How to Turn Off Two-Factor Authentication?

We get a lot of questions from our readers wondering how two-factor authentication can be turned off. It seems that some users find that two-factor authentication is annoying and it is understandable that they may have various concerns about wanting to turn off two-factor; even though it helps enhance your account’s security by making it a lot more difficult for someone else to sign in to your Apple account.

So we decided to write this short article. The purpose of this article is simply to answer this question: Is it possible to disable two-factor authentication, and if so, how can you do that?

See also: Cannot Reset Apple ID Security Questions?

Disabling two-factor authentication

So, is it possible to disable this? The short answer is maybe but it is highly likely that you cannot. If you  already turned on this, you may turn it off within two weeks. Then you would be able to go to the apple.com website and go to manage my account. You would be able to turn it off there, if it shows. Here is exactly how you can do that:

  • Visit appleid.apple.com
  • Enter your Apple ID and password and log in
  • Find the Security section
  • Click Edit
  • Then click “Turn off two-factor authentication” (if you do not see this, then you cannot turn this off).  Once you click, you will be asked to confirm: “If you turn off two-factor authentication, your account will be protected with only your password and security questions”. Click Continue.
Security Edit
turn off two factor authentication

But if you cannot find the option to turn off this, then it means it can not be turned off.  As we stated above it cannot be disabled after it has been on for two weeks or longer.  If this is the case, you cannot turn off this security feature. Apple does not allow it. And here is why.

Why I Cannot Turn Off Two-Factor Aunhetication

Your account is more secure when you use Two-factor authentication so that no-one else can access your account even if someone else knows your Apple password. And a lot of iOS and macOS features (iCloud Keychain, iCloud Messages etc) require this extra level of security.

Apple introduced this feature in 2015 with iOS 9 and OS X 10.11 El Capitan.

Please note that two-factor authentication and two-step verification  is NOT the same thing. They are different. Two-step verification is an older security method than two-factor authentication.

If you are using two-step verification, you CAN turn this off. If you want to turn this off:

  • Go to https://appleid.apple.com/
  • Enter your Apple ID and password to login
  • Scroll down and go to the “Security” section
  • Click Edit
  • Click “Two-Step Verification…” and then you will be asked to confirm. You will be asked: Turning-off two-step verification will make your account less secure. Are you sure you want to proceed? Click to confirm and you are done.

Please further note that if your device is running iOS 11 (or later) or macOS High Sierra, you will be automatically switched you from two-step to two-factor.

See also: Change Apple ID email 

Dr. Serhat Kurt worked as a Senior Technology Director. He holds a doctoral degree (or doctorate) from the University of Illinois at Urbana / Champaign and a master’s degree from Purdue University.

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49 thoughts on “How to Turn Off Two-Factor Authentication?”

  1. I am within the 2 week window in which I can turn 2FA off. If I do so and later find I need it for some app, can I turn it on again?

    Reply
  2. I turned on two-factor authentication to get my apple credit card. It is a huge pain in the A$$, annd i no longer want it on. I deleted my card and am willing to cancel it to get rid of this two factor crap. The option to turn it off is greyed out, and I can’t choose it. it’s my account, and my security, and i do not understand why i can’t turn it off if I so choose. I had no idea how it was going to effect all my devices, and it’s a pain to have to use.

    I have an iphone xsmax 13.5.1 ios….
    This is my 10th iphone, i have ipads, multiple apple tv’s and apple watch etc… i want this gone. HELP

    It’s my account, and my devices. I should have the right to not have to use this extra step if I so choose

    Apple loses another customer.

    iPhone XS Max

    Reply
  3. Firstly, you *can* turn it off, but only if you act within 2 weeks of activating it. In the email apple sends you when it is first enabled there is a link to click if you didn’t request activation or turned it on by mistake. I just found this in a forum post and successfully disabled mine this way after tearing my hair out over this garbage and speaking to Apple support, who insisted that once enabled it was permanent. I was prepared to delete my itunes account, reset all my devices and start again with a new itunes account but apparently even this is no longer an option as it 2-factor is now on by default for new apple IDs.

    I’ve had – and enjoyed – Apple products since switching from a Windows laptop back in 2007. I lined up to buy the original iPhone when it was released. Our family currently has 5 iphones, 3 macbooks, 2 iPads and 2 appleTVs. With every update Apple drives me further away. I’ll keep what I have for as long as I can fend off this kind of intrusive garbage and other software-forced-obsolescence, but I can’t see myself ever buying another new apple product, sadly.

    Reply
  4. The two factor Authentication should not be forced to users. There is no way it can be disabled. I was pissed when I left my phone at work, my house and work is 1 hours 15 mins drive. I needed to access my contacts, so I tried to log in to my macbook and It can’t let me log in, it was asking the code sent to my phone. How the annoying is that. I rang the apple store to see if there was a way to disable it but was told none. If Steve Job was alive he would have shot all these stupid developers. Us users should have the liberty to turn on/off things. Not leaving us with no option. Sad to day but I’m buying Samsung for my next phone… At least I have the option..to do what I want. Imagine you paid for the pricey apple device and you are being controlled.

    Reply
  5. It’s a nightmare! My son can’t read so now can’t access his iPads. Or phone. New box of apple junk to the cellar until this is fixed.

    Geoff

    Reply

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