, see Google's official refresh token expiration documentation.

For more information about Native auth, see our API reference documentation.

Diagram showing a Native authentication flow for a Google Cloud Platform application.

Follow these steps to authenticate your GCP app using Native auth:

  1. Redirect the end user to your OAuth login page. Google sends an authentication code to your app.

  2. Request a refresh token from Google.

  3. Make a POST /connect/authorize request using your google_client_id, google_client_secret, and google_refresh_token, as in the example below. Nylas returns a one-time-use authorization code.

    curl -X POST -d '{ 
    "client_id": "<NYLAS_CLIENT_ID>",
    "name": "Nyla the Nylanaut",
    "email_address": "[email protected]",
    "provider": "gmail",
    "settings": {
    "google_client_id": "<GCP_CLIENT_ID>",
    "google_client_secret": "<GCP_CLIENT_SECRET>",
    "google_refresh_token": "<GCP_REFRESH_TOKEN>"
    "scopes": "email.read_only,calendar.read_only,contacts.read_only"
  4. Make a POST /connect/token request as in the example below. Nylas returns an access_token for the account.

    curl -X POST "" -d '{
    "client_id": "<NYLAS_CLIENT_ID>",
    "client_secret": "<NYLAS_CLIENT_SECRET>",
    "code": "<AUTH_EXCHANGE_CODE>"

Example: Native auth for Google apps

The following example applications show how to implement Native auth for your GCP app using the Nylas SDKs:

Nylas scopes

Before you authorize an end user to your app, ensure that you include the correct scopes in your request. Depending on the scopes that you choose for your production environment, your app might need to undergo a Google security review.

⚠️ If you change the scopes for your app, your end users will need to re-authenticate their accounts.