WhatsApp Two-step verification

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 11, 2016
Updated • Feb 10, 2017

The most recent beta of the WhatsApp messaging app for Android supports two-step verification now to improve security of the account.

Update: Two-step verification is now available for all WhatsApp users once the latest update has been installed on the mobile device. The instructions below are still valid on how to set up two-step verification to better secure WhatsApp.

The introduction of two-step verification is usually a good thing, but WhatsApp implementation is quite different from what you may expect.

Instead of protecting the account by requiring a second code when accessing the application, it is protecting the phone number from being added on another device.

The set up process itself is similar to those of other services. You set a six digit code and a recovery email address to protect the phone number from being added by others.

You are probably wondering how this could even happen, that someone else adds your phone number to WhatsApp.

The only two scenarios that I can think of are if you have switched to another phone number, or if someone gets hold of your SIM card (either directly or by copying it).

So, if your mobile provider assigns your phone number to someone else because it is available again, that someone might set up WhatsApp with that phone number. This works directly if you did not have two-step verification enabled for that phone number, or after 45 days if you did.

So, the extra code protects the phone number in that 45 days period. WhatsApp notes that it will remove the old account data tied to the phone number after the 45 days period.

The second possibility works only if the attacker manages to steal the pin as well, if the pin is cracked, or if there is no pin protection at all. This scenario does not seem all that likely if you ask me.

Setting up WhatsApp Two-step verification

whatsapp two-step verification

Do the following to set up Two-step verification for your WhatsApp account:

  1. Open WhatsApp Messenger on your device.
  2. Tap on the menu icon and select Settings.
  3. Select Account on the Settings page.
  4. Tap on Two-step verification.
  5. A page opens that explains what two-step verification does when enabled: "for added security, enable two-step verification to require a passcode when registering your phone number with WhatsApp".
  6. Tap on the enable button.
  7. Enter a six digit passcode that is used for the purpose.
  8. Confirm the passcode.
  9. You may add an email address in this step. You can skip it, but have no option to reset the passcode if you forget it then.
  10. Confirm the Email address if you decided to add it.

Two-step verification is now enabled for the account. No one will be able to active WhatsApp with that phone number unless the passcode is supplied.

Please note that access to the email address is sufficient as well, as you may reset the passcode using the backup email address.

whatsapp two-step

The menu lists options to disable two-step verification, to change the passcode, or to change the email address. (via Android Police)

Now you: What's your take on the new two-step verification security option of WhatsApp?

WhatsApp Two-step verification
Article Name
WhatsApp Two-step verification
The most recent beta of the WhatsApp messaging app for Android supports two-step verification now to improve security of the account.
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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between name.com domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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