How to turn on two-factor authentication for Gmail

what to know

  • Go to > Security > 2-step verification > Enable 2-step verification .
  • 2FA options include keys, Google prompts on other login devices, authenticator apps, and more.
  • Doing this requires a second step beyond your password, which makes your Gmail account harder to hack.

One of the best ways to secure your Gmail account is to use two-factor authentication. This article explains how to set this up for your account and why it's so important.

Google makes it very easy. Here's how to enable 2FA for Gmail from a desktop browser:

  1. Sign in to your Gmail account and select your profile photo or icon.

  2. Select Manage your Google Account .

  3. Select Security from the left pane.

  4. Select two-step verification .

  5. Choose to turn on two-step verification .

  6. Enter your phone number and select Next .

  7. Enter the verification code Google sends to your phone, then select Verify > Done

We don't recommend disabling 2-step verification for Gmail, but if you need it, here are the steps:

  1. Select your profile photo or icon in the upper right corner of Gmail and select Manage your Google Account .

  2. Select Security on the left, then scroll down the page and select 2-Step Verification . When asked, log in to your Google Account.

  3. Choose to turn off two-step verification .

  4. Google will display a warning message asking you to confirm that you want to disable 2-step verification. If you are sure, select Close .

If you want to set up a different form of verification as a backup for text messages, Google offers several options. Here's how to change the second form of verification:

  1. Return to your Google Account settings by selecting your profile picture at the top, then Manage your Google Account > Security > 2-Step Verification .

  2. Scroll down to the Step Two section.

  3. Select any of the available options, including Keys and Security Keys , Google Prompt , and Authenticator. You can also get backup codes for your Google Account here.

Your email account contains a lot of valuable information. It could be the account you use for everything from online banking to social media accounts and possibly work-related tasks.

Keeping all this information in one place can be useful to you, but it can also be dangerous. If a hacker finds your password, they can access a lot of important information and compromise your online and offline identity.

Two-factor authentication not only requires a password to access your account, it also adds a layer of security. By requiring an additional item during the login process (such as your phone), you can effectively block access even if someone knows your password.

Depending on the 2FA method you selected during setup, Google will send you a code unique to your account. This may be via a text message sent to the number on file, a code in the Google Authenticator app, or a prompt on another device you're signed in to. Each code can only be used once and expires within a few minutes, making it very secure.