Apple’s two-factor authentication feature attempts to protect your Apple ID from any unwanted logins by adding extra steps to the login process. However, many people think that these extra steps are only cause for extra frustration and want their Apple ID to be more simple to log into. So how do you turn off Apple’s two-factor authentication?
How to disable Apple two-factor authentication on an iPhone
To turn off two-factor authentication on your Apple device, visit Apple’s website and log into your account. Select “Sign-In and Security” on the left side of the page and then select “Account Security” under your Apple ID. You should now see an option to turn off two-step verification.
Thankfully, Apple allows their security features to be pretty customizable in order to help you have the most user-friendly experience possible. You can also add or change your trusted devices for two-factor authentication on their website. Let’s take a look at Apple’s two-factor authentication feature in more detail to help you get the most out of your devices.
What is Apple’s Two-Factor Authentication?
Two-factor authentication is a feature that works to help keep your Apple account secure. It does this by making it so that you can only log into your Apple ID with the help of a trusted device.
This will prevent unwanted people from logging into your account because they would need access to your trusted device in order to log in.
For example, let’s say you select your iPhone as your trusted device. In order to log into your Apple ID on another device, first you would need to enter your email and password as well as a six digit code that gets sent to your iPhone.
Your password and this six digit code are the two-factors that make up the two-factor authentication.
This feature is also available on other Apple devices, like iPads and Mac computers. So, you don’t necessarily have to choose your iPhone as your trusted device like in our example.
With that said, the iPhone is still the most recommended device to select as your trusted device, because your iPhone is the device you are most likely to have with you when you’re trying to log into your Apple ID on the go.
How Do You Turn Off This Feature?
Two-factor authentication is generally a good thing to have turned on because it keeps away unwanted devices from your Apple ID. However, some people may not want the extra steps involved in logging into their Apple ID.
For newer iPhones, two-factor authentication is on by default, meaning that people who aren’t a fan of the feature will be looking for a way to turn it off.
Thankfully, Apple has included a way to switch off their two-factor authentication. To do this, first open your web browser and visit the Apple ID sign-in page. Use this page to sign into your account.
Once you’ve signed in, select “Sign-In and Security” on the left side of the page, then “Account Security” under your Apple ID. Here, you should be able to select an option that says “Turn Off Two-Step Verification.”
After selecting this option, you may be prompted to answer or create some security questions, but once you’re done with those, your two-factor authentication should be off.
Can Two-Factor Authentication be Disabled?
As we mentioned previously, two-factor authentication works to make your account more secure by adding extra steps to the Apple ID login process. However, many see these additional steps as more of an inconvenience than protection. These same people will wonder: Is it possible to turn this feature off?
Unless you happen to be looking at this article at the right time, it may be impossible to turn off your Apple two-factor authentication. We say the right time because two-factor authentication can be turned off as long as you turn it off within two weeks of it being turned on.
Once this two-week period has passed, turning off your account’s two-factor identification becomes impossible.
Why Can’t You Disable it?
You may wonder why Apple does not allow you to turn off two-factor authentication. Apple claims that this is because some features on your iPhone require two-factor authentication to work.
These features include Apple Card, Apple Pay, Home Kit, Messages in iCloud, and iCloud Keychain. If you turn off your two-factor authentication, these features will not work.
How to Disable Two-Factor Authentication Within 2 Weeks
Turning off two-factor authentication is a relatively simple process. However, you only have two weeks from the activation date to cancel it.
Once this period has passed, there is no longer a way to turn off your account’s two-factor authentication. This means that if you are within your two-week period, then you can cancel your two-factor authentication.
To do this:
- Navigate to the email associated with your Apple ID. Sometime in the past two weeks, you should have received an email from Apple confirming that your security settings have been changed. This is from when your two-factor authentication was turned on.
- In this email, you should see a link saying Return to Your Previous Security Settings. Click this, and your two-factor authentication will be turned off.
Which iOS Versions Have Two-Factor Authentication?
Two-factor authentication was added as an option for iPhones along with the introduction of iOS 9. Two-factor authentication was also added to iPads and Mac computers with iPadOS 13 and OS X 10.11 respectively.
This means that if you have a device that is running on an OS older than the OS listed above, you may not be able to set up two-factor authentication on that device.
It is also worth noting that if you get an iPhone running on iOS 13.4 or later, two-factor authentication is on by default.
This is also true for iPads on iPadOS 13.4 or later and Mac computers running on macOS 10.15.4 or later. This means that if you do not want two-factor authentication on these devices, you will need to turn it off.
How to Add a Trusted Device
If you want to have multiple trusted devices tied to your Apple ID or you want to manage your trusted devices, Apple’s website has you covered.
To do this, first head to Apple’s account page. Once you’re there, log in and go to the “Devices” section. This should show you a list of every single device logged into your Apple ID.
On this page, select the device you intend to use and you should see a list of information on the device such as its serial number. Below this, you should see an option to make this device a trusted device.
If you select this option, your device will now receive a code every time you want to log into your Apple ID on a new device. You can also remove trusted device status on this page. This is important to do if your trusted device is ever stolen or lost.
How to Manage Two-Factor Authentication on All Apple Devices
Once your two-factor authentication is on, you may want to manage what devices you want to be trusted and what devices you don’t.
For example, if your iPhone is listed as your trusted device, and your iPhone gets stolen, you likely want to remove it from your list of trusted devices. So let’s go through how you can view and change this information on your devices.
On an iPhone, this process is straightforward. All you need to do is:
- Open the Settings app and select your Apple ID profile.
- On this page, you should be able to see a list of devices tied to your Apple ID. If you select one of the devices on this list, you should be able to view and change their Trusted Device status.
On an iPad, this process is pretty much identical to how you accomplish this on iPhone. This means that you first begin by:
- Opening the Settings app and selecting your Apple ID profile.
- On this page, you will be able to see a list of devices that are tied to your Apple ID. If you select one of the devices on this list, you should be able to view and change their Trusted Device status.
This process is still pretty easy if you’re using a Mac computer to manage your Apple ID. There’s just one catch: this process is different depending on what macOS your computer is running on. To check this:
- Open the Apple menu in the corner of your screen by clicking on the Apple icon.
- Then choose About This Mac. This will bring up a page where you can view your Mac’s version number.
- If your version number is 10.15.7 (Catalina) or later, you must open the Apple menu again, select System Preferences, and then Apple ID. This will open a little sidebar where you can view all of the devices tied to your Apple ID.
- Click on a device, and you should be able to view and change its Trusted Device status.
- If your version number is earlier than 10.15.7, you’ll have a couple of extra steps.
- First, open the Apple menu and select System Preferences.
- Next, you’ll have to select iCloud and click on Account Details.
- Here, you should see a tab that says Devices. Click on this tab, and you’ll be greeted with a list of all the devices tied to your Apple ID.
- Select a device in the list, and you will be able to view and change its Trusted Device status.
Even though it isn’t an Apple device, you can still manage your two-factor authentication via a Windows computer. All you have to do is:
- First, go to the Apple ID account page and sign into your account.
- Next, you should see a section that says Devices where you can see and manage the devices tied to your Apple ID.
Apple’s emphasis on ensuring data safe practices and enhancing user privacy is evident through its two-factor authentication feature. By adding an extra level of security, Apple makes certain that users can shield their Apple ID and iCloud account from unauthorized access.
With the six-digit verification code sent to the trusted device, it ensures that only you have the power to grant access to your Apple account. While the process bolsters security, understanding its intricacies can sometimes be challenging. However, as with many of Apple’s features, customization and user preference remain at the forefront, allowing you to tweak and adjust settings as per your convenience. If you still have questions contact Apple support.
What’s the primary purpose of Apple’s two-factor authentication?
Apple’s two-factor authentication is designed to provide an extra level of security. When you log into your Apple ID, besides the password, a six-digit code is sent to your trusted device (like an iPhone). Only after inputting this code can one gain access, ensuring privacy and security.
Can the two-factor authentication feature be permanently disabled?
After activating two-factor authentication, there’s a period of two weeks during which you can disable it. However, post that, for security reasons, the option to turn it off is restricted.
Why might some features not work if I turn off two-factor authentication?
Certain features like Apple Card, Apple Pay, and iCloud Keychain require two-factor authentication for security purposes. Turning it off might disable these features to keep user data safe.
How do I add or change my trusted device for receiving verification codes?
You can manage your trusted devices through the Apple ID account page. Once logged in, navigate to the Devices section where you can add, remove, or change your trusted devices.
Are there any OS version restrictions for two-factor authentication?
The two-factor authentication was introduced with iOS 9 for iPhones, iPadOS 13 for iPads, and OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) for Macs. Newer devices running iOS 13.4 or later have it enabled by default.
If my trusted device is lost or stolen, what should I do?
It’s imperative to immediately remove the device from your list of trusted devices to prevent unauthorized access. You can do this via the Apple ID account page or through settings on another Apple device tied to the same Apple ID.