Home / Tech / How to turn off two-step and two-factor authentication on an iPhone, through your Apple ID account

How to turn off two-step and two-factor authentication on an iPhone, through your Apple ID account

iphone and computer

  • Apple offers both two-step and two-factor authentication for the iPhone, though two-step authentication is older and being replaced with the two-factor alternative. 
  • Two-factor authentication displays an interactive notification on your iPhone before revealing a requested verification code. 
  • You can turn off two-step authentication from your Apple ID web page, but once turned two-factor authentication is turned on permanently (outside of a two-week window), it cannot be turned off. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

When discussing digital security, the terms “two-step” and “two-factor” are often used interchangeably. But confusingly, Apple offers two slightly different forms of enhanced security, called two-step authentication and two-factor authentication. 

Two-factor authentication is a newer and more secure system that includes interactive push notifications on your iOS devices, like the iPhone. Two-factor authentication has become an essential way to keep your data safe. By requiring two ways to prove that your identity — typically, a password and a verification code sent to your phone — it makes it dramatically harder for a hacker to gain access to your personal or financial data. 

If you are still using two-step authentication and want to switch to the two-factor alternative, you need to turn off two-step authentication first.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

iPhone XS (From $729 at Apple)

How to turn off two-step authentication on the iPhone

1. In a web browser, sign into your Apple ID page. 

2. In the Security section, make sure it says that “Two-Step Verification” is on. 

2fa 1

3. Click “Edit.”

4. Click “Turn Off Two-Step Verification.” Click again to confirm this is what you want to do. 

2fa 2

5. You might need to create a security question and verify your date of birth. 

Two-step verification is now turned off. If you want to, you can now turn on two-factor authentication in the Settings app of your iPhone (you can find it by tapping your name at the top of Settings, then Password & Security). 

But be aware, once two-factor authetication becomes permanent on your iPhone, you can’t turn it off. 

How to turn off two-factor authentication on an iPhone (within an available two-week window)

As we’ve indicated, once you turn on two-factor authentication on an iPhone — unlike two-step authentication — it cannot be turned off. Apple has implemented this to enforce enhanced security for the iPhone and iPad. 

There’s one exception: You have a two-week window, starting from when you initially activate two-factor authentication, in which to turn it back off. After that, it’s permanent. 

If you are within that two-week window, you can turn it off from your Apple ID page:

1. In a web browser, sign into your Apple ID page. 

2. In the Security section, make sure it says that “Two-Factor Verification” is on. 

3. Click “Edit.”

4. Click “Turn Off Two-Factor Verification.” Click “Continue” to confirm this is what you want to do. 

Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech:

  • How to change your Apple ID on an iPhone

  • How to restore your iPhone from a backup after taking the ‘nuclear option’ of a factory reset

  • How to turn off iCloud storage on an iPhone in 2 ways, either altogether or for specific apps

  • How to backup your iPhone to iCloud, your computer, or an external hard drive

SEE ALSO: The best lightning cables you can buy for your iPhone

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: It’s time for iTunes to die, even though it was key to Apple’s early success