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.
- On a computer, go to the 2-Step Verification section of your Google Account.
- If you haven’t set up 2-Step Verification already, tap Get started. Otherwise skip to step 3.
- Click Add Security Key. Don’t insert your key yet.
- Click Next.
- Insert your Security Key. Tap the button or gold tip if your key has one.
- Follow the instructions.
- 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.
- On your Android phone or tablet, sign in to your Google Account.
- If your device is new, follow the steps to add your account.
- 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.
- If you get an error message that asks you to update Google Play Services:
- 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.
- 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.
Nick is an Accounts expert and the author of this help page. Leave him feedback below about how to improve it.