Yubikeys have loads of benefits when it comes to enhancing account security. However, these physical devices can quickly get lost due to their small size. Losing a Yubikey can lock you out of your accounts for hours or even days.

So, What Should You Do if You Lose Your Yubikey?

The good news is that you can still access your account even after losing your Yubikey. And, yes! It`s pretty simple.

You only need to hop into a logged-in device. Then, remove Yubikey as the preferred authentication method.

For instance, if you lose your Yubikey on your way home from work, use your home computer or any device still signed in to your account to change the settings.

To access your google account, just head to ‘My Account,’ then ‘Signing Into Google,’ and select the ‘2 Step Verification’ option.

After pressing the ‘2 step Verification’ button, proceed to click on the pencil icon that is adjacent to the ‘Device name’ button and press ‘remove.’

Now you should be able to sign in to your account without entering Yubikey verification.

Make sure to set up another email or authentication method to keep your account safe.

Alternatively, if you have a backup Yubikey, use it to log into your accounts.

How to avoid getting Locked out of Your Accounts

Granted, Yubikeys provide additional online and device safety. They are highly useful when dealing with accounts containing potentially sensitive data.

However, to safeguard your accounts and avoid being locked out, you have to anticipate the loss of your Yubikey.

Obtain Spare Keys

The safest way is to have a spare key that you can use to access your account in the event of misplacing, losing or damaging the original key. Ideally, keep the spare key separately and in a secure place.

Enable Login Without 2-FA

In case you don’t have a spare Yubikey, it is advisable to set up at least one device to log in without 2-factor authentication.

Doing so will enable you to use the device to remove the two-factor authentication settings in case you lose your Yubikey.

Ideally, the device should be your home desktop, laptop, or any other device that you repeatedly use to log in to your accounts.

Enable a Convenient, Alternative Login Method

Google, Facebook, and Dropbox all allow you to set up alternative ways to log in to your accounts. Use this option to select a convenient login method that you can use when you lose or don’t have immediate access to your Yubikey.

How to Re-Install YubiKey As Your Preferred Login Method

You`ll also be glad to learn that setting up your replacement Yubikey as an authentication method is relatively easy.

Depending on the site or application, proceed to the settings section and click on security.

You can then proceed to set up the Yubikey as your preferred two-factor authentication method.