How to enable Apple’s new two-step verification process

By , Mar 22, 2013

apple two-step

Yesterday, 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 yesterday by adding a new two-step verification option. And for those having trouble getting it setup, we’ve put together this easy-to-follow 6-step tutorial…

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 iTunes/Apple credentials.

Step 2: once you’re in, you’ll want to select the Password and Security tab on the lefthand side. If you have security questions setup, you’ll have to answer them, but you should then be transferred to your Security Settings page where you’ll click the Get Started link under the Two-step Verification section.

two-step 1

Step 3: after clicking through a few informative prompts, you’ll likely be required to change your password. To enable two-step, Apple requires that you have a complex password that includes one capital letter, one number and at least 8 characters. (Note: if you have to change your password, you’ll be required to wait 3 days before proceeding).

two-step 3

Step 4: the next page should list all of your devices that have access to your iCloud account. Tapping the ‘Verify’ option next to a device will push out a 4-digit pin to it via an SMS or Find My iPhone push notification, depending on which option you select. You’ll then enter the code on the website, and repeat this process for all devices you wish to verify.

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. You’ll be asked to confirm it on the next page. 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.

Step 6: finally, you’ll be asked to confirm that you’ve read and understand the conditions—and risks— of the two-step process. 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 6

Now, I know all of this sounds like a pain. But honestly, it’s not too bad. And with the recent uptick in hacking, and the newly discovered security hole that allows people to reset your Apple ID password, we probably need as much security as we can get.

Any questions?

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  • http://twitter.com/patrickw1995 Patrick

    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.

      • http://www.facebook.com/SpideyRules Scott Curry

        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.

      • http://www.facebook.com/SpideyRules Scott Curry

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

      • http://twitter.com/Jackzzz99 Jack Wong

        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.

      • http://twitter.com/Jackzzz99 Jack Wong

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

      • http://twitter.com/andyxyoona Andy

        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)

    • http://www.idownloadblog.com/author/dujkan Christian Zibreg

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

      • http://twitter.com/patrickw1995 Patrick

        yes

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1595420643 Simche Apple Konstantinovic

    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…

    • http://www.idownloadblog.com/author/dujkan Christian Zibreg

      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 :D

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1595420643 Simche Apple Konstantinovic

        Ok haha, thx for replying Christian

  • Joe Bobbins

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

  • http://twitter.com/klouud Timothy Polumbo

    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.

    • http://www.idownloadblog.com Sebastien

      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…

      • http://twitter.com/robogobo rob nienburg

        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….

    • http://www.facebook.com/SpideyRules Scott Curry

      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.

    • http://twitter.com/robogobo rob nienburg

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

    • http://twitter.com/andyxyoona Andy

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/satyampanchal22 Satyam Panchal

    i did not fine it

  • http://www.soundwrightpro.com/ Duwayne A. Wright

    Does this work for Canadian acounts yet?

  • Guest

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=546582610 Alberto Morel

    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 ?

  • http://www.facebook.com/K.Vishal.Jain Vishal Jain

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

  • nyangejr

    not availble in Tanzania?