What happens if i lose my yubikey

U2F is widely related to as the finest way to secure your essential accounts considering that it relies on access to a physical essential before the account will be unlocked. But what happens if you lose that key?

What is Universal Two-Factor (U2F)?

First off, we must take a closer look at what U2F is. While we have actually a more in-depth explacountry of what U2F is, we’ll cover the quick and dirty version here.

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In a nutshell, U2F is the standard for physical two-factor authentication tokens. Instead of using something favor Authy, Google Authenticator, or SMS to receive a 2FA code, U2F uses a physical key to safeguard your accounts.


These secrets deserve to be USB, Bluetooth, NFC, or any type of combicountry of the three. A great example of one crucial that provides all 3 is Google’s Titan Key—or it will certainly at some point, anyway (currently the NFC element of the Titan Key is disabled).

You deserve to take a look at our overview on setting up and utilizing the Titan Keys for even more information on exactly how these U2F secrets work.

Cool, So What is Stored on a U2F Key?

The best point about U2F is that nopoint is physically stored on the key. No personal or account data is saved in your area, which is exactly why you can usage the same essential for multiple accounts.

That indicates if you misarea a U2F crucial (or it gets stolen) it doesn’t issue wright here it ends up—no one will be able to pull personal information from the vital to attach it your account, bereason that information is nowright here to be uncovered. There is nothing to tie that key to you.

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So, replacing a lost key could expense a little of money, yet losing the vital has no defense ramifications. It’s just one more reason why U2F is the finest form of defense for your vital accounts.

That’s likewise the factor why the Google Titan Key bundle comes through a pair of keys: one to store through you and also one to save in your desk drawer. You add both secrets to your account, so you have actually a backup crucial if somepoint happens to the main one. Smart.

What Should I Do if I Lose a Key?

If you occur to lose your U2F key, the first (and also really, only) point you’ll need to carry out is rerelocate that develop of authentication from your accounts. You’ll have to jump onto a maker that is currently logged in to every one of your accounts and also remove that specific essential as a form of authentication.

So, for instance, if you must remove a vital from your Google account, head into My Account > Signing Into Google > 2 Tip Verification. From there, click the little pencil icon next to the gadget name and also rerelocate it. Easy pbasic.

Just perform that for all the accounts wright here you’ve included your lost U2F key—make sure to do it before you need access to the account from a brand-new gadget, lest you acquire locked out of that account.

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That’s another factor it’s constantly great to have actually multiple develops of 2FA enabled on all accounts that assistance it, whether that be with backup codes or making certain all your account information is up to day.

RELATED: PSA: Make Sure You Have a Backup for Two-Factor Authentication

Cameron SummersonCameron Summerson is the Editor in Chief of Recheck out Geek and also serves as an Editorial Advisor for How-To Geek and also LifeSavvy. He’s been covering modern technology for almost a decade and also has written over 4,000 short articles and also thousands of product reviews in that time. He’s been publimelted in print magazines and quoted as a smartphone skilled in the New York Times. Read Full Bio »