What is 2-step verification?

When you use a password, that's one-step verification. The password is the single "step." 2-step verification uses a second "step" – a code sent to your phone. It's an easy strong addition that makes it much harder for anyone else to get into your account.

Click a heading below to expand and learn more about how to set up 2-step verification and how it can protect your account.

How does 2-step verification work?

After you enter your password, AOL sends a sign-in code to your phone or recovery email address. You enter the code to complete signing in.

How do I set up 2-step verification?

  1. Sign in to your account security page.
  2. Beside "Two-step verification," click the Toggle button to turn it on.
  3. Enter your mobile number.
  4. Click Send SMS or Call me to get a verification code.
  5. Enter the verification code, then click Verify.

Important: If you access your AOL account using any non-AOL apps or other programs (such as Mail on a mobile phone or in Outlook), complete the steps to create application-specific passwords below. You must have two-step verification enabled first to see the "Create app passwords" option.

  1. Click Create app passwords.
  2. On the page that opens, select an application from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click Generate.
  4. Go to the settings section of your app.
  5. Find the screen where you enter your AOL account username and password.
  6. Enter the app password into the password field.
  7. Finish signing in to the app.

That's it! You don't need to remember the passwords after you enter them in the app. If you have 2-step verification turned on and you DON'T have application passwords for your apps, you'll receive an error that the apps can't connect.

How do I turn 2-step verification off?

  1. Sign in to your account security page.
  2. Beside "Two-step verification," click the Toggle button to turn it off.

What do I do if I lose my phone?

If you lost your phone, you can reset your password to access your account or call us at 866-209-1219 for tech support.

Why do non-AOL apps require application-specific passwords?

Apps require application passwords because they don't send sign-in codes. When you have 2-step verification turned on, apps connect to your AOL account with an app password.

Do I need an app password for the AOL app?

The AOL app does not require an app password.

I set up 2-step verification. Why isn't the AOL app asking for a code?

The AOL app will require you to enter a code for 2-step verification when your current session expires, or if you sign out then sign back in.

Which apps require application-specific passwords?

Apps that require an app password include:

  • mobile Mail apps: iPhone / Android / Windows and others
  • desktop Mail apps: Outlook / Thunderbird / Mac and others
  • Calendar and Contacts apps

The AOL app for iPhone and Android does not require an app password.

Two-step verification is turned on but I'm not asked to enter a verification code

You'll be sent a verification code to enter the first time you sign in from a device, browser, or location we haven't seen you use before. After successful verification and account sign-in, you may not be prompted to enter a verification code again when you sign in using the same device, browser, or location. If you'd like to deauthorize a device, browser, or location, you can do this by signing out of the device from your updated Recent activity page.

Get help with deauthorizing a device, browser, or location.

Can I use 2-step verification with AOL Desktop Gold?

Yes. You can follow the steps listed above to set up 2-Step verification in the AOL Desktop Gold software. You don't need a special application password to login to AOL Desktop Gold.

How do I "un-trust" a device?

The easiest way to un-trust a device is to reset the browser by clearing your cache and cookies. You can deauthorize a device, browser, or location by signing out of the device from your Recent activity page.

Get help with deauthorizing a device, browser, or location.

How do I remove my account from a device using an app password?

  1. Sign in to your account security page.
  2. Under "Manage app passwords," click the app you want to disable.
  3. On the page that opens, click the Delete icon to disable the app from accessing your account.

How do I add an alternate phone number for 2-step verification?

  1. Sign in to your account security page.
  2. Click Phone numbers.
  3. On the page that opens, click Add recovery phone number.
  4. Follow the on-screen prompts to enter and verify your new info.

Does AOL's 2-step verification work anywhere other than in the US?

Yes, AOL's 2-step verification supports non-US accounts and phone numbers.

What do I do if I'm having trouble with AOL's 2-step verification?

If you encounter any issues with our 2-step verification, call us at 866-209-1219 for tech support.

What if I don't have access to my phone?

If you need to access your email, but don't have your mobile device with you, you'll need to reset your password to access your account.