How to Turn Off Two-Factor Authentication for Apple ID

Aug 17, 2016 - 29 Comments

Disable Two Factor Authentication for Apple ID

Some users may benefit from enabling Two-Factor Authentication with Apple ID to further protect and secure their devices and data, but sometimes people decide two-factor auth is too much of a hassle and want to disable the feature.


If you turn off two-factor authentication with an Apple ID, you’ll go back to relying exclusively on the proper input of a password and requiring answering security questions to gain and re-gain lost Apple ID access, thereby eliminating the need to have an authorized device nearby to receive a security code to authenticate with.

Disabling Two-Factor Authentication on Apple ID

  1. Open any web browser on any computer and go to appleid.apple.com
  2. Log in to the Apple ID you want to disable two factor authentication for, you may need to use two factor auth to gain access to the account
  3. Go to the “Security” section of account settings and choose “Edit”
  4. Locate the “Two-Factor Authentication” section where it says the feature is ON, and click the link to “Turn Off Two-Factor Authentication”
  5. Turn off two-factor authentication for Apple ID

  6. Create new security questions to assign to the Apple ID, these are used in place of two-factor auth codes
  7. When finished disabling two-factor auth you can log out of the Apple ID management website

Once two-factor authentication is disabled, you can log in to Apple ID from anywhere, whether on the web, iOS, iPhone, iPad, Mac, anywhere, with only a password again, you won’t need to double authenticate with a trusted device code.

Whether or not to use two-factor authentication is largely a matter of personal preference, there is no right or wrong answer here. Remember, you can always turn on two-factor auth for Apple ID again if you decide to use the service again at a later date. Either way, be sure to use a strong password.

Enjoy this tip? Subscribe to the OSXDaily newsletter to get more of our great Apple tips, tricks, and important news delivered to your inbox! Enter your email address below:

Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Security, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting

29 Comments

» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Sebby says:

    Having just struggled to get this bloody thing working, I wish now I’d not “upgraded” from “two-step” verification. It turns out that, although I’m fine with not having codes delivered to my Yosemite Mac (I didn’t before either) it changes the way that “Keychain” functions so you no longer need a dedicated security code. This completely trashed my iCloud profile on my Mac, and so I had to sign out, manually spifflicate the keychain data, and sign in again.

    So a warning to the adventurous: stick hard to Apple’s guidelines, or start with a completely signed-out iCloud account. When they say that the user experience is worse with older releases than iOS 9 / OS X El Cap, they really mean it! :)

  2. St Stephen says:

    I had to restore my iPhone recently after it went totally haywire for no obvious reason. The experience with 2-factor auth was very difficult and it made me turn the feature off.

    In the process of trying to set it up again, 2-factor auth was a total nightmare. For some reason the verification server at Apple was unreachable for nearly an hour, during which the iPhone was useless and unusable. Then, due to the nature of how 2-factor auth works, reconfiguring a device requires other devices nearby (imagine a scenario where you take your iPhone to an Apple Store… oops you can’t restore your device unless you bring something else too). It was such a bad experience that it made me think that nobody at Apple has gone through the same setup process because surely if someone in the know had encountered the 100% halting hangups that I did, it would be addressed.

    Unfortunately it is very easy to see how 2-factor auth could completely render an iOS device useless and simultaneously prevent it from being restored. As it is currently implemented, it is hard to recommend to anyone but the most paranoid.

  3. Brian says:

    Two Factor is insecure.

    • ghern says:

      How is two factor insecure? I thought the whole point of two factor was to add more security. It’s certainly annoying enough to use that it better be secure! Or what is the point?

      • Phoebe says:

        I can see what they mean. Two-factor authentication is insecure because if someone else has your phone, let’s say, and you try to sign into your Apple ID, but it sends the code to your phone, they now have access, but not you.

        • SMBlacky2015 says:

          No they can’t. They will have the code – this is just only one of the two required for logging in. Both Id and code are needed to login.

  4. rpk says:

    I’d say only a maroon makes remarks like that.

    If you take a look the sheer number of processes that ‘call home’
    since Yosemite and El Cap+, I’d say you’re a maroon for not using
    Mavericks.

    I’ll give Apple the benefit of the doubt regarding use of iCloud in
    North America, but how exactly do you think they got permission
    to sell iPhones in China? Those guys don’t get much privacy or
    encryption.

    I can sit and watch a process associated with location data ping
    Apples servers to see if it should be encrypted. When you look
    at the plist you’ll see tlds for China and North Korea saying no.

    Personally I’ve pulled everything off iCloud and now use OSX Server
    for the services I want.

    I don’t see any benefits to what few gizmos have been added since Mavericks and I honestly don’t need a bunch of emojis or stickers
    for kids which are touted as a major addition to the next OS (but
    maybe you do).

    I personally don’t care what version of the OS someone runs, I have
    several machines all running different versions back to Snow Leopard.

    If you enjoy being a sheeple, keep going with the latest version, but
    don’t trash people by calling them idiots.

    • Sebby says:

      Yes indeed, Apple seem to have abandoned its privacy principles, at least in practice (I’ve no doubt its PR people still claim to the contrary). I have an El Cap server and ran tcpdump/auditd on it for a week, and it’s just completely irrelevant nonsense, even where there is no iCloud. It’s just terrible. You can’t delete your iCloud account from Apple, either. Unfortunately it’s getting harder and harder to run without it, as many useful features are dependent on it (home sharing, SMS forwarding, handoff, Safari tab/bookmark sync) so, at least until I’ve got this NAS doing all my other stuff too, I’m resigned to using it.

      Anyway, Yosemite is the earliest that’ll run on this (otherwise quite splendid) 2014 retina iMac, and the glitchiness of El Cap (specifically, many newly-introduced VoiceOver and management bugs) just meant that I couldn’t seriously rely on it. I am hoping for a miracle in Sierra.

      @Wharf: that’s the second time you’ve misspelled “Xanadu”. But you knew that already, of course. :)

  5. karyse says:

    I’ve stayed with Mavericks because I am not interested in having my life online. I’m actually considering (for the first time since 1982) changing to Linux because I’m tired of my computer thinking it knows what’s best for me.

    In the old days one had complete control over everything, now it’s difficult to control anything (including the most annoying, repeated prompts to update and the inability to check a box “don’t ask again”).

  6. Carolina says:

    It’s been almost four weeks now since my Apple ID password is on recovery process and still haven’t received instructions. This could have easily been avoided with security questions.

    • shawn says:

      Agreed. The two step is just another thing to deal with, and what’s the point of security questions if they are not going to even use them. It’s very frustrating!

  7. Crystal says:

    I don’t even HAVE a second apple device – I HAD an iphone 5s (Straight talk) that i returned, so obviously do not have access to it. Apple automatically set this up “for me” and won’t let me delete it without jumping through hoops. I’m pissed off. I can not back up my iPad, I can not connect to my iTunes to update it. It’s a worthless piece of machinery to me until Apple “decides” to allow me access to my account. I am really starting to despise Apple products.

  8. Peter Stastny says:

    Two-factor authentication is a nuisance. All those hurdles are annoying to say the least. I could and maybe should use stronger words…

  9. Jennie M says:

    My children have devices under my Apple ID so the two factor authentication is a nuisance because they both live in another state and it asks them for the code every time they try to sign in to something like downloading a free app, etc. I would have to text them the code when I received it on my phone. Needless to say I turned it off.

  10. Aamar says:

    Two factor

  11. Antonius antonius says:

    Hi i need some advice. I really frustated with two factor authentication. I never setup two factor authentication on my iphone. Someone try to hack my devices. They insert any number that belong to my number. So i didn’t know that number. I contacted to apple support but no solution at all. They just suggest to find out trusted phone number to get the code. I sent proof of purchase of my iphone and they already unlock my iphone. But i still can’t access my apple id.

  12. Daku says:

    Thankyou for these instructions. I couldn’t make head nor tail of this two-factor system on my IOS 7 Iphone – the code I received on my iphone for my ipad didn’t work when asked for on Itunes on my pc and I was going around in bloody circles as I was not being given a new auth. code to any of my devices as it was not showing me an option to send the new code to my phone.
    So – being a I— things newbie, I followed your very clear instructions and turned it off. Let’s hope there won’t be any ensuing problems with ICloud etc.

  13. Phoebe says:

    I have a different problem. My codes are sent to my iPhone, and I don’t have access to that anymore, so I can’t log in to turn it off. I signed out of iCloud, and now I can’t get to anything on my computer…

    • mary clayton says:

      yes Phoebe my entry above is exactly the same as your situation now. this 2 factor code idea might be fine when everythings working, but ridiculous when things go wrong. Just need a simple system to sign in when a password and security questions – like it used to be!

  14. Luca says:

    OSXDaily, why doing you create a thread on “All you need to know 2-factor Troubleshooting?”
    like what happen if I restore my device?, what happen if I lost my number for ever?
    What If my phone get stolen, how can access again my account?
    how long does a recovery account take?
    And so on?

  15. Armand says:

    If you only have one Apple device, this can be a major headache. My phone is currently stuck in recovery mode. In order to send it in to Apple for repairs, you have to log into your icloud. In oder to log in to icloud you have to enter in the authentication code. Problem is, they only send the code to my one apple device (the phone thats stuck in recovery mode)…………… -__-

  16. Dianne says:

    Good idea Lucas. I’m really struggling with the 2-factor business due to my no cell service at my home. As it is, I drive 100 miles EACH WAY to the Apple store to do updates and backups (faster internet). Those “codes” never come through at home, even with my phone being on wi-fi.

    As things stand now I can’t download books or songs and I can’t turn OFF 2-factor authentication at home because I can’t get the “code” to make the change!

    I worked for Apple in the 1980s and 90s, that old Apple never would’ve “turned on” a process that so few people want or need.

  17. Sam says:

    I’m trying to change my account to a newly unlocked iphone for my carrier. In order to change providers I had to save a back up and wipe the phone. In order restore from icloud I have to get a code from a text … sent to the phone number I just wiped. This is the most ass backwards security feature I have ever seen.

Leave a Reply

 

Shop for Apple & Mac Deals on Amazon.com

Subscribe to OSXDaily

Subscribe to RSS Subscribe to Twitter Feed Follow on Facebook Subscribe to eMail Updates