How I Solved My WordPress For iOS Two-Factor Authentication Login Problem

Two-Factor Authentication EnabledOver the weekend, we reported that WordPress For iOS 4.0 was released. Not only did I upgrade, but I also enabled the single-sign on Jetpack module for WPTavern.com and two-factor authentication for my WordPress.com user account. Within the comments of the post, Jonathan Lyman mentioned WordPress For iOS is incompatible with two-factor authentication:

Just a small heads up for those who’ve never used the WordPress for iOS app before. If one has a two-factor authentication plugin active, the WordPress app will not be able to login to a self-hosted site.

WordPress App Doesn’t Accept Login Credentials To WordPress.com

When trying to manage my self-hosted WordPress site within the app, I repeatedly received prompts to login to WordPress.com. Using the same password I use on my desktop didn’t work. No matter what I tried, I couldn’t successfully login to WordPress.com from within the mobile app.

However, if I was quick enough, I could still browse comment notifications, create new posts, etc. I determined that only items within the app that require an authenticated connection to WordPress.com stopped functioning. While browsing the support forum, I discovered forum threads where other users reported login issues using two-factor authentication.

How I Solved The Problem

I logged out of WordPress.com using my desktop. I logged back in using my desktop, used the keycode given to me by the Google Authenticator app and now,  stats work, as does the rest of the app without pestering me to login to WordPress.com.

Google Authenticator

So if you’re repeatedly asked to login to WordPress.com after enabling two-factor authentication, I’d try logging out of WordPress.com using your desktop and login again. Then determine if the app detects your validated connection to WordPress.com. This solved the problem for me.

If you still experience issues related to two-factor authentication, please report them using the WordPress For iOS Support forum.

Has anyone else gone through the same experience after enabling two-factor authentication?

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5 responses to “How I Solved My WordPress For iOS Two-Factor Authentication Login Problem”

    • Actually, I don’t understand what the “Create Application Password” portion had to do with me not being able to login. I visited that page on my WP.com settings screen and added an app called WordPress For iOS and tried to use the 16 digit password it gave me to login to WP.com in the WordPress mobile app and that didn’t work. I’m pretty sure I’m totally misunderstanding what the Create Application Password is for.

      • Using an Application password is the correct way to handle this problem.

        When you’re using two factor authentication, you login with three items instead of two. You have your username, your password, and the code from the 2-factor system.

        But not all systems are geared to accept three things. The App is one of those, it only takes a username and a password. And without having the ability to take a third input, WordPress.com correctly rejects your login attempt.

        This is what the Application Password is for. It generates a password you can use with your username *instead* of your normal password. This password will log you in and bypass the 2-factor. This is secure by the fact that it is revokable. You are supposed to use a different password for each App that you need to give access to your account, and if you later revoke that password, then that App is cut off and can’t access your account anymore.

        What you should do is to generate an Application password, and then use that with your username in the App to login to WordPress.com.

        Logging out and then back in on your PC won’t have any effect at all, realistically. What’s going on is that you have enabled 2-factor and your App on the phone doesn’t know how to do anything other than basic user/pass authentication.

  1. Thank you for the update! I’m using a different 2-factor plugin so perhaps i’ll move to the Jetpack version and see if I can get up and running.

  2. what two-factor auth plugins are you guys using? im looking for a personal blog(not wp.com) that does SMS. i dont like having to use the google auth app.

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