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How to Enable and Turn off Two Factor Authentication for Apple ID

By Marice, Last updated: March 20, 2019

Howcan I enable and turn off Two-factor authentication for Apple ID?

“I have iCloud syncing turned on for my iPhone and iPad, so I want to make sure that my Apple account stays secure. I heard that Apple has made security improvements for iOS 11 called the two-factor authentication. What is that and how do you activate that feature?”


Apple ID two factor authentication

Part 1. How Does Two-Factor Authentication Work?

Two-factor authentication, also known as 2FA, is a security feature that keeps your Apple devices and data protected. It takes your security to another level, so only you and you alone can sign into your account. Even if someone found out your password, they won’t be able to access your account. Sounds interesting? It is.

This feature ensures that your Apple account gets accessed only on iOS devices that you trust. If it’s your first time to log in with your Apple ID on an iOS device, you will automatically be asked to enter a six-digit code. This code is sent to a registered phone number. To proceed with the login, you should provide this code alongside your Apple ID and password. When you enter the code on a particular device, you are confirming that you trust that device. The next time you sign in with it, you will no longer be asked to enter a code.

By sending a code to your devices and asking you to enter it, Apple confirms that it is indeed you who has prompted the login. This works best for users who own multiple iOS devices. You can also trust a browser by logging your Apple ID on the web in a particular computer.

With the feature on, you’ ll also know where the login attempt occurred. This notification will alert you of any unscrupulous attempt on your account.

Manually Switch from Two-Step Verification on Your iOS Device

This is similar to Apple’s earlier two-step verification, which was released alongside iOS 10. When Apple released iOS11 to the public, the feature was automatically upgraded to 2FA – a better way to protect your account.

If you haven’t upgraded to iOS 11 or macOS High Sierra yet, you will have to manually switch from two-step verification to its more advanced counterpart. To confirm which feature you are using, do the following steps.

  1. On your browser, go to your Apple ID Account Enter Page and sign in.
  2. Under Security section, look for two-step verification or two-factor authentication. Check if it is turned on or off.
  3. If two-step verification is turned on, hit Edit and turn the feature off. Refer to the next part of this post to enable two-factor authentication. On the other hand, if two-factor authentication is turned on, that means you’re all set up.


Manually Switch from Two-Step Verification on the iOS 

Part 2. How to Enable Two-Factor Authentication for Apple ID

2FA works on devices running on iOS 9 or later. For Mac, the feature is available on OS X El Capitan and later. Turning it on is pretty straightforward. Take note that you need to register at least one phone number to activate the feature.

Turn On Two-Factor Authentication on iOS

  1. Open Settings and tap on your Apple ID. For earlier versions, head to Settings and tap iCloud.
  2. Tap Password & Security and choose Turn On Two-Factor Authentication. Tap Continue to confirm.
  3. If you own any device that runs on earlier versions of iOS, you will see a compatibility warning. Tap Turn On Anyway to proceed.
  4. Type in the phone number where you wish to receive a 6-digit verification code whenever you log in. Choose whether you want to receive the code via SMS or phone call. Tap Next.
  5. You will need to verify the phone number. You will receive a code for it. Type in the code in the field to enable the feature.


Turn On Two-Factor Authentication on iOS Device

Turn On Two-Factor Authentication on a Mac

  1. In the top left-hand corner of the desktop, click on the Apple icon.
  2. Click System Preferences and select iCloud.
  3. Hit Account Details and go to the Security tab.
  4. Click Turn On Two-Factor Authentication and hit Continue.
  5. Confirm your phone number and choose Continue.


Turn On Two-Factor Authentication on a Mac Phone

Part 3. How to Disable Two-Factor Authentication for Apple ID

While many users find the two-factor authentication feature useful, others think that it makes signing in time-consuming. We don’t recommend disabling the feature though. You should be able to understand the risks involved.

For security reasons, it is more difficult to disable the feature. You can’t simply turn it off straight from your iPhone or iPad. Instead, you have to use your computer to do it.

Disable Two-Factor Authentication for Apple ID

  1. Open the browser on your computer and go to iCloud Account.
  2. Sign in with your Apple ID and password.
  3. Since 2FA is turned on, you will be asked to provide a verification code. Check your trusted device and tap Allow to view the code.
  4. Enter this code on the iCloud page, and click Trust to proceed with the login.
  5. Once logged in, select Settings from the main menu.
  6. Click Manage. You may be prompted to sign in again. Enter your Apple ID credentials again to continue.
  7. Look for the Security section and click the Edit button beside it.
  8. Press Turn Off Two-Factor Authentication.
  9. A pop-up box will appear. Simply click Turn Off Two-Factor Authentication and then Done to confirm.


Disable Two-Factor Authentication for Apple ID Account

Part 4. Summary

Now that you know how to enable two-factor authentication for Apple ID, you’re a step closer to protecting your data. To take it a leap further, here are things that we suggest you do too.

  • Keep your phone number updated.

You can check the enrolled phone number by heading to your Apple ID account page. You will see the list under Security. You can also enroll another phone number by clicking Add a Trusted Phone Number. Again, you will be asked to verify this number so you will receive a code. You can also delete a phone number if you’re no longer using it.

  • Check the list of trusted devices.

To make sure that no one else is signing in with your Apple ID, you can check out your list of trusted devices. You can see it on your Apple ID account page under Devices. You can view pertinent information about the device by clicking on it. Remove unauthorized devices, if any. If you’re giving away or selling your device, you should remove it from the list too.

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