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 short, numeric sign-in code to your phone by either Text or Voice Call. You enter the code to complete signing in.

2-Factor Authentication Steps

Important: During setup, you will get a one-time Disable code to use if phone access isn’t working (lost phone, out of batteries, or if you’re traveling, don’t have a signal, etc.).

Print, write down or save your Disable code and keep it somewhere safe. If the Disable code is lost, you can create a new one. Refer to the What do I do if I lose my Disable code? FAQ in this article for instructions.

How do I set up 2-Step Verification?

Here’s how:

  1. Sign in at https://i.aol.com.
  2. Under Account Security, click Set up next to 2-Step Verification, in the right-hand column.

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  3. On the screen that opens, click Get Started.
  4. Enter the number where you’d like to receive sign-in codes by Text or Voice call.
  5. Click Call me or Text me to get a code to verify your number.
  6. Enter the verification code, then click Verify.
  7. Your Disable code is displayed. Important: Print, copy and paste, or write down and save this code. This is what you’ll use in case you lose or can’t get to your phone. Keep it in a safe place you can easily get to later.
  8. After you save your Disable code, click OK, I saved this.
  9. Click Turn on. You activated 2-Step Verification! Nice work.
  10. 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 final step of creating application-specific passwords. It’s easy, and you don’t need to remember the passwords after you enter them in the app. This is how these apps connect to your AOL account, since apps will not send you codes.
  11. If you have 2-Step Verification turned on and you DON’T have application passwords for your apps, you will receive an error that the apps can’t connect.

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  12. Click Get Application Passwords.
  13. On the Application passwords page, choose an application from the drop-down menu and enter the device name. If you don’t see your app or device, no problem: just click Custom name and enter the app & device. Then click Create.
  14. Open the app for which you created the password, and enter this password into the “Password” field for the app. That’s it!

How do I turn 2-Step Verification off?

Here’s how:

  1. Go to http://i.aol.com. You may need to sign in or answer a security question to verify it’s you.
  2. Next to “2-Step Verification”, click Edit in the right-hand column.
  3. Click Turn Off on the right side of the window. User-added image
  4. Click Turn Off again to confirm.

If you don’t have your phone, you can use your Disable code to turn off 2-Step Verification. To do that, locate your Disable code. Then:

  1. Go to https://my.screenname.aol.com/, enter your username and password, and click Sign In.
  2. In the 2-Step Verification window, under the "Text the code" and "Call with code" buttons, click Show all sign-in options.
  3. Click the 2nd option that appears: Disable 2-Step Verification.
  4. This opens the Disable code screen. Enter your username, password, and the Disable code.
  5. Click Turn off. This disables 2-Step Verification so you don’t need an extra code to sign into your account. You can now just sign into your account with your username and password.
  6. You can return to https://i.aol.com anytime to turn 2-Step Verification back on.

What do I do if I lose my phone?

If you lost your phone, use the Disable code you received when you set up 2-Step Verification. The Disable code turns off 2-Step Verification so you can just sign into your account with your password and no extra code.

Here’s how:

  1. Go to https://my.screenname.aol.com/, enter your username and password, and click Sign In.
  2. In the 2-Step Verification window, under the "Text the code" and "Call with code" buttons, click Show all sign-in options.
  3. Click the 2nd option that appears: Disable 2-Step Verification.
  4. This opens the Disable code screen. Locate the Disable code you received when you set up 2-Step Verification, and enter it.
  5. Click Turn off. This disables 2-Step Verification so you don’t need an extra code to sign into your account. You can now simply sign into your account with your username and password.
  6. You can return to https://i.aol.com anytime to turn 2-Step Verification back on.

What do I do if I lose my Disable code?

If you can’t locate the Disable code, you’ll need to go through a manual process of generating a new Disable code.

Follow the steps below to learn how to create a new Disable code:

  1. Go to http://i.aol.com and log in your screen name and password.
  2. Click Manage next to 2-Step Verification.

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  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Edit next to DISABLE CODE.

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  4. Click Reset.
  5. Click Print or write down the disable code on a piece of paper.

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  6. Click Close.

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? For Alto? What about AIM?

The AOL app and Alto do not require an application password. AIM does require an application password. Sorry for the inconvenience!

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:

  • AIM
  • 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, as well as Alto, do not require an app password.

Can I set my computer as a Trusted Device so I don’t have to enter a code every time I sign in?

Yes. Once you’ve got 2-Step Verification set up, check the “Trust this device” check-box in the Login window. When you next sign in on that device, you won’t have to enter a code to sign in.

If you clear cookies or reset the browser, you will have to use a 2-Step Verification code again to sign in.

How do I “un-trust” a device?

The easiest way to un-trust a device is to reset the browser (clear cookies / cache). This resets the “Trust” for the computer, so you’ll have to enter codes again next time you sign in.

You can also go to https://i.aol.com and turn off 2-Step Verification. When you turn it back on, simply do not check the “Trust this device” checkbox the next time you sign in.

Here’s how to turn off 2-Step Verification:

  1. Go to http://i.aol.com. You may need to sign in or answer a security question to verify it’s you.
  2. Next to “2-Step Verification”, click Edit in the right-hand column.
  3. Click Turn Off on the right side of the window that appears. User-added image
  4. Click Turn Off again to confirm.

To disable an app on a device:

  1. Visit https://i.aol.com.
  2. Under 2-Step Verification, on the “App Passwords” line, click Edit.
  3. On the page that opens, click Revoke on the line showing the app you would like to disable. User-added image

Note: If you continue to have 2-Step Verification turned on for your AOL account, this will disconnect your AOL account from that app.

If I clear cookies or reset my browser, does it affect 2-Step Verification?

Yes. If you reset the browser, clear cache or clear cookies, you will have to sign in again and enter the 2-Step Verification sign-in code to restore your Trusted Device setting.

Go to https://my.screenname.aol.com/, and when you’re signing in with your username and password, select “Trust this device” in the sign-in window.

If I turn off 2-Step Verification, does that clear my Trusted Device(s)?

Yes. A device won’t be “Trusted” again until you set up 2-Step Verification again and select “Trust this device.”

How do I add an alternate phone number for 2-Step Verification?

Adding an alternate phone number is easy and fast. This phone number will act as a backup in case you lose access to your primary device.

Here's how to add an alternate phone number:

  1. Sign in at https://i.aol.com.
  2. Under Account Security, click Edit next to 2-Step Verification, in the right-hand column.

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  3. On the page that opens, click Add next to ALTERNATE PHONE.

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  4. Enter the number where you’d like to receive sign-in codes by Text or Voice call.

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  5. Click Call me or Text me to get a code to verify your number.
  6. Enter the code you received.

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  7. Click Verify.
  8. On the page that opens, click Save.
  9. Done! You have added an alternate phone number that can be used if you lose access to your primary one.

Does 2-Step Verification work with AOL Desktop software?

Yes, it works with the latest beta version of AOL Desktop – 9.8.2 (beta 2). If you use an older version of AOL Desktop, you won’t be able to use 2-Step Verification unless you upgrade to the 9.8.2 beta 2. You can get the beta here.

Can I use an Authenticator application without adding a phone number to my AOL account?

No, we require a phone number on the account to be used as a backup in case you encounter issues with the Authenticator app.

Can I use Google Authenticator or another Authenticator application with AOL’s 2-Step Verification?

Yes , Authenticator applications work with AOL’s 2-Step Verification.

Here's how to set up Google Authenticator to work with AOL's 2-Step Verification:

  1. Go to http://i.aol.com. You may need to sign in or answer a security question to verify it’s you.
  2. Next to “2-Step Verification”, click Edit in the right-hand column.
  3. On the page that opens, click Add next to AUTHENTICATOR APP under the MORE SIGN-IN OPTIONS section.

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  4. If you'd like to use Google Authenticator, click on one of the download buttons, depending on your device. If you'd like to use a different application, click Next.
  5. Install the Authenticator app on your device and use your device's camera to scan the QR code on the AUTHENTICATOR APP SETUP page. Note:  Alternatively, you can click Manually enter code to enter the code without using your device's camera to scan the code.

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  6. Click Next once your Authenticator app displays your 6-digit code.
  7. Insert the 6-digit code into the field on the page that appears, then click Verify.
  8. Click OK to complete the setup. 

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.

How can I give feedback on AOL’s 2-Step Verification?

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