How to Use the Built-in Two-Factor Authenticator on iPhone/iPad – Guide

Hacks and data leaks are very common these days. One of the safest ways to lock down private data stored on your favorite services and websites is to enable two-factor authentication. Most sites offer 2FA via text messages or email with a unique code to verify your identity before granting access. An even stronger method is to use an authenticator app, which typically creates rotating codes that change every 30 seconds or so. Apple has offered two-factor authentication for Apple IDs for years, but iOS 15, iPadOS 15 and macOS Monterey allow Apple to generate verification codes on your iPhone, iPad or Mac for any website or app that supports the feature. It’s not a standalone authenticator app like the ones offered by Google and Microsoft, but it’s worth using if you’re deep into the Apple ecosystem. It’s as secure as any other Apple product, backed by up via iCloud and works on multiple devices. Here it is how to prepare up on your iPhone. Almost every account you have on the internet is vulnerable to being hacked. After numerous widespread breaches in recent years, tech companies have collaborated to develop a standard that will make passwords a thing of the past and replace them with more secure methods such as biometric or PIN-based logins that do not require data transmission over the Internet.

Enable two-factor authentication

Before you can use two-factor authentication feature on your device, you must first enable the use of a 2FA app on the websites and services you want to protect. Many sites may have two-factor authentication for text messages turned on by default. In most cases, you’ll need to dig deep into the site’s security or privacy settings to enable the use of an authenticator app. How you add or change authentication may differ from site to site. For this example, I went to on my computer and signed into my account. Then I clicked on my profile icon and went to Settings > Security and turned on the option next to 2-step verification. From there, I chose “Use a mobile app” as my preferred authentication method. Dropbox displayed a QR code with instructions on how to configure my authenticator app.

Connect 2FA to iOS

Now that the QR code has been generated, keep it open and set up the two-factor authenticator on your iPhone. After updating to iOS 15, open Settings > Passwords and confirm your identity. Using our Dropbox example again, select Dropbox from the list of passwords saved on the device. If you don’t have the site saved, click the + button button and add the website URL as well as your username and password. Under Account Options, tap Set Up Verification code. Choose Setup Key, if a site provides a numeric code, or Scan QR Code, to open the camera and scan the QR code on your computer screen. This will confirm the site credentials and add a six-digit verification code to the site information stored on your device.

Confirm verification codes

Once the verification code is added to my device, the best thing to do is confirm that the code actually works. For Dropbox, I had to click Next on my computer screen to go through the QR code. The website then asked me to enable 2-step verification by entering the 6-digit verification code listed on my device. After verification, Dropbox also offered the option to use my mobile phone number as backup. Before leaving, you may want to leave the site and come back just to make sure everything is working. To log in to Dropbox, I entered my username and password and was asked to verify my identity by entering a code. When trying to log in to a 2FA-enabled website or app on your phone, a verification code should automatically appear on the keyboard during the login process. Tap the code to confirm your ID. If it doesn’t or you sign in to the website or app on a different device, the verification codes will be stored on your device under Settings > Passwords. Select the website you want to log in to, in this case Dropbox. Enter the six-digit code displayed on your device on your computer’s confirmation screen to verify your identity and gain access to your account.

Final note

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