In iOS 15 and macOS Monterey, Apple introduced its own built-in two-factor authenticator (2FA). With a built-in 2FA, you no longer have to choose a third-party solution, as this is usually chargeable.
If you're a regular 2FA user and have Apple devices with the latest software versions, this guide will show you how to use Apple's built-in 2FA code generator.
What does Apple's two-factor authenticator do?
When we refer to Apple's authenticator, we mean the 2FA code generator in macOS Monterey + and iOS 15+ and not the 2FA for your Apple ID.
Apple's two-factor authenticator works just like any other third-party 2FA you already use. You set up 2FA on a website under the security settings, save the key for the authenticator and then enter the generated code every time you log in to that website.
The great thing about setting up 2FA on a website in Safari or in an app is that the key is automatically added to Apple's authenticator. When you log in to this website, Apple will automatically fill in the authentication code in the field.
How to use Apple's built-in two-factor authenticator
As mentioned earlier, Apple's built-in two-factor authenticator works seamlessly with Safari and apps on iOS and macOS. The 2FA automatically saves security keys when you set up new two-factor settings for your accounts and automatically fills in the generated codes when you log into those accounts.
But what if you use a different browser or want to migrate your existing keys to Apple's authenticator? There is a way to manually access Apple's authenticator, but it's a little less elegant. It's okay if you're migrating keys, but less so if you're using a different browser.
Note: The Apple Authenticator can only be found on macOS Monterey or higher and iOS 15 or higher.
How to access the authenticator on macOS devices
To manually access Apple's Authenticator on macOS devices, open System settings. Then go to Passwords. Scroll down the menu to the website you want and click on it.
The generated authentication code will be displayed in the login information window. These codes are updated every 30 seconds. To manually add an authentication key to this account, click To edit, and then Enter setup key next to the verification code heading.
How to access the authenticator on iOS / iPadOS devices
It's more or less the same process to set up the authenticator on iOS or iPadOS devices. Go in the settings, Then scroll down and open Passwords. Scroll down the page to the website you are looking for and tap on it.
The generated authentication code will be displayed in the login information window. These codes are updated every 30 seconds. To manually add an authentication key to this account, tap To edit, and then Enter setup key next to the verification code heading.
Why you should use Apple's two-factor authenticator
When it comes to why you should use Apple's built-in 2FA, the answer lies simply in integration and ease of use. There is currently no third-party authenticator that automatically stores and fills in authentication keys and codes on the web and in apps.
Apple's lead over the competition is combined with the usual integration with its own operating system. The seamless collaboration with Safari and apps is a big plus for Apple's Authenticator. Using Apple's authenticator is a little less elegant with third-party browsers, but still usable (that's probably because Apple wants you to use Safari).
Has Apple Conquered Security?
We all know how privacy and security conscious Apple is. There won't be many people who haven't seen the ads, and new privacy features are announced at almost every Apple event.
Now that Apple has on-device processing, encryption, self-tagging apps, tracking under control, storing all of your passwords, and automatically entering your 2FA codes (all secure, may I add) it certainly seems so as if Apple had conquered security.
5 reasons Apple devices are safer than Android
Apple is known for its strong security measures, but why? What does the company do to take care of your equipment?
About the author
(131 published articles)
Connor is a UK-based technology writer. After writing for online publications for several years, he now also spends time in the world of tech startups. Connor is primarily focused on Apple and news, has a passion for technology and is particularly passionate about new technology. When he's not working, Connor likes to spend time cooking, various fitness activities, and a little Netflix with a glass of red.
From Connor Jewiss
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