Two-Step Verification

iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra automatically update your Apple ID to use Two-Factor Authentication

If you haven't upgraded your Apple ID from Apple's older Two-Step Verification system to the more secure Two-Factor Authentication, iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra will do that for your when you install either operating system on your devices.

Apple communicated the change in an email to customers with Two-Step Verification enabled for their Apple ID. Here's the full text of the email communique, as obtained by MacRumors:

If you install the iOS 11 or macOS High Sierra public betas this summer and meet the basic requirements, your Apple ID will be automatically updated to use two-factor authentication. This is our most advanced, easy-to-use account security, and it's required to use some of the latest features of iOS, macOS, and iCloud.

Once updated, you'll get the same extra layer of security you enjoy with two-step verification today, but with an even better user experience. Verification codes will be displayed on your trusted devices automatically whenever you sign in, and you will no longer need to keep a printed recovery key to make sure you can reset a forgotten password.

Significantly improving the security of your Apple ID, Two-Factor Authentication requires both your Apple ID password and a one-time code when you sign in to a new device or browser with your Apple ID.

TUTORIAL: How to protect your Apple ID with Two-Factor Authentication

Unlike Two-Step Verification, which sends a six-digit verification code via SMS, Two-Factor Authentication is deeply integrated in iOS 9, OS X El Capitan, watchOS 2 and tvOS or later and features a mechanism that automatically delivers verification codes via push notifications to all trusted devices registered to a given Apple ID.

If you're not using either system to protect your Apple ID, you're wholeheartedly recommended to enroll your devices in Two-Factor Authentication. If your account isn't eligible for two-factor authentication, you can still use two-step verification to protect your Apple ID information.

One way or another, anyone installing Apple's latest OS updates this fall shall be asked to upgrade their Apple ID to the more modern Two-Factor Authentication system. Two-Factor Authentication is available in more than a hundred countries, listed in Apple's support document.

How to set up Two-Factor Authentication for your Apple ID

Two-Factor Authentication strengthens the security of your Apple ID by preventing anyone from accessing or using it, even if they know your password. With Two-Factor Authentication, one of your trusted devices generates a one-time code when you make a purchase or sign in to your Apple ID, iCloud, iCloud.com, iMessage, FaceTime or Game Center account on a new device. Two-Factor Authentication is also required for Auto Unlock so you can unlock your Mac by wearing an Apple Watch.

In this tutorial we'll show you how to protect your Apple ID with Two-Factor Authentication or, if you're still using the older and less secure Two-Step Verification, upgrade to Two-Factor Authentication.

It seems that iOS 10 beta 2 locks some people out of their Apple ID

Some folks with iOS 10 beta 2 installed on their iPhone are finding that they've been locked out of their Apple ID account, unable to perform a password reset. As per a new thread on Reddit, the problem seems to affect a portion of iOS 10 beta 2 users whose Apple ID account has been protected with Apple's two-step authentication system, which requires both a password and a one-time six-digit code when using iCloud on a new device.

We're posting this as convenience for those who have been affected. If you're seeing this, you probably don't need to worry about your Apple ID being hacked and unrecoverable, it's just a bug in iOS 10 beta 2.