Two-Factor authentication is a feature that attempts to make your Apple ID account more secure by making it so you can only log into your Apple ID with the assistance of a device you label as trusted. However, regardless of how it protects their security, many people rather not deal with these additional steps.
If it has been less than two weeks since activating Apple’s two-factor authentication, you can disable it by clicking the link in the confirmation email you should have received on the email tied to your Apple ID. Once two weeks have passed, turning it off is no longer possible.
Two-factor authentication can be a bit of a hassle, but it also makes it way harder for unwanted people to log into your Apple ID. Let’s break down two-factor authentication in more detail to help you determine if you even want to turn it off. Though, we’ll still go through how to turn it off if you still want to.
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.
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.
So How Does Two-Factor Authentication Work?
We’ve already gone through that Apple’s two-factor authentication keeps your account more secure by requiring a trusted device’s assistance to log in to your Apple ID, but what does this mean exactly?
Let’s run through a hypothetical scenario. Let’s say you’ve set up two-factor authentication on your Apple ID and want to log into your Apple ID on your computer for the first time.
You’ll first have to go to Apple’s website and log in using your email and password. If you don’t have two-factor authentication, this is where the steps end. After that, anyone with your email and password can log into your Apple ID.
In contrast, you will be prompted to enter a six-digit code if you have two-factor authentication. This six-digit code will be sent as a notification to whatever device you have set as your trusted device.
This means that without this trusted device, you wouldn’t be able to log into your account. However, this also means that if someone else were to get their hands on your email and password, they wouldn’t be able to log in without also getting their hands on your trusted device.
This is what Apple means when they say that two-factor authentication makes your account more secure. So even if you’re annoyed by the feature every time you log in, it is still probably a good idea to keep it on.