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.

How do I set up 2-step verification?

As we make some updates across AOL, you'll need to set up 2-step verification one of 2 ways depending on which screen you see.

First, sign in to your account:

  1. Go to aol.com.
  2. Click Login / Join.
  3. Enter your username.
  4. Click Next.
  5. Enter your password.
  6. Click Sign in.

Once you sign in, you'll be taken back to aol.com, where you can navigate to your account settings, profile, and recovery information.

  1. Click your profile name:profile name icon
  2. If prompted, enter your Account Security Question and click Continue.

Image of account settings page differences

If you see the Account Settings page, follow the "I see the Account Settings page" steps below.

If you see the Personal info page with Personal info, Account security, and Recent activity listed as options, follow the "I see the Personal info page" steps below.

I see the Account settings page

  1. Under Account Security, click Set up in the 2-step verification box.
  2. On the page that opens, click Get Started.
  3. Enter the number where you'd like to receive sign-in codes by Text or Voice call.
  4. Click Call or Text to get a code to verify your number.
  5. Enter the verification code, click Save.
  6. Your Disable code is displayed.
    Important: After March 31, 2018, You'll no longer be able to disable 2-step verification using a Disable Code.
  7. After you save your Disable code, click Next.
  8. Click Turn on.

You've successfully enabled 2-step verification!

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. Otherwise, click Close.

  1. Click Set up app passwords.
  2. On the Connect apps page, select an application and device from the drop-down menus and enter the device name. If you don't see your app or device, select Custom name & device and enter the app & device name.
  3. Click Create.
  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.

I see the Personal info page

  1. Go to the Account Security tab.
  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.

  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?

First, sign in to your account:

  1. Go to aol.com.
  2. Click Login / Join.
  3. Enter your username.
  4. Click Next.
  5. Enter your password.
  6. Click Sign in.

Once you sign in, you'll be taken back to aol.com, where you can navigate to your account settings, profile, and recovery information.

  1. Click your profile name:profile name icon
  2. If prompted, enter your Account Security Question and click Continue.

Image of account settings page differences

If you see the Account Settings page, follow the "I see the Account Settings page" steps below.

If you see the Personal info page with Personal info, Account security, and Recent activity listed as options, follow the "I see the Personal info page" steps below.

I see the Account Settings page

  1. Next to "2-step verification", click Edit in the right-hand column.
  2. Click Turn Off on the right side of the window.
  3. Click Turn Off again to confirm.

I see the Personal info page

  1. Go to the Account Security tab.
  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

If you have two-step verification enabled and are seeing the set of sign-in pages pictured below when you enter your username and password, you may notice some changes to two-step verification when you sign in to your account.

Image showing screens for each sign-in step.

You'll now 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. If your account has the updated Recent activity page (being rolled out in phases) 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?

First, sign in to your account:

  1. Go to aol.com.
  2. Click Login / Join.
  3. Enter your username.
  4. Click Next.
  5. Enter your password.
  6. Click Sign in.

Once you sign in, you'll be taken back to aol.com, where you can navigate to your account settings, profile, and recovery information.

  1. Click your profile name:profile name icon
  2. If prompted, enter your Account Security Question and click Continue.

Image of account settings page differences

If you see the Account Settings page, follow the "I see the Account Settings page" steps below.

If you see the Personal info page with Personal info, Account security, and Recent activity listed as options, follow the "I see the Personal info page" steps below.

I see the Account Settings page

  1. Under 2-step verification, on the "App Passwords" line, click Edit.
  2. On the page that opens, click Revoke on the line showing the app you would like to disable.

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

I see the Personal info page

  1. Go to the Account Security tab.
  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?

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.

First, sign in to your account:

  1. Go to aol.com.
  2. Click Login / Join.
  3. Enter your username.
  4. Click Next.
  5. Enter your password.
  6. Click Sign in.

Once you sign in, you'll be taken back to aol.com, where you can navigate to your account settings, profile, and recovery information.

  1. Click your profile name:profile name icon
  2. If prompted, enter your Account Security Question and click Continue.

Image of account settings page differences

If you see the Account Settings page, follow the "I see the Account Settings page" steps below.

If you see the Personal info page with Personal info, Account security, and Recent activity listed as options, follow the "I see the Personal info page" steps below.

I see the Account Settings page

  1. Under Account Security, click Edit next to 2-step verification, in the right-hand column.
  2. On the page that opens, click Add next to ALTERNATE PHONE.
  3. Enter the number where you'd like to receive sign-in codes by Text or Voice call.
  4. Click Call me or Text me to get a code to verify your number.
  5. Enter the code you received.
  6. Click Verify.
  7. On the page that opens, click Save.

Done! You have added an alternate phone number that can be used if you lose access to your primary one.

I see the Personal info page

  1. Go to the Account Security tab.
  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.