Step-by-step guide explains how to enable 2FA on Xbox, and why two-factor authentication is important to keep your account secure.
It happens again and again that even large companies like Apple, Amazon, Microsoft or Google are hacked. To protect your data from unauthorized access, more and more services are introducing the additional security level of 2FA two-factor authentication, sometimes also called two-step authentication.
To protect your Xbox account and prevent others from accessing your information, we recommend that you should enable two-factor authentication (sometimes referred to as two-step verification). This prevents someone who manages to get your password from using it. We’ll show you how to set it up to keep your account safe.
What is 2FA and why is it important?
There are a number of Xbox settings you should know about, and two-factor authentication is one of them. Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds a layer of protection when you sign in to accounts such as your email, Amazon app, or even Xbox. Most well-known companies offer 2FA, and the reason is simple: security.
Once you turn on 2FA and sign in to your Xbox account, you’ll be prompted to confirm that you really are, either via SMS, authentication code, or confirmation email. Even if a hacker received your username and password, they would still not be able to access your account and create an invoice that you would have to pay for.
- With two-factor authentication, your account is not only secured with your user name or your e-mail and the associated password, but also with a further query. This differs from provider to provider.
- The additional security level usually consists of the request for an additional password that is only generated for this one login. Depending on the company, you will receive the code via the associated app, an alternative program or via SMS.
- The two-factor authentication makes your account much more secure. If hackers manage to get your login data, they will also need your smartphone to receive the code.
How to enable 2FA for Xbox One and Series X | S online
- Go to your Microsoft account and sign in.
- Click Security (and log on again because this is sensitive information that you access here).
Select Advanced Security Options . If you haven’t already, Microsoft will ask you to add a phone number or backup email address to protect your account. You must also check this address. An old email account is the bare minimum to activate 2FA on your Xbox account.
Back to setting up your 2FA. In the advanced security options, you can add more accounts for 2FA. Just click Add New Way to sign in or check . Then select the method you want to use, from email and phones to Windows Hello to the Microsoft Authenticator app.
How to sign in to Xbox with 2FA
So what can you expect when you turn on your Xbox with 2FA enabled?
When you sign up, you’ll be asked if you really are. In the drop-down menu, press A to switch between the different verification methods, and then select Next .
Check your phone or email for the verification code and enter it using the number field. If you do it right, you will be redirected directly to the home screen.
To activate Xbox using the Microsoft Authenticator app
Microsoft’s Authenticator app (available on Windows, Android, and iOS) is an excellent companion for 2FA on Xbox. Instead of having to retrieve your emails or copy a code sent in a text message, you can simply use the app.
- First, you need to sign in to your Xbox/Microsoft account.
- After you sign in, your account will appear in the list.
- You can now select the Authenticator app when you select a 2FA verification method.
- Open the app instead of retrieving a code from another location. You should see a “one-time password code” with a timeout next to it.
- If your Xbox prompts you to do so, enter this number (if you sign in to your Microsoft account online with the app, hold down the password to copy it).
It behaves like any text or e-mail code, just without so much effort. You should now have access to your Xbox. If the timer has expired before typing, just wait for the app to generate the next code and use it instead.
How to turn off Xbox two-factor authentication for Xbox
Do you no longer want to use 2FA on your Xbox? It’s easy to turn it off.
- Go to the Microsoft account and select Security.
- Return to the advanced security options .
- Scroll in two steps until confirmation.
- Select Turn Off.
- Confirm your selection with Yes .
You don’t need to verify your identity now before you can play games on your Xbox.
How to use 2FA on Xbox to back up your account
With the added protection 2FA provides, there’s no reason not to perform two-factor authentication on your Xbox or any other account that supports it.
It’s easy to set up, easy to use, and if you choose an authentication app, you can quickly get back into your games.
Nathan James lives for gaming, and is a fan of everything from vintage Pong to the latest virtual reality games. He also loves to tinker with hardware in that never-ending search for more power and speed.