Two-factor authentication is an extra layer of security for your Apple ID designed to ensure that you’re the only person who can access your account, even if someone knows your password. It’s a useful feature. It requires you to verify your identity using one of your devices or another approved method before you can:
- Sign in to your Apple ID account page
- Sign in to iCloud on a new device or at iCloud.com
- Sign in to iMessage, Game Center, or FaceTime
- Make an iTunes, iBooks, or App Store purchase from a new device
- Get Apple ID related support from Apple.
To set up two-step verification:
- Sign in to your Apple ID account page.
- Under Two-Step Verification, click Get Started.
- Answer your security questions and follow the steps to finish your set up.
hen you set up two-step verification, you register one or more trusted devices. A trusted device is a device you control that can receive 4-digit verification codes using either SMS or Find My iPhone. You’re required to provide at least one SMS capable phone number.
Then, any time you sign in to manage your Apple ID, sign in to iCloud, or make an iTunes, iBooks, or App Store purchase from a new device, you’ll need to verify your identity by entering both your password and a 4-digit verification code, as shown below.
You will also get a Recovery Key for safekeeping which you can use to access your account if you ever forget your password or lose your device.
From then on, you’ll be asked to verify your identity using one of your devices before you (or anyone else) can make changes to your account, sign in to iCloud, or make an iTunes or App Store purchase from a new device.
Apple also provides you with a Recovery Key you can use if you ever forget your password or lose access to your trusted devices. Make sure that you have at least one copy of your Recovery Key stored in a safe place.