How to Set Up Two-Factor Authentication For Apple ID?

by Gabriel E. Hall - -


Issue: How to Set Up Two-Factor Authentication For Apple ID?

Hi, guys. Could you please tell me how to set up the two-factor authentication for my Apple ID? Thanks a lot!

Solved Answer

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Although devices that run Mac OS X are less frequently attacked by scammers, hackers and other cyber frauds than Windows, the statistics conducted during the period of 2014 and 2017 revealed the substantial increase in vulnerabilities.[1] Impeled by such statistics and massive data breaches[2] conducted through the past couple of years, Apple, the most valuable company in the world, pays extra importance for the security of Apple IDs or iCloud accounts and users’ personal data.

The fact that Mac OS X is not immune or, at least, no longer immune is not a secret. Apple team is not waiting for the cyber frauds to hack millions of Apple ID accounts and introduced a Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) feature, which offers an utmost protection to the Apple ID.

Enable Two-Factor Authentication

The idea of the Two-Factor Authentication is to add an extra layer of security for people’s Apple IDs or iCloud account even if someone finds out its password. Once enabled, the feature allows accessing the account from the trusted device only.

Trusted device is an iPhone, iPod touch or iPhone that runs the iOS 9 and later, or Mac running OS X El Capitan. It’s the one that the user signs in to using the Two-Factor authentication.

When the 2FA is enabled, the Apple ID owner will get a notification about an attempt to sign into a new device with the same Apple ID for the first time. To approve the sign-in to a new device, the user will be asked to enter the password and the authentication number (six-digit verification code), which is sent to the trusted device.

The Two-Factor authentication is available to iCloud users with at least one device running iOS 9 or OS X El Capitan or later (iPhone, iPad, iPod, Mac with OS X El Capitan, Apple Watch with watchOS 2 and later, and Apple TV (4th generation) with tvOS).

Those who are using older versions of Mac can set up Two-Step Verification,[3] which is an older security method that is available to users whose devices do not support two-factor authentication.

IMPORTANT: recently, iCloud account users reported an issue when hackers locked Mac devices remotely by signing into iCloud account and enabling the “Lost Mode.” It’s important to stress the fact that the “Lost Mode” render two-factor authentication useless. To prevent this from happening, change the password of iCloud account and DO NOT use for multiple accounts.

Set Up Two-Factor Authentication For Your Apple ID on iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch:

  • Go to Settings -> [your name] -> Password & Security.
  • iOS 10.2 or earlier users should open Settings -> iCloud -> Password & Security.
  • Tap Turn On Two-Factor Authentication option and Continue.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication on iPhone
  • If required, answer the Apple ID security questions and indicate the trusted phone number.
  • Select whether you want to receive the code by phone call or text message and tap Next.
  • Once done, you should get a verification code to your trusted phone number. Enter the code to approve that the phone number is correct.

Set Up Two-Factor Authentication For Your Apple ID on Mac with OS X El Capitan or later:

  • Go to Apple menu -> System Preferences.
  • Select iCloud -> Account Details -> Security.
  • Click on Turn On Two-Factor Authentication option.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication on Mac

IMPORTANT: Don’t forget your Apple ID password and make sure that you are using a strong one. It’s advisable to use a device passcode on all Mac devices.

Forgot Apple ID password

If you forgot your Apple ID password, you can reset it or change from your trusted device only. For this purpose, follow these steps:

iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

  • Open Settings -> [your name].
  • iOS 10.2 or earlier users should go to Settings -> iCloud -> Apple ID.
  • Tap on Password & Security and select Change Password.
  • Enter a new password.

Mac with OS X El Capitan or later

  • Open Apple menu -> System Preferences and select iCloud.
  • Open Account Details.
  • Click Forgot Apple ID on the Enter your Apple ID window.
Reset Apple ID password
  • Follow the on-screen instructions until you reach Security option.
  • Click Reset Password.
  • Enter the password that you used to unlock your Mac and enter the new Apple ID password.

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About the author

Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate computer expert

Gabriel E. Hall is an expert troubleshooter who has been working in the information technology industry for years.

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