Protecting Your Yahoo Mail With 2-Step Authentication

Keep your personal information safe with two levels of security

What to Know

  • Go to Account > Account Info > Account Security.
  • Slide the Two-step verification toggle to On, sign in to your account again as directed, and follow the prompts to finish the process.
  • When two-step authentication is enabled, you must enter your password and a code sent to your cellphone.

This article explains how to enable two-factor authentication (also known as 2FA or two-step authentication) for your Yahoo Mail account.

1:08

Protecting Your Yahoo! Mail with 2-Step Authentication

For a similar degree of security, Yahoo Mail also offers Access Key login using a mobile app.

Protect Your Yahoo Mail Account with 2-Step Authentication

To add a second layer of authentication to protect against suspicious log-in attempts:

  1. Select the Account icon and choose Account Info.

    Yahoo Mail Account Info
  2. Select Account Security from the menu on the left.

    Yahoo Mail Account Security
  3. Turn on the Two-step verification toggle switch and sign in to your account again when prompted.

    Turn on 2-Step Verification link in Yahoo Mail
  4. Click Get started on the pop-up that appears.

    Yahoo mail Turn on 2-step verification screen
  5. Select the method you'd like to use for authentication.

    Yahoo Mail 2-step verification method choices
  6. If you chose Phone number, enter a mobile number at the prompt. If you chose Security key, follow the prompts to enter the required information.

    When entering your mobile number, leave out non-numerical characters. For example, enter 1234561234 rather than 123-456-1234 or (123) 456-1234.

  7. Depending on the method you chose, you'll receive a text or phone call with the verification code. Type the code into the dialog box that appears on the screen after you choose the method of contact, then select Verify.

    Yahoo Mail 2-factor Verify button
  8. If the numbers match, a success dialog box appears with options to Create app passwords for apps that don't recognize or use two-step authentication. Or, choose Skip for now to skip this process. From now on, you'll be prompted for an authentication code when logging in.

    Two-factor verification success screen on Yahoo Mail with "create app passwords" and "skip for now" buttons highlighted

    Two-step authentication does not apply to Yahoo Mail accessed using POP, mobile devices, or IMAP. For these, create application-specific passwords.

About Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication (2FA), also called two-step authentication, is a security protocol that requires two methods to gain access to an application or program. For example, your bank's website might require more than a username and password; you might also be prompted to identify a picture that you chose previously to prove that you are who you claim to be.

Alternatively, some sites such as Yahoo require authentication on a separate device, such as your phone. This extra layer of security is for your protection.

How Secure Is Your Email at Yahoo?

The Yahoo Mail service checks the password when somebody logs in to an account; it also looks at the location and computer from which the attempt is made. If one looks suspicious (for example, a login from a device you've never used before), Yahoo can require more than the password, but only if two-step authentication is enabled.

When two-step authentication is enabled, you must enter your password and a code sent to your cellphone.

Was this page helpful?