What’s The Difference Between Two-Step Verification And Two-Factor Authentication?

By | August 22, 2018

comparison between two-step verification and two-factor authentication

Is two-step verification the same as two-factor authentication?

No. Two-factor authentication is a newer security method that’s built directly into iOS, macOS, tvOS, watchOS, and Apple’s websites. It offers a more streamlined user experience and is required to use certain features that call for enhanced security. Two-factor authentication is available to iCloud users with at least one device using iOS 9 or OS X El Capitan or later.

Two-step verification is an older security method that is available to users who don’t have Apple devices, can’t update their devices, or are otherwise ineligible for two-factor authentication. It’s 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.

How to switch from two-step verification to two-factor authentication?

  • Confirm which feature you’re using

If you’re not sure if you set up two-factor authentication or two-step verification, use these steps:

  1. Sign in to your Apple ID account page.
  2. In the Security section, look for two-factor authentication or two-step verification, then see if the feature is off or on.
  3. If two-step verification is on, continue with the steps to turn it off, then turn on two-factor authentication. If two-factor authentication is on, then you’re already set up.
  • Turn off two-step verification

Before you can turn on two-factor authentication, you need to turn off two-step verification. Use these steps:

  1. Sign in to your Apple ID account page.
  2. In the Security section, click Edit.
  3. Click Turn Off Two-Step Verification. Click again to confirm.
  4. Create new security questions and verify your date of birth. You’ll get an email confirming that two-step verification for your Apple ID is off.
  5. Remember to make sure that you’re still signed in to iCloud. You might be asked for your Apple ID password.
  6. If you log in to your Mac with your Apple ID, you need to change your Mac login password before setting up two-factor authentication.
  • Turn on two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication is currently available to iCloud users with at least one device that’s using iOS 9 or OS X El Capitan or later. Learn more.

On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch:

  1. Go to Settings > [your name]. If you’re using iOS 10.2 or earlier, go to Settings > iCloud and tap your Apple ID.
  2. Tap Password & Security. If asked, enter your Apple ID password.
  3. Tap Turn On Two-Factor Authentication.

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