Use a security key for 2-Step Verification
Security keys can help you keep hackers out of your Google Account. With security keys, 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.
Requirements for adding a key to your account
Before you can use a key 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 a compatible browser like Chrome, Firefox, Opera, or Edge.
- Have a security key that plugs into a USB port and works with FIDO Universal 2nd Factor (U2F).
Note: If you’re using a Titan Security Key from Google, you can learn more about what computers and devices it’s compatible with.
- On your computer, go to the 2-Step Verification section of your Google Account.
- If you haven’t set up 2-Step Verification already, select Get started. Otherwise skip to step 3.
- Select Add Security Key. Don’t insert your key yet.
- Select Next.
- Insert your security key.
- If your key has a disc or gold tip, tap it.
- If your key has a button, press it.
- In the top left, you’ll be asked if we can see the make and model of your security key. Select Allow or Block.
- If you select Allow, we may be able to help you in the future if we find problems with the type of key you use.
- Follow the instructions on the screen to finish adding the key to your account.
- To help you sign in if your key is lost, add recovery info and backups.
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 device 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.
- On your Android phone or tablet, sign in to your Google Account or open a Google App.
- Your device will detect that your account has a security key. Follow the steps to pair your device and key.
After pairing, you can sign in to your Google Account like you normally do. If we need to make sure it’s you, you’ll be asked to press the button on your key.
Fix problems with Bluetooth
Key won’t pair with phone or tablet
Make sure to:
- Turn on Bluetooth on your device
- Add the key to your account
- Use the pairing steps above. You can’t pair a key from your device’s Bluetooth settings.
- Update your device to the latest version of Google Play Services
- Temporarily turn on Location Services when you use your key
- Keep your key and device close together
- Try restarting your device
- Try turning Bluetooth off and back on
Key won’t go into pairing mode
- Your key is unplugged from your computer or charger
- Your key is charged
- On your Android device, sign in with an account that doesn't use a security key.
- Google Play Services should start updating automatically. If it doesn't, go to the Google Play services page and tap Update.
- Sign back in to your Android device with the account that uses a security key.
- Follow the steps to sign in using your key with Bluetooth (BLE).
- Sign in to your Google Account. Your device will detect that your account has a security key.
- Connect your key to the USB port in your device.
- If you see a message from "Google Play services," tap OK. If not, move on to step 4.
- Turn on your key:
- If your key has a gold disc, tap it.
- If your key has a gold tip, tap and then press 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.
If you lose your security key, 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
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.
- Follow the steps to recover your account. You'll be asked some questions to confirm it's your account.
- Use these tips to answer as best you can.
- 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.