Switch from two-step verification to two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication is an extra layer of security for your Apple ID designed to ensure that you're the only person who can access your account, even if someone knows your password.

If you're already using two-step verification for security on your Apple products, you might need to set up two-factor authentication instead. Two-factor authentication is an improved security method designed to ensure all the important data that you store with Apple can be accessed only by you, and only with your devices. You also need two-factor authentication to unlock your Mac with your Apple Watch

Confirm which feature you're using

If you're not sure if you set up two-factor authentication or two-step verification, use these steps: 

  1. Sign in to your Apple ID account page.
  2. In the Security section, look for two-factor authentication or two-step verification, then see if the feature is off or on. 

If two-step verification is on, continue with the steps to turn it off, then turn on two-factor authentication. If two-factor authentication is on, then you're already set up. 

Turn off two-step verification

Before you can turn on two-factor authentication, you need to turn off two-step verification. Use these steps: 

  1. Sign in to your Apple ID account page.
  2. In the Security section, click Edit.
  3. Click Turn Off Two-Step Verification. Click again to confirm.
  4. Create new security questions and verify your date of birth. You'll get an email confirming that two-step verification for your Apple ID is off.
  5. Remember to make sure that you're still signed in to iCloud. You might be asked for your Apple ID password. 

If you log in to your Mac with your Apple ID, you need to change your Mac login password before setting up two-factor authentication. 

     

Turn on two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication is currently available to iCloud users with at least one device that's using iOS 9 or OS X El Capitan or later. Learn more.

On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch:

  1. Go to Settings > [your name]. If you're using iOS 10.2 or earlier, go to Settings > iCloud and tap your Apple ID.
  2. Tap Password & Security. If asked, enter your Apple ID password. 
  3. Tap Set Up Two-Factor Authentication.

On your Mac:

  1. Go to Apple menu () > System Preferences. 
  2. Click iCloud, then click Account Details. If asked, enter your Apple ID password. 
  3. Click the Security tab.
  4. Click Turn on Two-Factor Authentication.

Remember to make sure that you're still signed in to iCloud on each of your devices. You might be asked for your Apple ID password. 

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