How to turn off two-step and two-factor authentication on an iPhone, through your Apple ID account

iphone and computerKārlis Dambrāns

  • Apple offers both two-step and two-factor authentication for the iPhone, though two-step authentication is older and being replaced with the two-factor alternative.
  • Two-factor authentication displays an interactive notification on your iPhone before revealing a requested verification code.
  • You can turn off two-step authentication from your Apple ID web page, but once turned two-factor authentication is turned on permanently (outside of a two-week window), it cannot be turned off.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

When discussing digital security, the terms "two-step" and "two-factor" are often used interchangeably. But confusingly, Apple offers two slightly different forms of enhanced security, called two-step authentication and two-factor authentication.

Two-factor authentication is a newer and more secure system that includes interactive push notifications on your iOS devices, like the iPhone. Two-factor authentication has become an essential way to keep your data safe. By requiring two ways to prove that your identity - typically, a password and a verification code sent to your phone - it makes it dramatically harder for a hacker to gain access to your personal or financial data.

If you are still using two-step authentication and want to switch to the two-factor alternative, you need to turn off two-step authentication first.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

iPhone XS (From $729 at Apple)

How to turn off two-step authentication on the iPhone

1. In a web browser, sign into your Apple ID page.

2. In the Security section, make sure it says that "Two-Step Verification" is on.

2fa 1Your Apple ID page shows if you have two-step or two-factor authentication enabled.Dave Johnson/Business Insider

3. Click "Edit."

4. Click "Turn Off Two-Step Verification." Click again to confirm this is what you want to do.

2fa 2You can turn off two-step authentication from your Apple ID web page.Dave Johnson/Business Insider

5. You might need to create a security question and verify your date of birth.

Two-step verification is now turned off. If you want to, you can now turn on two-factor authentication in the Settings app of your iPhone (you can find it by tapping your name at the top of Settings, then Password & Security).

But be aware, once two-factor authetication becomes permanent on your iPhone, you can't turn it off.

How to turn off two-factor authentication on an iPhone (within an available two-week window)

As we've indicated, once you turn on two-factor authentication on an iPhone - unlike two-step authentication - it cannot be turned off. Apple has implemented this to enforce enhanced security for the iPhone and iPad.

There's one exception: You have a two-week window, starting from when you initially activate two-factor authentication, in which to turn it back off. After that, it's permanent.

If you are within that two-week window, you can turn it off from your Apple ID page:

1. In a web browser, sign into your Apple ID page.

2. In the Security section, make sure it says that "Two-Factor Verification" is on.

3. Click "Edit."

4. Click "Turn Off Two-Factor Verification." Click "Continue" to confirm this is what you want to do.

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