Set up two-fac­tor au­then­ti­ca­tion for Ap­ple ID

Glenn Fleish­man ex­plains how to up­date to two-fac­tor au­then­ti­ca­tion for an iTunes-only Ap­ple ID

iPad&iPhone user - - CONTENTS -

If you’re like me (and many of you are), you have two Ap­ple IDs for his­tor­i­cal rea­sons that you con­tinue to use. Un­til the myth­i­cal fu­ture date at which Ap­ple up­dates its back-end sys­tems to achieve the glory ob­tained only decades ago by most busi­nesses that man­age ac­counts to al­low merg­ing

pur­chases and other data from mul­ti­ple IDs into a sin­gle one, we’re stuck with it.

Years ago, iOS could in­ter­act poorly with two ID setup, but then Ap­ple switched to em­brace it fully. Now, in iOS 10, the Set­tings sec­tion for ac­counts even lists iCloud and Store as sep­a­rate items if you’re us­ing two ac­counts along with the email ad­dresses for them. That’s a nice move.

How­ever, you’re still left with a prob­lem: if you want to use Ap­ple’s two-fac­tor au­then­ti­ca­tion (2FA) sys­tem, and you’re us­ing just a pass­word now or Ap­ple’s older-but-still-ac­tive two-step ver­i­fi­ca­tion, you can’t switch 2FA on. That’s be­cause as part of the 2FA up­grade, Ap­ple moved the setup por­tion from its Ap­ple ID web­site to Set­tings in iOS and the iCloud sys­tem pref­er­ence pane in macOS. Fur­ther, 2FA lets you set trusted de­vices on which to re­ceive lo­gin alerts and codes, but those can only be as­so­ci­ated with a sin­gle Ap­ple ID at a time.

Added to that? Ap­ple re­quires 2FA if you use third­party email, con­tacts, or cal­en­dar soft­ware that in­ter­act with iCloud. The eas­ier way to work around this is with a Mac. Cre­ate a new ac­count via the Users & Groups sys­tem pref­er­ence pane, and then log into it. In that ac­count, log into the Ap­ple ID you use for pur­chases, and then fol­low the in­struc­tions to en­able 2FA.

While Ap­ple ad­vises you to have trusted de­vices, you can get away with just trusted phone num­bers, which can ei­ther re­ceive a text mes­sage or a voice call. I’d sug­gest mak­ing sure you’re linked to a cou­ple of dif­fer­ent phone num­bers just in case you lose ac­cess to one.

If you don’t have a Mac, you can use your iOS de­vice, and log out of your iCloud-linked Ap­ple ID and log into your pur­chased-linked one, and then fol­low the steps un­der Pass­word & Se­cu­rity to en­able 2FA. That can mess with your synced events and con­tacts, so if you have a spare iOS de­vice on which you can set this up, it’s much bet­ter. In the most ex­treme case, you could back up your iOS de­vice, wipe it and set it up fresh with your pur­chase-linked Ap­ple ID, en­able 2FA, and then erase it and re­store it from the backup.

macOS 10.13 High Sierra and iOS 11 won’t work with two-step ver­i­fi­ca­tion if you have it en­abled, but ac­cord­ing to email sent out by Ap­ple right af­ter its June 6 de­vel­oper event key­note to any­one with two-step ver­i­fi­ca­tion en­abled, up­grad­ing to iOS 11 or High Sierra be­tas will au­to­mat­i­cally up­grade the ac­count to 2FA. How­ever, it doesn’t ex­plain what hap­pens for those of us with sep­a­rate iCloud and Store ac­counts.

Ap­ple’s 2FA sys­tem pro­tects your ac­count from some­one who has ob­tained your pass­word

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