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Simple Tutorial on Two-Factor Instagram Authentication

by Jelena Martinec

Getting two-factor Instagram authentication enabled is a highly recommended move. In fact, you should set up two-factor authentication on Facebook and all other platforms that permit this function. 

Two-factor authentication is a simple security measure that will minimize the chance of your account getting hacked. When someone tries to log into your account on a device that you don’t normally use, they will have to input an additional code besides your regular password to get permission. Not only that but you will get notified when this happens. 

The code that needs to be typed in is not unique. It changes every time someone tries to log in from an unrecognized device. If you try to log into your Instagram account from a new device, such as a new smartphone, you will receive the code in one of three ways: as a text message, a message on WhatsApp, or in an authentication app.

In this article, you will learn:

How to Enable Two-Factor Instagram Authentication with Text Messages or WhatsApp

Firstly, open the Instagram app on your device, and from your profile tap the three-bar button in the upper-right corner of the screen. Then select Settings.

Go to Instagram Settings - Two-Factor Instagram

The two-factor authentication function is a part of the Security settings submenu. 

Go to Instagram Two-Factor Authentication

Tap the button titled Get Started and toggle the switch next to the Text Message option. 

You will see 6 empty lines to fill out with a confirmation code

Wait a few moments until you receive the code in a text message, then type it in.

If you want to receive authentication codes on WhatsApp, toggle the switch at the bottom of the screen.

Then tap Done and two-factor authentication will be enabled.

Get Codes Through Whats-App - Two-Factor Instagram

Once you tap done you will see recovery codes displayed on the screen which you should save somehow. They may be useful to you in the future in case you come across problems when trying to log into Instagram. 

How to Set Up an Authentication App

The recommended method of setting up an authentication code is by using an authentication app. The first thing you need to do is install one of these apps on your smartphone device. Instagram recommends you use Duo Mobile. Go to the Play Store and download it on your device. Then you can begin setting up your code. 

Install Duo Mobile - Two-Factor Instagram

If this is your first time installing Duo on your device, here are the steps you should follow once you install and open it (Duo does not permit screenshots):

  1. Tap the Set up account button
  2. You can then choose to Use a QR code or to Use an activation code.
  3. Then scroll down the list of apps that have two-factor authentication available, and select Instagram.
  4. Again choose between scanning a QR code or using an activation code

How to Use QR Code With Duo for Instagram

If you chose to use a QR code as your authentication code, you will need to allow the Duo app access to the camera on your smartphone. You will be redirected to your smartphone’s settings. Select Permissions and tap Camera to allow.  

Duo Mobile Camera Permissions - Two-Factor Instagram

The QR code can be scanned on another device where you are logged into your Instagram profile. To find your IG QR code in a web browser on a computer, open your Instagram profile in the web browser of your choice. Then select the gear icon next to the Edit Profile button, and click Nametag

You will see the unique QR code of your IG profile displayed on the screen and ready to be scanned with the Duo app. 

How to Set Up an Authentication Code With Duo

An easier way would be to use an activation code. Once you tap this option, you will need to go back to the Instagram app on your device. Tap the three-bar button in the upper right corner of the screen and go to Settings

Go to Instagram Settings Again - Two-Factor Instagram

Then open the Security submenu and select Two-factor authentication

Go to Instagram Two-Factor Authentication Again

Toggle the Authentication App switch and tap Next

You will see six lines that need to be filled out with the code. Go back to Duo to find the code and type it into the blank lines. Tap Done and two-factor authentication will be all set up on your Instagram account. 

Type the Code from Duo Mobile - Two-Factor Instagram

Once you tap the done button, screenshot or write down 5 recovery codes displayed on the screen. You can use these codes as a backup in case you run into any issues later. 

Final Thoughts

Keeping your accounts secure should be a top priority. You may have already heard stories from someone you know about how they believe their accounts were hacked. If you turn on Instagram two-factor authentication rest assured you will always know whether or not something like this happens to you. You will always have the upper hand on someone trying to intrude on your profile. We hope this article will be useful in helping you protect your information and privacy online. 

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