Your Android phone can now be used as a two-step verification key

Push-based 2FA
Push-based 2FA (Image credit: Google)

Two-step authentication (also referred to as 2SV or 2FA) is one of the best tools you can use to add an extra layer of protection to your online accounts. Getting 2SV codes via a text message or an authenticator app is great, but if you want to go an extra step further, you can use physical keys in order to access your data.

As of April 10, 2019, you can now use your Android device (running Android 7.0 or later) as a physical 2SV key for your Google and Google Cloud accounts.

Once enabled, you'll get a prompt on your chosen Android device to approve your login any time you try to sign into your Google account. When you see this prompt, you can approve the login by holding the volume down button or tapping "No, it's not me" on your display if it's not you logging into your account.

You'll need Bluetooth turned on on your phone in order for this to work, and just in case something goes wrong, it's also recommended that you have another security key (opens in new tab) as a backup.

This feature is currently in beta, and in addition to requiring an Android phone, you'll also need a Bluetooth-enabled Chrome OS, macOS X, or Windows 10 machine running Google Chrome.

To use it, all you need to do is enroll your Google account is 2SV, go to the 2SV settings on your computer, click "Add security key", and choose your Android phone from the list of devices.

Two-factor authentication: Everything you need to know

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

4 Comments
  • Hasn't this been a feature for a while?
  • Yes and no, the "simple" Google prompt was available for well over a year on smartphones and Android Wear devices. This update enables phones to be an alternative for the security key you had to plug in physically or connect via Bluetooth to the PC you are trying to sign into. You can enable both methods in your Google account Sign-In Options. https://myaccount.google.com/signinoptions/two-step-verification
  • Yeah, I've been pressing "Yes" on my phone for a while now. Must be something different.
  • I find Microsoft Authenticator to be easier to use for 2FA than any other app or service I have tried.