Turn off Apple ID Two Factor Authentication

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In my case, two factor authentication proved to be a nightmare, especially combined with the assault of login requests. Fortunately, you can turn off two factor authentication for your Apple ID. Keep in mind, this will diminish the security of your Apple devices and services. If you have a lot to lose, I highly recommend sticking with two factor authentication.

How to Turn off Two Factor Authentication

Turning off two factor authentication is a fairly simple process. Unfortunately, you cannot turn it off within the Settings app on an iPhone. Users must go to the Apple ID website to deactivate the feature. Fortunately, you can do this on your iPhone. (Not all Apple websites are compatible with the iPhone.)

First, launch a web browser on your iPhone, such as Chrome or Safari. Next, navigate to the Apple ID website. Enter your Apple ID (usually your email address) and password at the prompt and tap on the arrow icon. You will see a small map with your iPhone’s location. Tap on Allow to proceed. (This is two factor authentication in practice, which doesn’t seem to trust the “trusted” device.) You will now see an identification code displayed on your device. Memorize or write down the code, tap OK and enter it on the Apple ID website. Tap Done to continue. An Apple ID account summary screen is displayed. Tap on Security. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and tap on “Turn Off Two Factor Authentication”. A message pops up informing the user that after turning off two factor authentication, their account will only be protected by security questions. Tap continue. Select and enter three security questions and answers, then tap Next on the upper right corner of the webpage. Confirm your birthdate and email address, then tap Next on the upper right corner of the webpage. You should now see a webpage confirming that two factor authentication has been turned off.

As you can see, even turning off two factor authentication is a complicated process. It also demonstrates that your trusted device is not really trusted after all. This is exactly why I turned off two factor authentication.

After turning off two factor authentication, your Apple ID is still protected by a password. If you forget your password, you will need to answer your security questions, and only then, a temporary password will be sent to your email address. Even with standard security, it is very difficult to steal an Apple ID.

There have been a few high-profile Apple ID compromises with celebrities, but it turned out that they had very simple passwords. If you use a strong password and change it often, it is highly unlikely that your Apple ID will be stolen. Also, some users had their Apple ID stolen, because they used the same email address and password on multiple sites. Although Apple’s servers weren’t hacked, non-Apple servers were. Never use your Apple ID password on any other site, service or app!

I recommend two factor authentication for those who need to protect highly classified information. The feature can also protect unauthorized charges on your Apple ID account. I want to make it clear that turning off two factor authentication will provide less security, but it will also diminish the hassle involved with the feature. It’s a tradeoff. I only recommend disabling the feature if it proves to be bothersome.

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2 comments

  1. This did NOT work ! It actually forced me to set up two factor authentication, which was maddening.

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