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How to use Password Manager with 2FA Authentication on macOS Monterey

Written by John

As technology becomes an integral part of our lives, we are starting to store a lot of information about ourselves digitally. However, it is important to know that with so many integrations and places where we have shared our personal details, a leak in one area can crumble our digital empire. While it is essential to use unique passwords for every service you use, it is more important to add extra security.

With the growing number of security breaches, even at multinational corporations, it is important that you take security into your own hands and be responsible for your online accounts. Two-factor authentication or 2FA can prevent 99.9% of online attacks where your passwords can get compromised. By adding an additional security factor, you can save yourself from costly mistakes and security breaches.

What is 2FA and How Does it Work?

Two-factor authentication aka 2FA forces you to provide at least two proofs confirming your identity to gain access to a secure service. This significantly improves your security and saves you from a lot of online attacks and hacking attempts. You can enter your password and additionally provide a confirmation code generated on your macOS Monterey to gain access to a trusted service.

How to use Password Manager with 2FA Authentication on macOS Monterey

Password App with 2FA Verification Code on macOS Monterey

While there are different authentication methods that work well for users, many have started using authenticator apps for 2FA authentication. Authenticator apps like Google Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator, and Authy do not require a reliable data connection or network connection to generate confirmation codes. This has made it the preferred choice for two-factor authentication.

However, you still have to use your smartphone with an authenticator app installed to check the confirmation codes. What if your Mac could generate these confirmation codes? Well, with macOS 12 Monterey, you can generate confirmation codes on your Mac and do not have to use your smartphone. Here’s how you can do it.

1. Turn on 2FA Authentication on your Service

Take an essential service like Gmail where you want to turn on 2FA authentication. Remember, you need to protect these services because a breach of security can be harmful to you. In case of a security breach of your Gmail account, you can lose a lot of personal contacts while the attacker can deceive your recipients by emailing them from your account. This can be a huge blow to your reputation and goodwill among others.

Let us take Gmail as an example and try to turn on 2FA to protect ourselves from online attacks. Follow the steps below to turn on two-factor authentication.

  1. Log in to your Google or Gmail account.
  2. Locate 2FA by clicking on your user image/icon on the top right corner and clicking on “Manage your Google Account”.
  3. In the next window, choose “Security” in the top navigation.
  4. Click on “2-Step Verification” and click “Get Started”.
  5. Google will ask you to set up your phone number if you haven’t already done it. Add your phone number and receive a code to your phone to confirm your number and proceed.
  6. You will now see the “2-Step Verification” screen with various options. Click on “Set up” under “Authenticator app”
Open Authenticator app in Gmail

7. For the question, ‘What kind of phone do you have?’, choose “iPhone” and click “Next”.
8. You will see a QR code on the screen, Click on “Can’t Scan It?”.

9. Copy this key because we will need it to set up 2FA on macOS Monterey.

Provided Key for macOS

2. Add your Password with 2FA Authentication Code on macOS 12 Monterey

Follow the steps below to use the password manager with 2FA on macOS Monterey.

  1. Open the Password Manager App in System Preferences
  2. Click on the “+” button to create a new account with a username and password. Add your Gmail username and password.
  3. Select your account and click on “Edit” to add 2FA Authentication Code.
  4. Click on “Enter Setup Key”.
Enter Setup Key in Passwords App on macOS Monterey

5. Paste the Provided key you copied earlier. Click on “Ok”.

Paste Verification Code in Password App

Now, every time you need to enter the 2FA confirmation code, you can visit the Password Manager and get your code. This process makes it extremely convenient for you to generate 2FA confirmation codes on your Mac and access your trusted services without having to use an authenticator app on your smartphone.

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December 22, 2021 5:54 pm

Cool! But it’s kind of a pain to get to the Password section of System Preferences. It would be nice if you could type “Passwords” into Spotlight and just go right there, like you can for “Keychain” (and Keychain doesn’t seem to have UI to work with OTPs)