Google's 2-step verification ON. Now I can't login.
February 4, 2014 7:38 AM   Subscribe

Decided to step up security with Google's 2-step verification process. Received the codes sent to my phone so that I could use the Gmail app and use my Google account on my phone's browser. Also, decided to list my work laptop as a trusted computer. Later I try logging in with my personal laptop without any luck. So now I'm not sure what to do. I can't log into any of my accounts whether its from my phone or my home laptop. Do I have to wait until I head back to work and use the laptop there? I admit I didn't carefully read all the directions for the setup...
posted by AngryTypingGuy to Technology (13 answers total)
What happens when you try to log in from your laptop? Do you get an error message or do you just never get the SMS with verification code, or...?
posted by trunk muffins at 7:43 AM on February 4, 2014

My personal laptop from home? It just says that my password is incorrect. No SMS.
posted by AngryTypingGuy at 7:45 AM on February 4, 2014

Apologies if this comes off as dumb: You don't use the code for your password, you continue using your regular password for the first step.
posted by odinsdream at 7:51 AM on February 4, 2014

Yup. I recognize that.
posted by AngryTypingGuy at 7:52 AM on February 4, 2014

When you set up two-step verification, there are essentially four sets of passwords.

There's your regular google password, which you choose yourself and use to log in from a computer. It'll then ask you to also enter a verification code (6 numbers) sent to your phone OR a backup code (8 numbers) that Google generates for you for when you don't have your phone or phone service.

In addition to all those, there are separate passwords (long ones, mix of letters and numbers) used alone, not in conjunction with your google password or verification code, to log in from mobile apps.

Exactly what method are you using to log in from your devices?
posted by payoto at 7:53 AM on February 4, 2014

Did you download the Google Authenticator app for your phone? Usually this is required to generate a unique code for every new device / browser that tries to access your Google account(s).
posted by davidvanb at 7:54 AM on February 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

payoto - I tried logging in with my regular Google password.

davidvanb - Haven't downloaded yet, but wasn't aware that I needed it. Was it optional or part of the process?
posted by AngryTypingGuy at 7:58 AM on February 4, 2014

You can either use the Google Authenticator app, or have the verification code texted to your phone. Did you choose the latter option (would have required telling Google your mobile phone number when you did the setup)? If so, you should get a verification code texted to you when you log in. If you're not getting something texted to you, then you need to install the Authenticator app so you can get the code there.
posted by msbubbaclees at 8:07 AM on February 4, 2014

False alarm. My shift key wasn't work properly. Heh.

Thanks for your help everyone!
posted by AngryTypingGuy at 8:07 AM on February 4, 2014 [7 favorites]

Unless you changed it when you turned on two-factor authentication, your password has not changed.

My Google account is "". Let's say my Google password is "potato", and I don't have two-factor authentication turned on. I log into google the usual way.

Now I turn on two-factor authentication. My password is still "potato". When I log into Google on a new computer, I enter "potato" and then Google asks me for a number from the Authenticator app. If I didn't have a smartphone, Google would send me a text containing a number.

I enter that number and go on through to gmail or whatever.

There are some circumstances where that second factor bit is impractical; maybe your phone's email app.

For those situations, Google lets you generate app-specific passwords that work in the usual user/pass scenarios. Once you're logged in, you go to the Security section of your account and create a password for "mail on my iPhone" or whatever and Google will generate a 16-character password that you can use for that app. So, for mail, my username would be "" and my password would be "a8f62l3nidp9r95m".

>Haven't downloaded yet, but wasn't aware that I needed it. Was it optional or part of the process?

A second factor of some sort is required. During the signup, you would have been presented with the choice of setting up the Authenticator app on your smartphone or providing a phone number for SMS verification. You can go back at any time and switch from one to the other, or update the Authenticator connection to a new phone.

On preview, I see that you've solved your problem, but dang it I'd already typed this.
posted by chazlarson at 8:13 AM on February 4, 2014

Also, you can get a list of one-time passwords you can print out and keep somewhere safe, in case you lose your phone.
posted by defcom1 at 9:18 AM on February 4, 2014

Glad it was a simple fix, but for future surfers - I save the one-time passwords that defcom1 mentions to my dropbox, because if I print them out on physical paper, I will lose them.
posted by desjardins at 11:50 AM on February 4, 2014

Eponysterical question! (Really glad your fix was simple...)
posted by purple_bird at 1:00 PM on February 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

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