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. Here is his LinkedIn profile.

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

  1. This non-existent feature for turning off the verification code is a major mistake and making many people rethink buying apple products. I used to recommend apple products to colleagues, family and friends but now I am thinking this is a mistake. Firstly, I am concerned that the customer was not well-informed of the consequences for turning on the verification code feature. Secondly, I feel very strongly, as a valued customer that I was NOT given a choice to turn it off. Lastly, I wouldn’t even be complaining if this verification code worked but it does NOT work consistently. I spent 2 hours last night trying the verification code on my apple TV and could not get it to work. Shame on you Apple for providing such poor customer service.

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  2. It’s a royal piece of crap that prevents icloud services from being used on non-apple devices. I guess Apple assumes you’ll always be beholden to one of their “trusted” devices. The “extra secuirity” is completely illusory as it is accessible once you get a hold of one my devices like my macbook which is protected by weaker authentications.

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  3. The Apple genius bar tech helpfully activated this garbage for me when setting up a replacement phone last year. I had successfully avoided it for a long time and even abandoned an old apple ID because it had been activated. But there you have it, without my permission, without me accepting the terms of use or even being informed that it was being activated, Apple accepted the terms of service on my behalf. I’m now locked out of another Apple ID and all the content I had purchased on it. I use Android and windows primarily now and I’d like to at least be able to get in to download my photos and documents MY INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, but Apple won’t accept the only phone number I can give them to add to the account and they wouldn’t turn it off the numerous times I asked before I finally got rid of all my Apple stuff and lost access.

    It would be one thing for them to allow you to use a third party authenticator like google or microsoft authenticator or duo, but this is more about forcing you to maintain an Apple device in order to keep access to the stuff you have stored in icloud.

    I’m going to go the legal route, I think. There’s enough stuff in there that it would be worth a lawsuit. I filed a complaint through the attorney general’s office in the state where I used to live to complain about Apple accepting their own terms of service on my behalf without my knowledge or consent.

    Reply
  4. Once 2FA is turned on is there an option to have it send an email instead of texting the device? At least most folks can access their email from another device therefore negating the need to have multiple phones. i’m an adroid user so just wondering. I don’t have this problem.

    Reply
  5. I am writing this on my 46th Mac. I used to love Macs and Apple, but now the two factor nuisance is making me hate Apple. I did already almost hated my Mac because of the terrible startup sound, which was waking up my sleeping family members when I wanted to utilize the stillness of late evenings for important work. Sometimes I succeeded to turn if off, mostly I didn’t.
    The two factor nuisance is probably the final blow to my Apple loyalty – another big disappointment was when Apple ceased to support my most important application, Soundtrack. If I find a PC application with comparable spectrum editing possibilities, I will switch to PC.

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  6. I have a problem regarding this i have new I phone and I sign in with my old Apple ID after this ,apple asked me to update Apple ID settings then I try but it ask me to enter my old phone password to recover all iCloud date but I set password in English alphabets but option is numeric number
    Then what I do help me guys.

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  7. What’s really crazy is that I was signing in on my phone and Apple sent the authentication code to my phone.

    I’m having trouble signing in on an old iPhone i restored settings on.

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  8. Its funny most of the people commenting are screaming Apple are too secure lol Morst of the retards commenting here have no idea about security. Add a 2nd or even 3rd trusted phone numbers people and send the code to that.

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    • You miss the point. You shouldn’t have to do that. The user should have the option. You may need to have a company to protect you from you but most people with a brain are responsible for themselves

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  9. Steve jobs would be disgraced by this. Two factor is fine as a concept, but when you tie it to a phone number that you harvest from a users device without their clear permission this is wrong.

    The phone number is tied to a service provider you likely paid for with a credit card, hence you have lost your privacy.

    Your phone number = your credit card = your name, address, and other PI
    Your phone number likely ties you to every other personal account e.g. Facebook

    This change has put those with stalkers and women with restraining orders against people who may harm them at a very real risk of harm, and is less secure than random security questions. Your location info can now be obtained from cell tower providers, and tied to you. Also a phone number can be easily forged or cloned, so in effect this is a back door for untrustworthy governments such as Russia and China who will have no hesitation to duplicating your phone number to break your two factor security.

    If Apple cared about security they would allow you to remove the phone number and use more secure random security questions. To leave this as is simply puts women with stalkers, and activists in countries fighting for democracy such as Russia and China in harms way. Its a bad bad move.

    Are there any free countries on earth where Apple isn’t violating the privacy rights of their users and forcing two factor authentication?

    Reply
  10. I like a iphone message and FaceTime but it appears I will have to go to an android device if I ever lose my phone. I assume everybody will be in that position and unless Apple fixes the problem

    Reply

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