2-step verification (also known as 2-Factor Authentication or Multi-Factor Authentication) allows you to add an extra layer of security to your 23andMe account. 2-step verification is required to access a 23andMe account and customers can choose between using email- based authentication or a third party authenticator application.
By using 2-step verification to access your 23andMe account, you’ll sign in to your account in two steps:
- Enter your account email address and password
- Enter the 6 digit verification code received via email or from a connected authenticator app
You have the option to select the "Remember me" check box during the sign in process so future sign ins will no longer require a verification code on that browser. We recommend performing this action on trusted devices only.
If you sign in to your 23andMe account using Apple or Google sign in, you will not be required to use 2-step verification; however, if you wish to set up 2-step verification, you can unlink your Apple or Google account directly within your account settings in order to enable this feature.
What is Email-Based Verification?
23andMe offers email-based verification in which the time-sensitive verification code is sent directly to your 23andMe account email address. Verification codes sent via email will be valid for 10 minutes and can be copied and pasted directly into the “Verification Code” field at sign in.
What is an Authenticator Application?
An authenticator application adds a 2-step verification process by also using a time-sensitive verification code; however, this code is generated by an authenticator app. To receive the code, you’ll first need to download an authenticator app on your mobile device before being able to connect it to your 23andMe account in your account settings.
Google Authenticator™ mobile app is a popular authenticator option, but you can use any application that supports the Time-based One-Time Password (TOTP) protocol.
Enabling Authenticator App-Based 2-Step Verification
When creating a 23andMe account, you are automatically enrolled in email-based 2-step verification. However, you may at any time choose to use an authenticator app-based application instead by following the steps below.
- Navigate to your account settings and click “Switch to app based 2-Step Verification” under the Account Information section
- Enter your 23andMe account password
- Open your preferred authenticator app and use it to scan the QR code shown within your account
- Enter the verification code or token shown in your authenticator app
Switching from Authenticator App-Based 2-Step Verification to Email-Based 2-Step Verification
You can switch from authenticator app-based 2-step verification to email- based 2-step verification at any time within your account settings by following the steps below.
- Navigate to your account settings and click “Switch to email-based 2-step verification” under the Account Information section
- Enter your 23andMe account password
- Enter the verification code shown in your authenticator app
- Click “Disable” button
If you have lost access to the mobile device with the connected authenticator app, contact us for assistance.
Recovering Access to a 23andMe Account with Authenticator App-Based 2-Step Verification
If you cannot provide the verification code needed to sign in to your 23andMe account from an authenticator application, you can recover access to your account through our 2-Step Verification Recovery Method below.
- Visit the 23andMe Sign in page here.
- Enter your account email address and password.
- Click the “Can’t access your authenticator app?” link.
- Click the “Email me a link” button
- Locate the message titled “Your one-click login link” in your account email address inbox (this link will only be valid for 15 minutes).
- Click the “Verify Login” button
- Enter your account password
- Click the “Disable” button
After confirming your request to disable app-based 2-step verification from your account, you will be automatically signed in to your account and directed to your account settings. Note that the next time you sign in to your account will be with email-based 2-step verification.
If you would like, you can re-enable app-based 2-step verification in your 23andMe account at any time by following the steps provided in this article in the section titled “Enabling Authenticator App-Based 2-Step Verification”.
If you are unable to provide the verification code to sign in to your account and you are experiencing difficulty recovering access to your account, contact us for assistance.
©2023 Google LLC All rights reserved. Google Authenticator is a trademark of Google LLC.