Apple are you frickin' kidding me. Two-factor identification
September 26, 2019 11:34 AM   Subscribe

Apple has no option to turn two-factor identification off. On a device I paid for. WHAT THE WHAT? I have one phone and live alone. If I lose my phone when out, what I need to do is to log into my icloud, probably on borrowed computer, and FIND MY IPHONE. In order to do log in from a new device and find my phone, Apple must send a verification code TO MY LOST PHONE. Does anyone have a way out of this circular security theater hell? TIA
posted by 2soxy4mypuppet to Technology (11 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I spent two weeks with a dead iPhone and had a similar situation where I needed certain codes to come through. I got some codes either via my messages app or actually just a popup box on the laptop. I have a mac laptop, which might matter. I regret that I don't remember how I got them, but I was surprised that I did get them.
posted by Stewriffic at 11:44 AM on September 26, 2019

Response by poster: Apple dropped the Recovery Key several versions ago.

I do have a friend added as a trusted number. My laptop is not a Mac. This circular firing squad is ridiculous. Any help welcome!
posted by 2soxy4mypuppet at 11:55 AM on September 26, 2019

Response by poster: I'll stop threadsitting, but the above article is no longer correct. Every time I log into iCloud on my OWN laptop, Apple sends a code to my phone. Can't log in without the code, can't add this laptop as a trusted device. If there's something in my settings that is making this unique to me, I'm happy to hear it.
posted by 2soxy4mypuppet at 12:37 PM on September 26, 2019

Best answer: The URL in the article is wrong.

I just logged into and it did not ask me for a verification code. (And it located my devices)
posted by 1970s Antihero at 12:47 PM on September 26, 2019 [7 favorites]

Specifically on locating your lost iPhone by using Find My iPhone from a web browser (it's not clear to me if you have another question about trusted browsers in general):

I just specifically tried the link on Firefox on this computer (a Windows PC, not a personal computer, not associated with my Apple ID in any way).

What happened is that after putting in my password, the standard six-digit verification code screen does in fact appear, but if you look in the bottom left of the screen "Find iPhone" is available. It's under the text that says "Or get quick access to:", at the bottom of the screen. (This more or less matches the description in the article).

Clicking that, without inputting any verification code, takes me straight to the map where my devices are located, and it is able to locate my phone and make it ping.
posted by andrewesque at 12:52 PM on September 26, 2019 [3 favorites]

Yes, when it prompts you to enter the 6-digit 2FA code, right underneath there should be (light-gray, unobtrusive) links to Find and some other iCloud functions.
posted by mskyle at 12:53 PM on September 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

I just created a new/spare Apple ID by going to and filling in all the prompts, it did not even ask for a phone number.

Im sure that if I sign into a mobile device it will nag me to enable it, but I think those are always skippable if annoying.

If you do enable 2FA then you can never turn if off again for that Apple ID. There is some logic to that - if you leave a device unlocked by accident then someone e.g. a partner could sneakily turn 2FA off and then later on worm their way into your account.

Of course the effect of doing a brand new day on your Apple ID is that you lose all the apps/music/movies purchased under that ID, hmm now who stands to gain if you have to buy everything again?
I guess this is one reason to keep your media purchases completely separate from your device logins.
posted by Lanark at 3:03 PM on September 26, 2019

I dunno, but you might consider making an appointment at your local Apple Store. Those Genius Bar people are super helpful and friendly.
posted by alex1965 at 4:43 PM on September 26, 2019

Response by poster: Thank you! I'll commit that URL to memory!
posted by 2soxy4mypuppet at 9:27 AM on September 28, 2019

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