Two-factor authentication for Apple ID

Two-factor authentication is designed to make sure you're the only person who can access your account. Find out how it works and how to turn on two-factor authentication.

 

Two-factor authentication is an extra layer of security for your Apple ID, designed to make sure you're the only one who can access your account – even if someone else knows your password. When you sign in with your Apple ID for the first time on a new device or on the web, you need both your password and the 6-digit verification code that's automatically displayed on your trusted devices. Because just knowing your password isn't enough to access your account, two-factor authentication dramatically improves the security of your Apple ID and the data you store with Apple.

Two-factor authentication is the default security method for most Apple IDs. Certain Apple services and features, such as Apple Pay and Sign in with Apple, require two-factor authentication. We recommend that you use two-factor authentication and protect your device with a passcode (or login password on Mac) and Face ID or Touch ID, if your device supports it.

Find out about the availability and minimum system requirements for two-factor authentication


Turn on two-factor authentication for your Apple ID

If you aren't using two-factor authentication for your Apple ID, you can turn it on directly on your device or on the web:

  • On your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch: Go to Settings > your name > Password & Security. Tap Turn On Two-Factor Authentication. Then tap Continue and follow the onscreen instructions.
  • On your Mac: Choose Apple menu  > System Settings (or System Preferences), then click your name (or Apple ID). Click Password & Security. Next to Two-Factor Authentication, click Turn On and follow the onscreen instructions.
  • On the web: Go to appleid.apple.com and sign in with your Apple ID. Answer your security questions, then tap Continue. Tap Continue when you see a prompt to upgrade account security. Then tap Upgrade Account Security and follow the onscreen instructions.

If you're already using two-factor authentication with your Apple ID, you can't turn it off. If you updated to two-factor authentication inadvertently, you can turn it off within two weeks of enrolment. If you do, your account is less secure and you can't use features that require a higher level of security.


The first time that you sign in with your Apple ID on a new device

When you sign in with your Apple ID user name and password for the first time on a new device or the web, you'll receive a notification on your trusted devices that someone is trying to sign in with your Apple ID. The notification may include a map of the approximate location of the sign-in attempt. This location is based on the new device's IP address and may reflect the network that it's connected to, rather than the exact physical location. If you know that you're the person trying to sign in but don't recognise the location, you can still tap Allow and view the verification code. If you aren't the one trying to sign in, tap Don't Allow to block the sign-in attempt.

When you enter the verification code on your new device or the web, you verify that you trust the device on which you're signing in. You may also be asked to enter the passcode of one of your devices to access any end-to-end encrypted content stored in iCloud.

After you sign in, you won't be asked for a verification code on that device again unless you sign out completely, erase the device or need to change your password for security reasons. When you sign in on the web, you can choose to trust your browser, so you won't be asked for a verification code again on that computer for 30 days.

If you don't have a trusted device with you

If you're trying to sign in and don't have a trusted device with you that can display verification codes, you can tap Didn't Get a Code on the sign-in screen and choose to send a code to one of your trusted phone numbers. This text message may include an additional domain validation line that includes the @ symbol, the website name and your code (for example, @icloud.com #123456 %apple.com). Or you can get a code directly from Settings on a trusted device.

Find out how to get a verification code


About trusted phone numbers and trusted devices

With two-factor authentication, a trusted device or trusted phone number helps verify your identity when you sign in to a new device or browser.

What is a trusted phone number?

To use two-factor authentication, you need at least one trusted phone number on file where you can receive verification codes. If you have a phone number that isn't associated with your trusted device, consider verifying it as an additional trusted phone number. If your iPhone is your only trusted device and it's missing or damaged, you won't be able to receive verification codes required to access your account.

To see, add or change your trusted phone numbers:

  • On your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch: Go to Settings > your name > Password & Security. Next to Trusted Phone Number, tap Edit.
  • On your Mac: Choose Apple menu  > System Settings (or System Preferences), then click your name (or Apple ID). Click Password & Security, then add or remove a trusted phone number.
  • Go to the Account Security section of appleid.apple.com.

What is a trusted device?

A trusted device is an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple Watch or Mac that you've already signed in to using two-factor authentication. It's a device that we know is yours and that can be used to verify your identity by displaying a verification code from Apple when you sign in on a different device or browser.

Find out how to see and manage your trusted devices

Information about products not manufactured by Apple, or independent websites not controlled or tested by Apple, is provided without recommendation or endorsement. Apple assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance or use of third-party websites or products. Apple makes no representations regarding third-party website accuracy or reliability. Contact the vendor for additional information.

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