Use a Security Key for 2-Step Verification

Security Keys connect to your device to help prove you own your Google Account. With them, you get the extra protection of 2-Step Verification and can sign in without your phone.

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

Step 1: Get your key

You can buy a Security Key online. Search on Google for "FIDO U2F Security Key" and order from a trusted retailer.

Step 2: Add a key to your account

  1. On a computer, go to the 2-Step Verification section of your Google Account.
  2. If you haven’t set up 2-Step Verification already, tap Get started. Otherwise skip to step 3.
  3. Click Add Security Key. Don’t insert your key yet.
  4. Click Next.
  5. Insert your Security Key. Tap the button or gold tip if your key has one.
  6. Follow the instructions.
  7. To make sure you can still sign in if your key ever gets lost, add recovery info and backups.

Step 3: Sign in with your key

You'll only connect your key when you add your Google Account, not every time you use your phone.

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, sign in to your Google Account.
  2. Your phone will detect if your account has a Security Key. Follow the steps to connect your key. Depending on your key, you’ll:
  • Insert your key into the USB port.
  • Tap your key to the back of your device.
  • Pair your key to your device.

If someone tries to sign in to your account from another device, they’ll be asked for your Security Key.

Fix problems

  • If you get an error message that asks you to update Google Play Services:
  1. On your Android device, sign in with an account that doesn't use a Security Key.
  2. Google Play Services should start updating automatically. If it doesn't, go to the Google Play services page and tap Update.
  3. Follow the steps above to add a key to your account.
  • If a Security Key doesn't work on your device or browser, you might see an option to sign in with a verification code instead.
  • If your Google Account is through your work, school, or other group: Contact your administrator for help or if you need a verification code.
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Nick is an Accounts expert and the author of this help page. Leave him feedback below about how to improve it.

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