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Elon Musk inexplicably disables Twitter SMS 2FA

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Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority


  • Elon Musk has disabled specific microservices at Twitter, including Twitter SMS 2FA.
  • If you use text messages to prove your identity when logging into Twitter, you won’t be able to do that when you log back in, essentially locking you out of your account.
  • Other 2FA methods, such as using an authenticator app, will still work.

It’s hard to believe it’s been less than three weeks since Elon Musk took over Twitter because so much has happened. Whether it’s because of check marks, gray checkmarks, advertisers exiting, or any of the other problems the site has been facing, the word “Twitter” hasn’t left the news cycle.

Well, today’s news might be the most bizarre yet. Musk tweeted out that he has shut down microservices at Twitter calling them “bloatware.” He claims that less than 20% are actually required for Twitter to work. However, Twitter SMS 2FA is part of those microservices, which is a big problem.

SMS two-factor authentication (2FA) is when a web app texts you a one-time passcode to prove your identity. Usually, you’ll supply your phone number during the registration process. When you go to log in, you’ll get a text to that number with a temporary six-digit code. By entering this code into the app, it gives an extra layer of security on top of the usual username and password combination.

With Twitter SMS 2FA turned off, this service will not function. If you have this turned on and log out of your Twitter account, you will not be able to log back in. Technically, two-factor authentication isn’t broken, but you’ll never get the text message with your one-time code. The service that sends the message is off so it just doesn’t send.

To be clear, if you use other forms of 2FA for Twitter — including authentication generator apps — you will be fine. This only applies specifically to people who use SMS as their 2FA service.

Twitter SMS 2FA: Better turn it off

To prevent getting locked out of your Twitter account, be sure this service is turned off:

  • Go to Settings & Support Settings and privacy and then visit Security and account access.
  • Hit the Security section.
  • Under Two-factor authentication, hit the two-factor authentication link.
  • Make sure the Text message toggle is OFF.
  • For your security, use one of the other methods.

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