How to enable Double Factor Authentication on iPhone, iPad and Mac

Add an extra layer of security to your trusted Apple devices on iOS and MacOS.

In today’s world, a password is not enough, no matter how secure it may be. And this has led to 2-step verification systems or, in Apple’s case, dual-factor authentication, basically an extra layer of security for your Apple ID that’s designed to ensure you’re the only person who can access your account, even if someone knows your password.

An extra security system

Once enabled, with dual-factor authentication, the account can only be accessed on trusted devices, such as the iPhone, iPad, or Mac.

When you want to sign in to a new device for the first time, you’ll need to provide two types of information (the password and the six-digit verification code that appears automatically) on your trusted devices – an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 9 or later, or a Mac with OS X El Capitan or later that you’ve already signed in to using two-factor authentication. By entering the code, you are verifying that the new device is trusted.

For example, if you have an iPhone and sign in to your account for the first time on a newly purchased Mac, you’ll be prompted to enter the password and verification code that automatically appears on the iPhone.

When you are logged in, you will not be asked for the verification code again on the device in question unless you log out completely, delete the data on the device, or have to change your password for security reasons.

Enable Double Factor Authentication on iPhone or iPad

If you are using iOS 10.3 or later
  1. Go to Settings > [your name] > Password and Security.
  2. Click Enable Double Factor Authentication.
  3. Click Continue.

If you are using iOS 10.2 or earlier

  1. Go to Settings > iCloud.
  2. Tap your Apple ID > Password and Security.
  3. Click Enable Double Factor Authentication.
  4. Click Continue.

Enter and verify a trusted phone number

  1. Enter the phone number where you would like to receive verification codes when logging in. You can choose to receive codes via text message or automatic phone call.
  2. When you press Next, Apple sends a verification code to the phone number you entered.
  3. Enter the verification code to verify the phone number and enable double-factor authentication.

Enable Double Factor Authentication in MacOS X The Captain (or earlier)

  1. Go to the Apple menu (Apple icon in the top right corner of the screen) > System Preferences > iCloud > Account Data.
  2. Click Security.
  3. Click Enable Dual Factor Authentication.

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