How to Turn Off Two-Factor Authentication on Instagram

Two-factor authentication is a popular identity confirmation method for a variety of web pages and online apps. It is an additional layer of security that protects you and your account from imposters. Instagram added two-factor authentication in 2018. With so many users worldwide, the platform has to pay attention to account safety. Of course, some people might have turned on two-factor authentication only to change their mind – it does add a couple more steps.

How to Turn Off Two-Factor Authentication on Instagram

What Is Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)?

You are probably familiar with single-factor authentication (SFA), which requires users to go through one security step to log in, most commonly a password.

Two-factor authentication adds another layer of security, which can come in several forms. This greatly enhances the security of your account by making it more difficult for cybercriminals to gain access to it. This means that even if a hacker got a hold of someone’s password, they’d still have to go through an additional layer of security, preferably in the form of information they can’t get their hand on.

turn off two factor

The Second Factor

While the first security step is almost always a password, the second factor can be any number of things. But one thing is for sure. It should be something that a hacker can’t access. As you might know, the common 2FA for bank and other financial accounts is having a security code texted to your phone. The assumption is that you have the phone in your possession, and thus the hacker won’t be able to retrieve that text (at least not that easily).

Here are all the possible authentication factors (in the order of common adoption):

  • Knowledge factor – Based on the user’s knowledge (like a password, PIN, or personal info), SFA is typically based on knowledge factor.
  • Possession factor – As described, this is the most common form of 2FA. In addition to a password, the user needs access to something in their possession, such as a text to their cell phone, a security token, an ID card, etc.
  • Inherence factor – This is a more complex form of 2FA. It is commonly referred to as the biometric factor, as in something physically specific to the user. This includes fingerprint, retinal, facial, and voice ID and up to keystroke dynamics, behavioral biometrics, and gait/speech patterns.
  • Location factor – The location of the login attempt is used as a confirmation factor.
  • Time factor – A specific allowable time window can be used.

Instagram’s 2FA

Instagram’s 2FA is a text message sent to your phone, within which is a code you’ll need to enter to access your Instagram account. This is, of course, a possession factor, where you’ll need to have your phone with you. If you no longer wish to use 2FA for Instagram, or if you need to assign another phone number to it, here’s what to do:

  1. Go to your profile by tapping your profile picture in the bottom right corner of the Instagram app.
  2. Then, tap the three horizontal lines icon in the upper right corner.
  3. Go to Settings.
  4. From there, navigate to Security.
  5. Tap Two-Factor Authentication.
  6. Now, disable both the options you have enabled, most likely the Text Message option.

Desktop Site

You can do this on the Instagram site, too.

  1. Click the profile icon in the top-right corner of the screen.

  2. Click on Profile in the dropdown menu.
  3. Click on Privacy and Security in the menu to the left.

  4. Scroll down the page to the Two-Factor Authentication section and deselect the checkmark next to your phone number.
  5. If the Authentication app option has a checkmark, remove that one too.

Using Authentication Apps

Authentication apps are often safer than using Instagram’s built-in text message 2FA. That’s because text messages are much easier to hack than an authentication app that’s built with more sophisticated safety and security in mind. If your Instagram account has many followers and an excellent follower/following ratio, you’re better off using both the Text Message and Authentication App options in your Two-Factor Authentication Settings.

Frequently Asked Questions

This section includes the answers to your most frequently asked questions!

How do I get into my Instagram account if I can’t get the 2FA codes?

Sometimes we don’t have access to the phone number or authentication app used to receive codes. When this happens, it’s difficult to get back into your account. Fortunately, Instagram’s developers offer a way to help you get back into your account.

When you request a code, click the I Can’t access this phone number option. Instagram will request an email address that you can access. Then, you’ll receive an email from the company within 24 hours.

Instagram may request a photo ID or video proving your identity. Then you can gain access to your Instagram account to reset the password and fix your 2FA parameters.

Do I need 2FA?

Instagram accounts appeal to hackers because the interlopers can run scams and access your friends’ accounts. So, yes. It’s better to keep 2FA enabled.

But, 2FA can cause login problems for honest users. If you don’t have 2FA enabled, it’s best to avoid clicking on any links inside the app while also setting a very secure password.

Staying Safe on Instagram

Using Instagram’s two-factor authentication all of the time can be a bit of a nuisance, but some might say that it’s better to be safe than sorry. Additionally, you won’t have to log into your Instagram too many times since the app knows how to keep you logged in.

Do you use 2FA on Instagram? Is it worth the trouble? Discuss what you think about using 2FA on Instagram in the comments below.

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