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 (below).
  • 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:

Every Generic Accounts is required to have Google 2-Step enabled within 30 days of its creation.

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.

  1. Visit Google 2-Step settings page.
  2. Log in with your NC State Unity ID and password.
  3. 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 using different browsers. 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 Key logo

U2F Security Keys