Using Your YubiKey with Authenticator Codes

Applicable Products


These instructions show you how to set up your YubiKey so that you can use two-factor authentication to sign in to any account that requires authenticator codes. Example sites where you can use codes to authenticate include Amazon, Dropbox (if you aren't using U2F), Evernote, Facebook, and many others. To use a code at one of these sites, you use an application, such as Google Authenticator, to generate the codes. The codes generated are OATH-TOTP codes, a type of one-time password, that are usually six-digits. You can use Yubico Authenticator, which is similar to Google Authenticator. We have created both a desktop and mobile version of this app for you to use  so you can use it on a Windows, Mac, Linux, or Android. 

Instructions

Software tools referenced in these instructions can be found on our Downloads page. Need help Identifying Your YubiKey?


Setting Up Your YubiKey in Yubico Authenticator for Desktop

Requirements

Instructions

  1. Enable two-factor authentication for your service. Usually, you will do this by selecting Settings or Security, and then selecting the option to Enable two-factor authentication. TIP: Some services call this "two-step verification."
  2. Select the option to use a mobile app, or Google Authenticator.
  3. Open Yubico Authenticator for Desktop.
  4. Select File > Scan QR Code.
  5. If desired, change the name of the credential. The default credential name includes the name of the service and your user name. Once you have saved the credential, you cannot change the name.
  6. Accept the default settings, and click OK.

You have successfully configured your YubiKey for authenticator codes!


Setting Up Your YubiKey NEO with Yubico Authenticator for Android App

Requirements

Instructions

  1. Enable two-factor authentication for your service. Usually, you will do this by selecting Settings or Security, and then selecting the option to Enable two-factor authentication. TIP: Some services call this "two-step verification."
  2. Select the option to use a mobile app, or Google Authenticator.
  3. You will need to copy the text string as well as scan the QR code. Click enter your secret key manually and copy the text of the code and paste it into a text file now.
    • Be sure to save a copy of the secret key. You can use this to create a backup copy of your YubiKey configured to use authenticator codes. It is always best security practices to ensure you have a backup YubiKey.
  4. Open the Yubico Authenticator app.
  5. Tap the control icon to open the menu.
  6. Select Scan account QR-code, and then scan the QR code from the web page.
    • Be sure to save a copy of the QR code in a safe place. You can use this to create a backup YubiKey configured to use authenticator codes. It is always best security practices to ensure you have a backup YubiKey.
    • Note: To manually add the secret key, select Add account manually, then enter the credential name, and type the secret key that you previously saved as a backup.
  7. On the web page, click Next. You have successfully configured your YubiKey for authenticator codes!
  8. To view the credential, tap your YubiKey on the back of your phone where the NFC antenna is located. Yubico Authenticator displays the six digit code associated with this credential. This is the code you need to enter to authenticate when using two-factor authentication.

Logging on to Your Account

Once you have configured your for two-factor authentication, you must log on to that service using a code generated by Yubico Authenticator..

  1. Open YubiKey Authenticator.
  2. Log on to your account with your user name and password as usual.
  3. Find the authenticator code you need:
    • Desktop: Launch Yubico Authenticator for Desktop and insert your YubiKey. The code is shown next to the service's credential.
    • Mobile: Launch Yubico Authenticator for Android, and tap your YubiKey NEO against the NFC antenna on the back of your phone. The code is shown next to the service's credential.
  4. Enter the code on the website and click Sign In (or similar). TIP: In Yubico Authenticator for Desktop, you can double-click the code, and then paste it into the field for the authenticator code.

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