IT Connect
Your connection to information technology at the UW

Frequently asked questions for Faculty

Expanding 2FA “on the web”

What do you mean by 2FA “on the web”?

This refers to UW resources that rely on a web browser for single sign-on using UW NetID and password.

Now you will be protecting data in more systems using 2FA. These include MyUW, Canvas, Panopto, UW Google, UW Exchange Online and other web-based services that require UW NetID authentication. Some desktop and mobile apps, including Outlook, Zoom and Husky OnNet virtual private network (VPN), also rely on UW NetID sign-in via the web.

I’ve been using 2FA in my academic department already. Is this something new and different?

This expanded use of 2FA would be in addition to your departmental use. It is also additional to 2FA for Workday, GradePage, Hyak, eFECS, and other systems faculty use. Stronger protection through this use of 2FA is for even more UW systems — websites and apps that use a web browser for single sign-on with UW NetID. 

What happened June 15?

UW resources that rely on a web browser for single sign-on using UW NetID and password started to require 2FA. After entering your UW NetID and password for a UW system or app that relies on a web browser for single sign-on, you will be prompted to verify your identity by using your 2FA/Duo device. Please always have your 2FA device (typically a smartphone) with you.


Using 2FA

I would like to reduce the number of times I am prompted for 2FA. How can I do this?

    • Easily reduce the number of times you are prompted to sign in with your 2FA device by clicking the “remember me” option on personal devices or on other non-shared computers that you regularly use and trust. “Remember me” tells your browser to remember that you have confirmed your identity using your 2FA device. If you select this option, you won’t have to use your 2FA device as often with that browser. 
    • Microsoft similarly offers “Stay signed in” for UW Azure AD; read more about this option to reduce 2FA/Duo prompts.

I don’t always have my smartphone with me when I teach. What should I do?

Use of a smartphone with the Duo Mobile app is the most secure method of using 2FA. It is also the most common method for default use. It is preferred by users for its convenience. It is highly recommended. 

Given that you may not have your smartphone with you for various reasons, be sure you’ve set up an alternative back-up method. See “What are the recommended 2FA alternative methods?”.

I work in a lab, and a smartphone doesn’t work for me. What can I use?

You can use a hardware token, which has a button that is easy to activate, even when wearing gloves. The token will give you a code to enter as your 2FA authentication. See “What are the recommended 2FA alternative methods?”.

What are the recommended 2FA alternative methods?

It’s important to understand and set up alternative methods in addition to your default 2FA method:

  • No internet, no problem — passcodes on your Duo-enabled device: While the primary method ideally is your cell phone with Duo “push” notifications — which requires wi-fi or cell connectivity —  your Duo Mobile app can be used to generate passcodes while not connected. Go to “Sign in with 2FA” near the bottom of the main 2FA page for more information. 
  • Token: Hardware tokens are small security devices that support 2FA. Refer to Hardware tokens.   
  • Security key: You can set up a security key (also known as Universal 2nd Factor, or U2F) device for Duo 2FA at UW. Refer to Set up a security key | IT Connect
  • Another phone: You can use a different phone as your backup. Refer to Set up a mobile phone or landline.


Troubles with 2FA

What if I am locked out of a system or website?

If your primary 2FA and back-up method(s) fail, you can contact the UW-IT Service Center for a bypass code. A support person will verify your identity and provide a bypass code that authorizes your UW NetID and password access, acting as the critical second step for authentication. 

Phone:  (206) 221-5000 |  Email: 

If I get a new phone, what do I do?

If you get a new phone (or tablet) you will need to configure the Duo Mobile application on your new device, as it will not work automatically even if your old device was already configured. 

If you are keeping your same phone number, then you can use the “call me” method of authentication on to add a new device via “Manage 2FA devices”. Once authenticated, you can select to “add a new device” or “reactivate Duo mobile”. A more detailed walk through of this can be found at

If you are not keeping your old phone number, you will either need to use your old phone for authentication or call the UW-IT Help Desk at 206.221.5000 option 1 for a temporary passcode. Once authenticated you can enroll your device as above. A more detailed walk through of this can be found at

What do I do if my 2FA device (phone/token) is lost or stolen?

Visit the Lost or stolen 2FA device page on IT Connect for detailed information. Note that if you set up more than one 2FA device, you can use your available 2FA device to remove your lost or stolen device from

Last reviewed June 10, 2022