Two-factor iCloud authentication now live

Apple deploying 2-factor authentication to iCloud services

Apple is starting to use two-factor authentication for iCloud. The added security appears to be rolling out in phases so some users are beginning to see this feature when they log into iCloud while others may have to wait until it gets deployed for their accounts; we can confirm that it is active on several accounts here at iMore.

With the new two-factor authentication, the only service that doesn't require additional verification is Find my iPhone. This is done so that users of lost or stolen phones can still log in on the web portal to track and hopefully locate their phones. Services that require additional authentication include Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Notes, Reminders, and Apple's productivity suite that includes Pages, Numbers, and Keynote.

Users are asked to "verify their identity" to access those services when they log in. To do this, the service will text a passcode to a specified number that can be used during log in for added security.

And if you're on a workstation at home or work, you can also bypass this security layer by setting up trusted devices to automatically log in so that you don't need to verify your identity every time.

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Reader comments

Two-factor iCloud authentication now live


shouldn't you tell everyone that it's optional and will only occur on those that have already setup two factor authentication? This article implies that it's rolling out world-wide and that we don't have a choice.

I'm glad you clarified that. I was not looking forward to dealing with my wife when this happened.

Sent from the iMore App

Agreed. It's great for companies and services that you want to invest in, such as Apple's ecosystem, but bad for companies and services that you might want to avoid giving information to.

For example, signing-up for a new free email account at yahoo requires your phone number for authorization / 2FA to complete the registration, but at google it is still optional. You could still create a gmail account without needing the phone number, though they recommend you add it.

I have no problem giving my iPhone number to Apple, but don't want yahoo or others to have it, which complicates things such as Apple's need for a new external email address when creating a new AppleID.