Today my iPad automatically updated its OS to 14.2 and it shows a prompt from Apple ID Security to enable two-factor authentication.

The message mentions that "Some iOS features require two-factor authentication", but I could not find which features exactly require it. The Apple's support page Two-factor authentication for Apple ID tells me what this two-factor authentication is and how it is important, but it doesn't say which features of the OS require it. There is only the same vague phrase without any details:

Certain features in the latest versions of iOS and macOS require this extra level of security, which is designed to protect your information.


You need two-factor authentication to use certain features that require improved security.

I'd like to know exactly what features of iOS require two-factor authentication.


1 Answer 1


All of them if you don’t have a grandfathered AppleID. Furthermore, the matrix of services and features change routinely and also have more to do with geographic constraints and whether your account is managed or enrolled in some select Apple programs.

I’m sure a Wikipedia list of what’s changing might be better for this than a Q&A site like this. The pragmatic answer is you will be prompted for each service you try based on your AppleID creation process and then only when the server side clears your account for enrollment.

I would engage Apple support if you need this answer as they have the details about your Account and also can check with engineering on recent changes that might affect you specifically.

  • Well, I don't really know what features are there. What kind of features there are. And what subset of them requires two-factor authentication. Can you point me to some docs or Wiki page with the list? I guess, I can continue using my iPad until I stumble upon something that would force me to enable this two-factor authentication. I just wanted to know in advance what I will not be able to do with my iPad. I prefer to know in advance, rather than discover it as a surprise at the least convenient moment. That's why I asked this question. Commented Nov 25, 2020 at 2:40
  • Maybe, you can tell me from your personal experience. What features of iOS do you use that require two-factor authentication? Commented Nov 25, 2020 at 2:41
  • It is a big hurdle for me to go and enable the two-factor authentication, because I have just this iPad and no other Apple devices, and "two-factor" by definition means more than one device. I have no intention of mixing Apple and non-Apple devices in any way, or making then dependent on each other. Commented Nov 25, 2020 at 2:44
  • I understand @VladimirBaranovyou might need to get a used phone or iPod touch if over time TFA becomes more mandatory. The good news is if you trust SMS, you can use any service for TFA fallback. Why not just avoid up it until you need it?
    – bmike
    Commented Nov 25, 2020 at 3:10
  • I have been avoiding it so far. I just want to know in advance what I will not be allowed to do. Then I will assess how critical those features are and plan accordingly. I will try to ask support. Commented Nov 25, 2020 at 3:24

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