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How to Set Up a Smartphone for Two-Step Authentication

You can use a smartphone for your authentication device. You can use a generated passcode or push notification, which lets you authenticate by just tapping a button. You can also receive your authentication passcode via an SMS text message, or receive an automated phone call that requires you to press any key to authenticate.

Set up your smartphone

  1. Open a browser and go to the Stanford Accounts page.

  2. Click Manage, authenticate if requested, and click the Two-Step tab.

  3. Click on Duo Central link.

    Image of two-step screen

  4. Authenticate.  You will be prompted for a second factor twice in order to access Duo Central—first by Stanford, then by Duo.

  5. Click Add a device.

    Image of add another device screen

  6. Select Duo Mobile.

    Image of what type of device are you adding screen

  7. The screen Enter your phone number appears. Choose your country from the drop-down menu, enter your smartphone number. Click Continue.

    Image of screen to enter your phone number

  8. Confirm by clicking Yes, it's correct.

    Image of phone number confirmation

  9. Follow the instructions on the Download Duo Mobile screen to install the Duo Mobile app, then click Next.

    Image of download Duo Mobile screen

  10. Activate Duo Mobile on your smartphone. Choose one of these activation options:
    • Open the app on your smartphone, tap the + button, and use your smartphone to scan the QR code on the Stanford Accounts page. If you scan the barcode, a checkmark indicates that it is scanned.
      Note: A sample barcode is shown here. You will get a unique barcode when you set up your smartphone with Stanford Accounts.
    • Click the link on the Get an activation link instead screen to have an activation link emailed to you.

    When Duo Mobile is activated, click Continue on the updated screen.

    Image of QR barcode screen

  11. Your smartphone is added to Duo Central

    Image of Duo Central

Authenticate on your smartphone

Up to three methods of authentication are available for smartphones: a Duo Mobile push notification, an SMS text message, or a phone call.

  • Duo Mobile app - push notification (recommended) — a push notification is sent to the device, and you can review the request and tap Approve to authenticate. Internet or cellular access is required to use this method.
  • SMS text message — a text message with a seven-digit passcode is sent to your mobile phone.
  • Phone call — you receive an automated phone call  that requires you to press any key to authenticate.
Last modified January 18, 2024