Can’t Remotely Control Your HomeKit Devices? Enable iCloud Two-Factor Authentication

| How-To

If you upgraded to iOS 10 on your iPhone or iPad, and tvOS 10 on your fourth generation Apple TV and now can’t remotely access your HomeKit devices, there’s probably an easy fix for that. Odds are you haven’t enabled iCloud Two-Factor authentication, which HomeKit in iOS 10 and tvOS 10 requires. Read on to learn how to get set up.

Home app iCloud Two-Factor authentication failure preventing remote device control

If you can’t remotely control your HomeKit devices, iCloud Two-Factor authentication may be the culprit

You can enable iCloud Two-Factor authentication from your Mac or iOS device. Here’s how:

macOS Sierra

  • Click the Apple menu
  • Select System Preferences
  • Click Account Details
  • Click the Security tab
  • Choose Set Up Two-Factor Authentication

iOS 10

  • Tap Settings
  • Tap iCloud
  • Tap your Apple ID
  • Choose Password & Security (If you set up security questions you’ll have to answer those, too)
  • Turn on Two-Factor Authentication

Regardless of which device you use to set up Two-Factor Authentication, you’ll walk through a few steps where you verify which devices will receive the special six-digit codes you’ll need to login to your iCloud account on new devices. You may need to reboot your Apple TV before remote access starts working properly, too. Once your Apple TV realizes Two-Factor authentication has been enabled, however, remote HomeKit access should start working properly.

iCloud Two-Factor authentication setup failure

Some Apple IDs can’t enable iCloud Two-Factor authentication

Unfortunately, there’s a catch: Not everyone can enable iCloud Two-Factor authentication and instead sees an error warning stating, “Two-factor authentication is not available for your Apple ID at this time.”

If the warning pops up for you, that means you’re pretty much dead in the water—at least for now. Apple’s support team says they’re aware of the problem and engineers are working on a fix. That’s not much help right now, but at least we know Apple is working to fix the issue.

2 Comments Add a comment

  1. Well, this is a great article Jeff, on a very important topic.

    Setting up authentication and SSO is a basic necessity now-a-days to safeguard our passwords and other credentials and to start with the homekit is a great idea.

    On an organization level, this is a basic need and with people working remotely, this becomes the first thing required for every organization. We use AuthAnvil in our organization – https://authanvil.com/

  2. Mark Withers

    You missed a step in setting up two factor authentication for macOS Sierra.

    After clicking on “System Preferences”, click on “iCloud”.

    The rest is fine!

    Thanks for sharing! 😀

    Mark

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