Google 2-Step

Enroll in Google 2-Step to keep your Google accounts safe.



Before You Begin
Enroll in Google 2-Step
Add & Manage Your Devices
Learn More/Authentication Methods


Before You Begin

  • Be prepared to complete the process in its entirety; review the setup process and learn more about Google 2-Step
  • Have your mobile phone, tablet, or U2F key with you
  • If you are using your smartphone or tablet, make sure you know how to install apps and have enough free space
  • Learn more about common issues with 2-Step Verification
  • To prevent yourself from being locked out of your account when you can’t receive verification codes, we strongly encourage you to do both of the following during setup:
    • Add at least one backup phone number where a verification code can be sent.
    • Print out the one-time use backup codes that Google provides and keep them with you.
      You can use one of these instead of receiving a code on your phone.


Enroll in Google 2-Step

Individual Accounts at NC State: 

If you are not already enrolled in Google 2-Step:

  1. Visit Google 2-Step Enrollment page and log in with your NC State Unity ID and password.
  2. Click Start Setup and complete the 2-Step Verification settings. 

Generic Accounts at NC State:

All Generic Accounts are required to have Google 2-Step enabled within 30 days of creation of generic account. Visit 2-Step Verification Setup for a Generic Account for more information.



Add & Manage Your Devices

After you have enrolled your first device, you can add more devices and manage your existing devices.

  • Visit Google 2-Step settings page and log in with your NC State Unity ID and password.
  • Scroll down to “Set up alternative second step.” You can also access this page by visiting “My Account” when logged into Google or your NC State email.
  • Some devices require an app password to connect (or stay connected) to your Google account:
    • Devices running Android 2.3.x or older
    • Mail app on Apple devices not running iOS 8.3 or greater on your iPhone or OSX 10.10.3 on your Mac
    • Email clients (e.g., Thunderbird, Outlook, Mac Mail)
    • Instant messengers (e.g., Pidgin, Adium)

About Google 2-Step

Google 2-Step adds Two-Factor Authentication to your Google account, including Gmail and Google Drive.

Google 2-Step adds Two-Factor Authentication for an extra layer of security for your Google account. When you turn on Google 2-Step, you will be required to log in with both your password and then an additional security measure, such as a code delivered via text, voice call or mobile app; USB security key; printed backup code; or a push (or pop-up) notification on your smartphone.

Authentication Methods

  • Phone Call
    Receive a code via a phone call to your landline or mobile phone.
  • Text Message
    Receive a code via text message on your mobile device.
  • Google Prompt
    Enroll in Prompt to allow push notifications to your device. Just one tap allows you to approve authentication requests, no typing required. Note: users of iOS devices will need to download the “Gmail” app to enable Prompt.
  • Authenticator Apps
    Authenticator apps give you the ability to generate a code, even without data service or Wi-Fi connectivity.

    • Google Authenticator
      • Available for iPhone, Android or Blackberry devices.
    • Duo Authenticator
      • Available for iPhone, Android, Blackberry or Windows devices.
      • Can generate codes for both Duo and Google.
  • U2F USB Security Key
    • To avoid using a phone altogether, you can purchase and register a security key to insert into your computer’s USB drive when prompted. Any device that is Fido U2F certified can be used with Duo or Google 2-Step Verification in a Chrome browser. Fido U2F certified keys are available in Amazon Marketplace found within the MyPack Portal and can also be purchased at a discount at the NC State Bookstore.
  • Backup Codes
    • Print a paper copy of the single-use backup codes Google provides and keep it with you.
    • If your mobile device isn’t available, you can use one of those codes.
  • Web Session length
    • Unlike Duo, with Google you cannot trust your computer for 14 days, meaning if you log out of a Google service, you will have to use 2FA to log back in.
    • However, if you quit your web session and you do not log out of your Google service, your web session length will stay valid for 14 days.
    • If you use web session length with Google, be sure that your computer is secured so that no one can access your Google account.
    • As with Duo, clearing cache and cookies or using incognito/private browsing will result in having to re-authenticate with Google 2-Step.


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Supported Devices


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U2F Security Keys