How to Use Two-Factor Authentication for Apple ID on iPhone, iPad and Mac

How To
// September 30, 2016

In our progressive digital era, security is one of the major things that have to be given attention. There are many cyber crimes going on around the world. Hackers can easily get your information if not being careful enough. Even though you have passwords on all your files, experienced hackers can somehow identify passwords by collecting all information unnoticed. They will just enter some codes that we do not know and boom, your data has been corrupted. To provide extra security on your files, Apple added two-factor authentication.

For additional security of your Apple ID and iCloud account, Apple added two-factor authentication. This offers an extra layer of security for all your online accounts. Turning this feature on will allow you to use your accounts only on the devices that you entirely trust. If anyone was able to steal your passcode, there is no way that the hacker can access your account.

Two-Factor Authentication for Apple ID

Enabling two-factor authentication will make you enter your password and authenticate it with 6-digit verification code when signing into new devices for the first time. This means that if anyone tries to sign in your account from other devices, they would not be able to succeed even if they have your password.

How else does it work? With two-factor authentication, your account is only accessible on devices that you trust such as your iPhone, Mac and iPad. For instance, you want to sign in on your iPad for the first time, you will have to enter your six-digit code which will also appear on your iPhone that you trust. Entering the code on your iPhone verifies that you also trust the iPad as your new device.

Your password is not enough to gain access to your account. Two-factor authentication improves your security for your information and online accounts. Once signed in, there is no need for verification code anymore unless you sign out or you have to change the password.

Difference between Two-Factor Authentication and Two-Step Verification

In two-step verification, there is another step aside from entering password that you need to do to access your Apple ID. When you set up two-step verification, you also register your trusted devices that can receive four digit verification codes which are sent by SMS or Find My iPhone. You need to provide at least 1 phone number for SMS. After that, whenever you sign into iCloud or Apple site and purchase Apps, iTunes or iBooks from your new device, you will receive a four digit code that you have to enter on the new device to verify that it is also trusted.


On the other hand, two-factor authentication is an enhanced security strategy. You need at least 1 device running iOS 9 or OS X El Capitan to secure your information with two-factor authentication. Using this adds another step before you enter the verification code screen. There is a dialog box displaying the location based on the IP address of the device. Before displaying the verification code, the sign-in request has to be approved first. If the location is not recognized or the sign-in request is not you, you can easily block it.

two-factor authentication

To Enable Two-Factor Authentication for Apple ID:

At least one of your devices should be running iOS 9 or OS X El Capitan. Apple also showed a list of recommended system requirements which are:

  • iPhone, iPad or iPod touch running iOS 9 and above.
  • Mac running OS X El Capitan and iTunes 12.3 or above
  • Apple TV (4th gen) with tvOS
  • Apple Watch with watchOS 2
  • Windows PC with iCloud for Windows 5 and iTunes 12.3 or above

You can use two-factor authentication if at least one of the devices meet the recommended requirements.

Setting Up Two-Factor Authentication for Apple ID

If you are still using two-step verification method on your device, you have to turn it off before you set up two-factor authentication for Apple ID. To turn two-step verification, sign into Apple ID website and click Edit from the Security Section. Click “Turn off Two-Step Verification”.  Answer the security questions and enter your date of birth. After completion, you will receive an email to confirm that it was already turned off.

two-factor authentication

1. On your iOS device, open Settings app and tap iCloud.


2. Tap Apple ID and enter your password when prompted.


3. Tap Password & Security.


4. Turn on Two-Factor Authentication.


5. Tap on Continue and the instructions on your screen.


If you also have other devices integrated with your Apple ID but not running OS X El Capitan or iOS 9, a dialog box will appear. Simply add a six-digit verification code to the end of your password when you log into your old device. Tap Turn On Anyway.

How to Enable Two-Factor Authentication for Apple ID on Mac

  1. Click the Apple Menu and select System Preferences.

2-factor-42. Click iCloud and select Account Details.

3. Click Security and click Turn on Two-factor Authentication.

4. Click Set Up to continue.


5. Answer the security questions and follow the instructions.


6. Enter your phone number and click Continue.


8. Click Done.

If you want to turn it off, it is simple. Simply follow the steps provided above and turn it off. But to protect your account and data from hackers, it is best to have this feature enabled for extra security.

Use Two-Factor Authentication

When two-factor authentication is on, you will have to verify yourself by entering your Apple ID password and the six-digit code verification when signing in to Apple ID page or to You also verify your identity when making purchases from App Store, iTunes and iBooks from new devices as well as when signing in to Game Center, FaceTime and iMessage.


There will be an alert on your trusted devices about the attempt sign in together with the location of the unknown device. If the device is yours, simply tap Allow to receive one-time 6 digit code that you need to type into your other devices to continue the sign-in request.

Two-factor authentication has many advantages. It can secure your information and online accounts from possible hackers lurking around the internet. Since we do not know when they will attack, it is best to have it enabled. What’s your opinion about two-factor authentication? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

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