Using Your YubiKey with Authenticator Codes and Dropbox

This article applies to:


Dropbox Has Added Support for FIDO U2F and U2F-enabled YubiKeys!

Visit our Dropbox for Individuals page or our Dropbox for Business page to find out more more information. U2F-certified YubiKeys are the easiest, fastest way to secure your Dropbox (and many other!) accounts, but if you need to use codes to authenticate, you can follow the instructions below.

These instructions will show you how to set up your YubiKey so that you can use two-factor authentication to sign in to your Dropbox account using authenticator codes (using OATH-TOTP, a type of one-time password). You will generate the codes needed to authenticate with Dropbox on either your phone or your computer.

Instructions

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


Setting Up Your YubiKey with Yubico Authenticator for Desktop

Requirements:

  • YubiKey 4, YubiKey 4 Nano, YubiKey 4C, YubiKey 4C Nano, YubiKey NEO, YubiKey NEO-n, YubiKey Edge, YubiKey Edge-n, YubiKey Standard, or YubiKey Nano
  • Yubico Authenticator for Desktop application (for Microsoft Windows, Mac (OS X and macOS), or Linux).
  • If you are using an older version of the YubiKey NEO, may also need to use the YubiKey NEO Manager to change the connection mode and add CCID support to your YubiKey NEO or YubiKEY NEO-n.

Instructions to Prepare Your YubiKey NEO or YubiKey NEO-n:

  1. If you have an YubiKey NEO or YubiKey NEO-n, verify that the device has CCID enabled. To do this, open YubiKey NEO Manager.
  2. Click Change connection mode [OTP + U2F].
  3. Select the checkbox for CCID and click OK.
  4. Continue with the following instructions for all other YubiKeys.

Instructions:

  1. In Dropbox, select Settings, and under Security, select the option to Enable two-step verification.
  2. Click Enable and enter your password.
  3. Select the option to use a mobile app.
  4. Open Yubico Authenticator for Desktop.
  5. Select File > Scan QR Code.
  6. If desired, change the name of the credential. The default credential name includes the name of the service (Dropbox) and your user name (in this case, your email).
  7. Do the following:
    • For all keys except for YubiKey Edge, YubiKey Edge-n, YubiKey Standard, and YubiKey Nano, accept the default settings, and click OK.
    • For YubiKey Edge, YubiKey Edge-n, YubiKey Standard, and YubiKey Nano, select the slot you want to use, and click OK. The default slot will be Slot 2, which is usually available if you have not programmed your key. Then select File > Settings and be sure the Read from slot option matches the slot you want to use.
  8. When prompted, click OK to overwrite the credential in the slot. You are prompted whether you are using a new YubiKey or whether you have previously programmed this slot. You have successfully configured your YubiKey for authenticator codes!
  9. To view the authenticator code credential, click the Refresh button. The code displayed is the code you need to enter when you want to authenticate using two-factor authentication with Dropbox.

Setting Up Your YubiKey NEO with Yubico Authenticator for Android App

Requirements:

TIP: You may find it easier to set up your YubiKey NEO to work with Dropbox using the Yubico Authenticator for Desktop application. Once you have set up your YubiKey with the desktop version of the application, you can then use that YubiKey with the Yubico Authenticator for Android App. Instructions:

  1. If you have not already done so, install the Yubico Authenticator for Android app. This app is available from the Google Play store.
  2. In Dropbox, select Settings, and under Security, select the option to Enable two-step verification.
  3. Click Enable and enter your password.
  4. Select the option to use a mobile app.
  5. 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.
    • Note that you can also configure Dropbox to use SMS text to access your account for two-factor authentication if you cannot use TOTP codes, for additional backup access.
  6. Open the Yubico Authenticator app.
  7. Tap the control icon to open the menu.
  8. Select Scan account QR-code, and then scan the Dropbox QR code from the web page.
    • To manually add the secret key, select Add account manually, then enter the credential name (Dropbox), and type the secret key that you previously saved as a backup.
  9. On the web page, click Next. You have successfully configured your YubiKey for authenticator codes!
  10. 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 with Dropbox.

More Ways to Use Your YubiKey

Do you use Gmail, LastPass, or WordPress? Check out these and many other uses for your YubiKey.

Did you find it helpful? Yes No

Send feedback
Sorry we couldn't be helpful. Help us improve this article with your feedback.