How to enable Apple two-step verification

By , Mar 22, 2013

Get started two step verification

Back in 2013, a Strategy Analytics report came out that showed iCloud as the top cloud media service in the US. People use it to store things like music and videos, but they also use it to store more personal stuff like contacts, photos and other data.

So you can see why users were relieved to hear that Apple beefed up its account security by adding a two-step verification option. And for those having trouble getting it setup, we’ve put together this easy-to-follow tutorial.

Enabling two-step verification for Apple products and services

First you might be wondering why you would want to setup two-step verification. And the answer is pretty simple: to make your Apple ID more secure. As it stands now, if someone got ahold of your account password, they could do a lot of damage.

But with the two-step process, anytime your account is accessed from a new computer or device, you’ll be required to verify your identity by either entering in a pin code sent to one of your devices, or via a 14-digit Key before any changes can be made.

So now that we’re clear on what the two-step verification process is, let’s get started:

Step 1: Open up Apple’s My Apple ID landing page (appleid.apple.com) in any compatible web browser and login using your standard Apple credentials.

Step 2: Once you’re in, you’ll want to look for the TWO-STEP VERIFICATION option under Security, and click on Get Started…

security get started

Step 3: You will now be asked to enter a trusted phone number. Typically, you’d want to use your iPhone phone number here. Once you have entered your phone number, Apple will send you a security code via text message to verify your phone number. Enter that 4 digit security code and click on Verify.

two step verification verify phone number

 

Step 4: The next page should list all of your devices that have access to your iCloud account. Here you can add trusted devices, meaning devices that you own and have access to. These devices could be sent verification codes in the future in order to verify your identity. Tapping the ‘Verify’ option next to a device will push out a 4-digit pin to it via an SMS or push notification. Just like you did in Step 3 above, you’ll then enter the code on the website, and repeat this process for all devices you wish to verify.

two step verification very more trusted devices

Once you’re done verifying your devices, they should show with a green Verified label, as seen below. Click continue to move forward.

two step verification verified devices

Step 5: Now you’ll be given a 14-digit Recovery Key, which you must be sure to save somewhere. Apple suggests you print or write it down.

two step verification recovery key

Step 6: You’ll be asked to confirm your Recovery Key, just to make sure you indeed have a copy of it. Remember that if you ever lose this key, and can’t remember your password, it’s very possible that you could be locked out of your account forever.

two step verification confirm recovery key

Step 7: Finally, you’ll be asked to confirm that you’ve read and understood the conditions—and risks— of the two-step process.

two step verification understand conditions

Once you’ve checked the ‘I understand’ box, you can click on ‘Enable Two-Step Verification.’ You’ll then get a confirmation screen saying that it’s been enabled, and the setup process is complete!

two step verification enabled

Now, I know all of this sounds like a pain. But honestly, it’s not too bad. And with the recent uptick in hacking, we probably need as much security as we can get.

Any questions?

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  • i forgot my security question, so i cant access it:(

    • JamesR624

      Yep. Thanks again apple. No way to reset the security questions either. Once again, Apple chooses security over its users.

      • I just reset my security questions. When you answer incorrectly, there is a link to send the steps to reset them to your email. FYI – This will also cause you to wait the 3 days…

      • JamesR624

        Nope. There was never a link. I was left to keep trying and then it locked me out of the reset. Maybe apple should start focusing on making their software and web services stop sucking and get to fixing REAL security problems like this one instead of patching jailbreaks that are so complicated, no hacker would bother.

      • FYI – Apple patches security vulnerabilities. I highly doubt they have an “anti-jailbreak” department.

      • I think Apple might sound like Google this time, “it is not worth to have this department unless there is 100Million users.”…

      • Fredrik Claesson

        I agree, can’t reset my security questions either (Sweden). Have contacted support via email but apperently you have to call.

      • I did submit the request and it has been a week, I have also checked my spam folder… no email yet.

      • Email Apple Support. I forgot mine once, and they helped me reset it. (They will need you to call them to make sure of your identity)

    • you mean, answer to your security question that Apple asks you about :)

  • Hmm, It doesn’t pop-up after I answered my ‘security questions’. My Apple-ID was created in Sweden, maybe that’s why? Perhaps the Two-step verification process isn’t everywhere just yet…

    • country-based restrictions apply. if you can provide apple with a US billing information (or UK, Australia, Ireland, or New Zealand) in your Apple ID, you should be able to use two-factor authentication. apple says this features is initially available in US, UK, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand, with more countries to follow. When they enable it in Sweden, you’ll be automatically prompted to enable two-step verification after logging in to your Apple ID on the web. I live in Croatia, but I have US billing info tied to my Apple ID so 2-step thingie works for me 😀

  • Joe Bobbins

    It does not work they don’t show me the link.
    Maybe it’s because I live outside of the US.

  • too much traffic. Server is expieriencing trouble – 5:10pm EST USA 3.22.2013

  • FrankensteinBlack

    Wonder who came up with that idea ;^)…

  • JamesR624

    Oh yay. I tried to answer the security questions 1 too many times and now cannot do anything for the next 8 hours. Now I just have to pray that nobody tries to access my account in that time.

    THANKS A FUCKING LOT APPLE! I expect this kind of handling of security from a sleazy porn site, NOT you!

    It’s become increasingly obvious Apple knows NOTHING when it comes to handling software and web services.

    • Hold on… Are you blaming Apple because you forgot your own security question?

      • JamesR624

        No, I’m blaming apple for setting up horribly implemented security measures. I’m also blaming them for focusing all their manpower on patching an iOS exploit SO fucking complex that no hacker would bother and then then being completely incompetent when a REAL security issue that affects millions of people like this comes up.

        Can’t remember asinine questions that I was forced to put on my account and choose from. Getting locked out after only 2 tries to remember the questions. Having NO way to reset the questions. Shutting down the password reset server as soon as this exploit comes out leaving MILLIONS of people vulnerable. Real quality web services they have.

      • felixtaf

        Easy to blame others…. Dont worry, we are humans… And we tend to blame others for our mistakes…

      • How many times are you going to repeat the same ridiculous complaint? It’s your fault, not theirs. Deal with it.

  • JamesR624

    Oh! Thanks. They could’ve made this OBVIOUS so a bunch of people aren’t fucked, but no, they have to hide their support pages and methods in crap like this.

    • felixtaf

      You are lazy brother….

    • Everything was pretty obvious for the hundreds of others who got through this process just fine. Only you and a few others are blaming Apple for your own screw ups. Try reading the whole page before getting your panties in a bunch.

    • bloodshed

      dude relax, the page is fine..after clicking the link above “http://expresslane..”, you just need to remove the bracket “)” at the end.

    • It’s for people like you that we need gun restrictions.

    • Sorry. Remove the bracket :( and it’ll work

  • i did not fine it

  • Does this work for Canadian acounts yet?

  • Guest

    Sorry guys… I added a bracket by accident :( but it helps A LOT!!

  • Upon enabling two-step verification it immediately rebooted my iphone and left me stuck on the apple logo..I can’t get myself out of if. I’ve so far put the iphone into DFU mode and tried to restore to 6.1.2 but even that fails giving me a 3xxx error. anyone have any suggestions?

  • Aaron de Silva

    I cant seem to access that page ?

  • no two step verification for ppl outside US? sucks.. sigh :/

  • nyangejr

    not availble in Tanzania?

  • trouti

    i forgot my email id and security question i cant access

  • iltas

    help i cant find my country in security adding phone number to reciving sms im n kuwait plz help

  • iltas

    i opening page they show up products where the emaill