Getting Started with Your YubiKey

The YubiKey works directly out of the package. Most of the time there is no need for installation of softwares or drivers for the YubiKey to work, as it is entirely up to the service provider to implement support for the YubiKey. 


In general, we recommend you set up your main YubiKey, as well as your Spare Key, at the same time. A spare YubiKey is as important as your house key, car key or other keys. Just like you wouldn’t want to lose those keys, you don’t want to lose your only YubiKey either. Because of this we strongly recommend you to get a spare key if you haven’t already.


Since it’s up to each service provider, themselves, to implement both security key support and their respective set-up instructions, this process differs from service to service. In the step-by-step instructions below we have covered the basics of registering your YubiKey with services that support the protocols Yubico OTP,U2F and WebAuthn/FIDO2.

Adding a YubiKey to a service

Setting up a YubiKey can often differ from service to service. Our first recommendation would be to find out which YubiKey you have and to see our setup page for instructions. You can also follow the steps written below for how the setup process usually looks when you want to directly add your YubiKey to a service.


  1. Start with having your YubiKey(s) handy.

  2. Login to the service (i.e. websites and apps) you want to protect with your YubiKey.
    1. Make sure the service has support for security keys. If you’re unsure if the service you’re trying to register the YubiKey with has support for security keys, you can always check ourWorks with YubiKey Catalog. If the service is not present in our catalog, we recommend reaching out to their support team, directly, for confirmation on if they support security key authentication.

  3. Find the account settings of the service and then look for security. From there you should be able to find an option for 2FA/MFA, or adding security keys.

  4. Once you’ve found the option to add a Security Key, go ahead and follow the instructions given by the service provider.
    1. Adding your spare key often has the same setup process as your main YubiKey.

  5. You should now have registered your primary YubiKey and spare key.

As mentioned before, our Works with YubiKey Catalog is a great place to find tailored guides and setup instructions. In our catalog you can search for the service you want to add an extra layer of protection, click on its name, and you’ll be forwarded to that service’s individual catalog page. On their individual page you can find an overview of the service, which YubiKeys are compatible with the service, setup instructions, and much more.

Using a YubiKey with the Yubico Authenticator

The Yubico Authenticator app allows you to store your credentials on a YubiKey so that your secrets cannot be compromised. (This is different and more secure from most authenticators that usually store the credentials on the phone/computer itself).

The Yubico Authenticator App requires a YubiKey from the 5-series to generate TOTP (Timed One Time passwords). More information on the Yubico Authenticator app can be found here and for information on how to use your YubiKey with authenticator codes, please see here.


If you haven’t already you can download the Yubico Authenticator through this link.

Using a YubiKey to login to your computer

You can use a YubiKey 5-series to protect data with secure access to computers. We have a range of computer login choices for organizations and individuals. Please follow this link for an in-depth setup guide for your preferred computer login tool.

Please note that if you would be interested in using your YubiKey with Ubuntu Linux then a security key would be compatible.