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.

Requirements to use a Security Key with your device

  • Have a Security Key that works with FIDO Universal 2nd Factor (U2F).
  • Have the Google Smart Lock app installed on your device.

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 Security Key

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

Note: Apps that come with your iPhone, like the Mail and Calendar apps, don't work with Security Keys. To use these apps, set up another verification option, like verification codes or prompts.

  1. On your iPhone, download the Google Smart Lock app. You can manage all your Google Accounts on your phone with this app.
  2. Follow the instructions to add your account to the app.
  3. 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.

Fix problems

  • 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.

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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