How to use your iPhone’s built-in code generator for 2FA

Securing your online accounts is essential to protecting your personal information, especially if you reuse passwords. One way to add another layer of security to your accounts is to use two-factor authentication (2FA) with iOS’s built-in iPhone passcode generator.

Note: Websites that support the built-in 2FA iOS code generator will provide you with either a setup code or a QR code. Facebook offers both, but using a QR code is easier because you just need to scan it with your iPhone’s camera.

What iOS version is required to use iPhone Code Generator?

Your iPhone must be running at least iOS 15 to use the iPhone Code Generator. If you have an iPhone X or newer, you can update to iOS 15 and run it to take advantage of its features, including the built-in code generator for 2FA when signing into websites or apps that support 2FA.

To check which iOS version you are using, go to Settings -> General -> iOS Version.

You must have iCloud activated to generate sign-in codes for your online accounts. If you don’t have any passwords stored in iCloud, you won’t have access to the built-in passcode generator on your iPhone.

Tip: If you want to save your passwords without using iCloud, check out these password managers for mobile, web, and desktop.

How to set up the iPhone passcode generator

A website or app can have either a setup key or a QR code (or both) that you can scan to help you set up the iPhone security code generator. Follow this guide if the websites or apps you’re using support 2FA with your iPhone’s built-in passcode generator.

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Go to Settings on your iPhone. On the settings screen, scroll down and tap on “Passwords”. Find the saved password of a 2FA-enabled website or app. Tap the saved credentials. Under Account Options, tap Set Up Verification Code. Tap Enter Setup Key or Scan QR Code. Paste the setup key or scan the QR code you received from the website or app. You should see a code under your credentials in Settings → Passwords.

Tip: If you store passwords on your iPhone, make sure you have the correct iPhone security settings to protect your information.

How to get a 2FA setup key or QR code

Each website or app has different ways of giving you a 2FA setup key. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll get a 2FA setup key from Discord’s iOS app.

Launch Discord on your iPhone. Tap on your profile at the bottom right of the screen. On the next screen, tap on “Account”. On the account screen, under Two-Factor Authentication, tap Enable Two-Factor Authentication. Enter your Discord account password. If Discord asks you to download an authenticator app, tap “Next” since you’re using the iPhone passcode generator. Under the 2FA code, tap Copy, then tap Next. Paste the setup key into “Settings → Passwords → Saved Discord Credentials”. Go back to Discord and enter the passcode generated by your iPhone. You’re done. Every time you need to log into your Discord account, you need to add the code generated in your iPhone settings.

Note: If the website or app supports scanning a QR code with your iPhone when setting up your device’s built-in code generator, simply scan the QR code with your device’s camera to speed up the setup process. You can also learn how to scan QR codes from an image on your smartphone.

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Frequently Asked Questions Which websites support setting up 2FA with my iPhone’s built-in code generator?

You can use the 2FA Directory to look up and verify that the websites or apps you use support 2FA. There are websites or apps that support specific authentication apps, SMS or phone call authentication, and hardware authentication.

How do I remove the iPhone passcode generator from an account?

To remove the iPhone passcode generator from an account, first disable 2FA for that account. If you remove it from your iPhone’s settings first, you will be locked out of your account and will have to use a backup or recovery code.

Example: You set up 2FA for your Discord account. Disable it there and then proceed to “iPhone Settings → Passwords → Saved Credentials → Edit → Clear Verification Code”.

Can I generate a backup code if I lose access to my iCloud account?

You can generate a number of backup codes or recovery codes from the platforms to gain access to your account when you lose your iPhone. Each code can only be used once and it is possible to generate a new set. If you also lose access to these backup and restore codes, your last resort would be to contact the platforms your account is running on. You must verify account ownership to regain access to your account.

Photo credit: Unsplash. All screenshots by Natalie dela Vega.

Natalie dela Vega

Natalie is a writer specializing in tech guides and games. When she’s not writing, she plays PC games and travels. Here at MakeTechEasier, she writes about how-to guides, tips, and solutions for Windows and iOS.

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