Use a security key for 2-Step Verification

Security keys can be used with 2-Step Verification to help you keep hackers out of your Google Account.

Note: If you’re a journalist, activist, or someone else at risk of targeted online attacks, learn about the Advanced Protection Program.

Requirements for adding a key to your account

Security key dongle

Before you can use a security key dongle to sign in, you’ll need to add it to your account using a computer.

  • Have a computer with a USB port and the latest version of the Chrome browser.
  • Have a security key that plugs into a USB port and works with FIDO Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) or FIDO2.

Note: If you’re using a Titan Security Key from Google, you can learn more about what computers and devices it’s compatible with.

Compatible phone’s built-in security key

Android phones running Android 7.0 and up have a built-in security key to help you securely sign in on a nearby computer. Learn more about how to use the security key built in to compatible Android phones.

Step 1: Get your keys

You can: 

Step 2: Add a key to your account

  1. Open the Chrome browser.
  2. Go to your Google Account.
  3. On the left navigation panel, select Security.
  4. In the "Signing in to Google" panel, select 2-Step Verification.
    • If you haven’t set up 2-Step Verification already, select Get started. Otherwise, move on.
  5. Select Choose another option  and then Security Key.
  6. Follow the steps to add your security key.

Step 3: Sign in using your key

Security keys are a more secure second step. If you have other second steps set up, use your security key to sign in whenever possible. If a security key doesn't work on your computer or browser, you might see an option to sign in with a code or prompt instead.

Note: You’ll be asked for your security key or another second step any time you sign in from a new computer or device.

Security key dongle
  1. On your computer, open a compatible browser like Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or Opera.
  2. Sign in to your Google Account. Your device will detect that your account has a security key.
  3. Connect your key to the USB port in your computer.
  4. If you see a message from "Google Play services," select OK. If not, move on to step 5.
  5. Turn on your key:
    • If your key has a gold disc, tap it.
    • If your key has a gold tip, tap it.
    • If your key has a button, press it.
    • If your key has none of these features, you may need to remove and reinsert it. This type of key turns off after each use.

You can use your key each time you sign in or skip using it on devices you trust.

Android phone’s built-in security key

If you haven’t already, add your compatible Android phone’s built-in security key to your Google Account.

  1. On your computer, make sure Bluetooth is turned on.
  2. On your computer, sign in to your Google Account with your username and password.
    • If you’re asked to sign in using a method other than your security key, you can choose Try another way and then Use your Security Key and then Yes.
  3. On your Android phone, double-tap the "Are you trying to sign in?" notification.
  4. Follow the steps on the screen to confirm it’s you signing in.

Ask Google to remember your computer

After you’ve signed in with your key, you can sign in with just your password. Follow these steps only for a computer that you use regularly and don't share with anyone else.

  1. Sign in to your Google Account.
  2. Check the box for Don't ask again on this computer.
  3. Finish signing in with your security key.

If anyone tries to sign in to your account from another computer, we’ll ask for your security key.

Lost security key

If your security key is lost, you can follow these steps to get back into your account and protect it. Choose the right steps for you depending on whether you’ve set up another second step like:

  • Verification codes
  • Google prompts
  • Backup codes
  • A different security key you’ve added to your account
  • A registered computer where you previously chose not to be asked for a verification code
If you have another second step
  1. Sign in to your Google Account with your password and your other second step.
  2. Follow the steps to remove the lost key from your account.
  3. Get a new security key. You may want to get an extra key you can keep in a safe place.
  4. Add the new key to your account.
If you don’t have another second step or forgot your password

Note: 2-Step Verification requires an extra step to prove you own an account. Because of this added security, it can take up to 3-5 business days for Google to make sure it’s you trying to sign in.

  1. Follow the steps to recover your account. You'll be asked some questions to confirm it's your account.
  2. You may be asked:
    • To enter an email address or phone number where you can be reached.
    • To enter a code sent to your email address or phone number. This code helps make sure you can access that email address or phone number.
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