Two-factor authentication is an excellent way to make sure your account is secure, but having to input a code every single time you need to log in can be a real pain. Thanks to Google’s new code-less “Prompt” authentication, however, getting access to your Google account can be a lot simpler—you just need access to your phone.

Essentially, instead of sending a code, the new “Prompt” actually sends a push notification to your phone asking if you’re trying to log in. You verify, and that’s pretty much it—it automatically logs you in with the tap of a button. And best of all, it’s available for both Android and iOS (but requires the Google App on the latter).

First things first—you need to have two-factor authentication (or “2-Step Verification” as Google often refers to it) enabled on your account. To do that, head over to Google’s Sign-in & Security page. From there, you can enable 2-Step Verification in the “Signing in to Google” section.

Once that’s all set up—or if you already have 2FA enabled—just jump into the 2FA menu and input your password. On this page, there are a handful of different options, including your default option (whatever that may be—for me it’s “voice or text message”), along with your list of 10 backup codes. To get started with the new Google Prompt method, scroll down to the “Set up alternative second step” section.

There are a variety of options here, but the one you’re looking for is “Google Prompt.” Click the “Add Phone” button to get started. A popup will appear, giving you details of what this option is: “Instead of typing verification codes, get a prompt on your phone and just tap Yes to sign in.” Sounds easy enough—click “Get started.”

On the next screen, you’ll choose your phone from a drop-down list. It’s worth noting that this requires a phone with a secured lock screen before it will work, so if you don’t already use one, now’s the time to enable it. If you’re an iOS user, you’ll need the Google App from the App Store.

Once you’ve selected the appropriate phone (or tablet), go ahead and click “Next.” This will immediately send a push notification to the selected phone, asking you to verify that you’re trying to log in.

Once you tap “Yes,” you’ll get a verification back on the PC. That’s pretty neat.

This will also change your default second step to Google Prompt, which really makes a lot of sense because it’s so much easier. Honestly, I wish I could use this option for every account I have 2FA enabled on. C’mon, Google, get on that.

Two-factor authentication is a extra layer of security that everyone should really be using on every account that offers it. Thanks to Google’s new prompt system, it’s a lot less hassle to ensure your Google Account is as protected as it can be.


Profile Photo for Cameron Summerson Cameron Summerson
Cameron Summerson is ex-Editor-in-Chief of Review Geek and served as an Editorial Advisor for How-To Geek and LifeSavvy. He covered technology for a decade and wrote over 4,000 articles and hundreds of product reviews in that time. He’s been published in print magazines and quoted as a smartphone expert in the New York Times.
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