Common questions with Advanced Protection Program

Get answers to frequently asked questions or troubleshoot issues with the Advanced Protection Program.

Important: Due to COVID-19, we temporarily suspended enrollment with your phone’s built-in security key. You can still enroll with the 2 security keys you've purchased or join our waitlist to enroll with your phone’s built-in security key.

How is Advanced Protection different from 2-Step Verification?

After you sign in with your password, both 2-Step Verification and Advanced Protection require a second step to verify it's you.

With 2-Step Verification, the second step could be a:

  • Prompt sent to your phone
  • Verification code
  • Security key

With Advanced Protection, the second step is always a security key because it's a more secure way to sign in. 

Also, Advanced Protection limits third-party app access to your data, puts stronger checks on suspicious downloads, and tightens account recovery security to help prevent unauthorized access.

Basic questions about Advanced Protection

How much does Advanced Protection cost?

The Advanced Protection Program is a free service. However, you may need to purchase security keys.

Can I enroll more than one account?

Yes. If you are at high risk for targeted online attacks, we recommend that you enroll both your work and personal accounts.

What should I do before enrolling?

Can I enroll with my G Suite Account?

Yes, if your admin has enabled Advanced Protection. Check with them before you enroll. Your admin can also enroll all accounts in the organization.
As a G Suite admin, can I enroll everyone?
Yes. We recommend that you enroll all accounts in any organization that might be targeted, like a political campaign team, an activist group, or your IT department.

Questions about security keys

What's a security key?

A security key is a small device that connects to your devices either through USB ports or wirelessly via NFC or Bluetooth. Your phone may also have a built-in security key.

A security key helps protect your account from unauthorized access. When Advanced Protection is turned on, a security key that's been registered to your account is required to sign in.

Why do I need security keys?
Advanced Protection uses security keys because they’re a more secure second step for 2-Step Verification. You need a security key the first time you sign in to your Google Account on a new device.
Are security keys effective?
Our research shows that security keys are more effective at stopping hackers than any other common methods.
What security keys do I need and where can I order them?
We recommend a primary key and at least one backup key. Your primary key can be your phone’s built-in security key. For backup keys, Titan Security Keys can be purchased from Google, or you can use any FIDO-compliant key from another trusted retailer. Learn more about how to order security keys.
What happens if I lose my security key?

If you still have account access:

  1. Get one or more replacement security keys.
  2. Go to your Google Account.
  3. On the left navigation panel, click Security.
  4. In the Signing in to Google panel, click 2-Step Verification.
  5. Click Add security key. Add your new security keys.
  6. Next to the lost security key, select Edit Editand then Remove this key.

If you don't have account access:

  1. Submit a request to recover your account. It takes a few days for Google to verify it’s you.
  2. While you wait, order one or more replacement security keys.
  3. You'll get an email to your recovery email address to let you know when you can access your account again. After you get that notification, sign in to your account.
  4. Turn on Advanced Protection again.
Do I need to keep a security key with me at all times?

You should keep your security key with you any time you might need to sign in on a new device.

If you travel, bring your security key with you. You should charge any Bluetooth security keys before you leave.

Questions about Google products

Can I still use Google products?
You can sign in to your Google Account on Google apps and with the Chrome browser on your computer and mobile web. You can't use your Google Account with some apps and services that require access to your emails and Google Drive data.
Can I still use "Sign in with Google"?

You can still sign into apps and services with Google. If they request access to your Gmail or Drive data, access is denied.

Tip: You can use an extra code to give some supported apps access to your Gmail or Drive data.
Can I use Advanced Protection with Nest?

Yes, Nest works with Google Accounts, including accounts that are enrolled in the Advanced Protection Program. To help you manage all your Google Nest and Google Home devices, you can migrate your Nest Account to a Google Account.

For privacy-related info about Google Nest connected home devices and services, check these FAQs on privacy.

Share with other home members more securely

To help keep your Google Nest and Google Home devices secure, follow these tips:

  1. Only add home members you trust. Keep in mind that:
    • Any home member can access devices, media services, addresses, and home activity.
    • Home members can add new devices to your home.
    • Home members can add or remove other home members, including you. Anytime a member is added to your home, all home members get an email notification.
  2. If your Google Account is enrolled in Advanced Protection, we strongly recommend that all home members enroll in Advanced Protection. That way, all home members are equally protected against unauthorized access to their Google Account and home devices or services.

Questions about non-Google services

Can I use non-Google apps & services or Apps Script with Advanced Protection?

Most non-Google apps and services are blocked

Advanced Protection stops most non-Google apps and services from accessing data like your Google Drive and Gmail data. That way, your data is better protected against harmful or unsecure access.

After you turn on Advanced Protection, you can allow these apps and services to access your Google data:

  • All Google apps and services
  • Apple Mail, Calendar, and Contacts apps on iOS and macOS
  • Mozilla Thunderbird
  • Desktop email clients that access Gmail directly

Let non-Google Apps access your Google data

Apple apps on iOS

You can use a temporary code to let some Apple apps access your Gmail and some other Google Account data.

Mozilla Thunderbird

You can use Mozilla Thunderbird to access your Gmail. Make sure you’re using the latest version of Thunderbird (60.0 or up).

Apps Script may be blocked

If you're enrolled in Advanced Protection, Apps Script can be used. If scripts request access to certain data in your account, like emails, documents, or photos, they may be blocked.

Can I use Advanced Protection with my Mac?

You can use Advanced Protection with a Mac running macOS 10.5 or above. To add a security key, use the following steps:

  1. On your computer, go to System Preferences.
  2. Click Internet Accountand thenGoogle.
  3. Follow the instructions to sign in.
Can I use my iPhone and iPad apps with Advanced Protection?

Important: These steps only apply if your account uses Advanced Protection.

You can create a temporary code to let Apple’s Mail, Contacts, and Calendar apps on iOS access your Gmail and some other Google Account data.

  1. If you haven’t already, install the Google Smart Lock app.
  2. On your iPhone or iPad, open Settings Settings.
  3. Tap Passwords & Accountsand thenAdd Accountand thenGoogle.
  4. Follow the instructions to sign in to your account.
  5. When you’re prompted, open the Google Smart Lock app.
  6. Sign in or choose your account.
  7. Follow the steps to create a 6-digit temporary code.
  8. Open Settings Settings again.
  9. Enter your 6-digit code.
  10. Tap Next.

If you get an error after signing in

If you get an error like, "There was a problem accessing your account," use these steps to sign in:

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, tap Settings Settings.
  2. Tap Passwords & Accountsand thenGmailand thenDelete Accountand thenDelete from My iPhone. This will removes your account from the phone, but no data is be deleted from your Google Account.
  3. On the "Passwords & Accounts " screen, tap Add Accountand thenGoogle.
  4. Start again on step 4 for using your Google Account with some iPhone or iPad apps.

If you're seeing password prompts every few minutes

You can follow the instructions above to let Apple’s Mail, Contacts, and Calendar apps access your Gmail and some other Google Account data.

Can I still use App passwords?
No. Apps that use App passwords instead of 2-Step Verification are blocked for users with Advanced Protection.

Questions about political campaigns

Can I increase protection during election season?

To further protect accounts at high risk during the election season, you can request enhanced security for your account here.

Tip: To help make political organizations more secure with Advanced Protection, we’ve partnered with Defending Digital Campaigns to provide free Titan Security Keys. Contact Defending Digital Campaigns to check whether your team is eligible for free keys.

Fix problems with Advanced Protection

Why do I get a 404 error when I try to enroll?

You might not be signed in to the Google Account that was invited to Advanced Protection.

If you’re signed in with multiple accounts, sign out of all other accounts. After you've set up Advanced Protection, you can sign back into your other accounts.

Why won’t my Bluetooth security key work with Chrome on computers?
To register your Bluetooth key on your computer, use the USB cable to connect the key to your computer.
Why won't my security key work with my Linux computer?

To set up a Security Key on a computer running a Linux-based operating system, you may need to add a new udev rule.

  1. Go to this directory: /etc/udev/rules.d
  2. Create a new file for your Security Key.
  3. Name your file (for example: 70-key.rules).
  4. In the new file, paste the instructions for your udev version. If you don’t know your udev version, run the command: sudo udevadm --version
    • Udev version 188 or higher:
      • KERNEL=="hidraw*", SUBSYSTEM=="hidraw", ATTRS{idVendor}=="18d1|096e", ATTRS{idProduct}=="5026|0858|085b", TAG+="uaccess"
    • Udev version 187 or lower:
      • KERNEL=="hidraw*", SUBSYSTEM=="hidraw", ATTRS{idVendor}=="18d1", ATTRS{idProduct}=="5026", GROUP="plugdev", MODE="0660"
  5. Save your file and run the command: sudo udevadm control --reload-rules

Restart your computer and Add a Security Key to your Google Account.

Why did Chrome stop my download?
If Safe Browsing can’t confirm that a download is safe, Chrome warns you that the file could be harmful.

Continue a download that was blocked by Chrome

Important: To protect your account and sensitive data, do not download files you’re warned about unless you’re certain that they’re safe.

On the pop-up about the blocked download, select Up arrowUp arrowand thenKeep.

If a file is known to be harmful, Safe Browsing won’t allow you to download it.

Why doesn't my Bluetooth security key connect to my Android device?
On your Android phone or tablet, turn on Bluetooth. If your security key still won't connect, temporarily turn on Location Services when you use your security key.
Why does my Windows 10 device say Bluetooth is not turned on?

When you try to sign in with your phone’s built-in security key, you may receive the message “Turn on Bluetooth to allow pairing." The notification may display even if you turned on Bluetooth on both your phone and Windows 10 device.

To allow your phone's built-in security key to connect to your Windows 10 device:

  1. Open Windows 10: Settings and then Privacy and then Radios
  2. Under "Allow apps to control device radios", turn on.
How do I turn off Advanced Protection?

You can turn off Advanced Protection in your Google Account.

  1. Go to the Security section of your Google Account using a device that’s already signed in.
  2. Under "Advanced Protection Program," select Unenroll.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to unenroll.
Why can't I sign in to my Android TV after turning on Advanced Protection?

To sign in to your Android TV after you turn on Advanced Protection:

  1. Remove your Google Account from your Android TV.
  2. Add your Google Account to your Android TV again and choose the option to set up using a phone that's on the same Wi-Fi network.
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