Securing iCloud Mail With Two-Factor Authentication

Keep your Apple email and other accounts safe

The Apple cloud storage system, iCloud, includes a free web-based email account. This account can be accessed from any Mac, Windows, or iOS device using the iCloud website or the Mail app. Two-factor authentication protects your iCloud Mail account from theft, hacking, and other misuses by unauthorized parties.

Here's how to enable two-factor authentication for your iCloud Mail account and other programs associated with your Apple ID.

The information in this article applies to setting up two-factor authentication in iCloud email from a Mac, an iOS device, and a web browser.

Turn on Two-Factor Authentication for iCloud Mail

Two-factor authentication adds a barrier between whoever's logging in and the account by requiring authentication in two ways, such as a computer and phone. This is more secure than a password alone.

You must set up an email address before you can use Mail on and set up two-factor authentication.

Set up Two-Factor Authentication for iCloud Mail Using a Mac

  1. Go to the Apple menu and select System Preferences.

    The System Preferences command under the Apple menu
  2. Select Apple ID.

    In macOS Mojave (10.14) and earlier, go to the Apple menu and select iCloud > Account Details.

    System Preferences in macOS with Apple ID highlighted
  3. Select Password & Security.

    In macOS Mojave and earlier, select Security.

    The Password and Security heading in macOS settings
  4. Enter your password if prompted.

  5. Select Turn on Two-Factor Authentication, and then select Done.

Set up Two-Factor Authentication for iCloud Mail Using an iOS Device

It's easy to set up two-factor authentication using an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

  1. Go to Settings > [your name] > Password & Security.

    In older iOS versions, go to Settings > iCloud, tap your Apple ID, then select Password & Security.

  2. Tap Turn on Two-Factor Authentication and then tap Continue.

    Turn on 2FA on an iPhone
  3. Enter the phone numbers you want to use as Trusted Phone Numbers. Choose to receive the two-factor authentication codes by text message or automated phone call.

  4. When you tap Next, Apple sends a verification code to the phone number you provided. Enter the verification code to verify your phone number and turn on two-factor authentication.

Turn on Two-Factor Authentication Using a Web Browser

If you don't have access to a Mac or iOS device, use a browser to turn on two-factor authentication.

  1. In a browser, go to the Apple ID page.

    Manage your Apple ID on the web
  2. Sign in and scroll down to Security.

    The Security section on iCloud
  3. Select the Get Started link under Two-Step Authentication. Follow the prompts to create security questions and trusted phone numbers.

How to Create a Secure iCloud Mail Password

Apple offers a way to generate a highly secure password for each of the programs you use under your Apple account.

Here's how to generate a secure iCloud Mail password.

  1. Make sure two-factor authentication is enabled for your Apple account.

  2. In a browser, go to Manage Your Apple ID. Enter your iCloud Mail email address and password, then select Sign in.

  3. Scroll down to Security and select Edit.

    The Edit button under Security
  4. Select Generate Password under App-Specific Passwords.

    The Generate Password link
  5. Enter a label for the email program or service for which you want to create the password.

    For example, to create a password for iCloud Mail in Mozilla Thunderbird, you might use Mozilla Thunderbird (Mac).

    Enter label for password in Apple ID security settings
  6. Select Create.

    The Create button
  7. Enter the password in the email program. Do not save the password anywhere but the email program.

    Copy and paste to prevent errors.

  8. Select Done.

    The Done button
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