Coinbase 2-Step Verification Not Working? Here‘s How To Get Back Into Your Account

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Two-factor authentication (2FA) is an essential security feature that adds an extra layer of protection beyond just a password. However, sometimes 2FA stops working properly, locking users out of their accounts.

If you suddenly can‘t access your Coinbase account due to 2FA not working, don‘t panic. This comprehensive guide will walk you through all the possible reasons why Coinbase 2-step verification could fail, along with the best troubleshooting tips so you can get back into your account.

Why Does Coinbase 2FA Stop Working?

Before diving into fixes, let‘s first understand the main reasons your 2-step verification can fail on Coinbase:

  • You changed your phone number – If you swap out your old phone number for a new one, Coinbase‘s texts or calls containing 2FA codes will no longer reach you.

  • You got a new mobile device – When you set up 2FA, the authentication codes are tied to your specific phone. Getting a new device without migrating your SIM card or apps can break the 2FA link.

  • Issues with your phone – If your phone suffered damage, needs updates, or has reception problems, it can interfere with receiving texts, calls, and generating codes in authenticator apps.

  • Restore or reset your phone – Doing a factory reset or restore on your mobile device can wipe out authenticator apps completely, preventing access to codes.

  • Temporary outage – In rare cases, the Coinbase servers have connectivity problems that disrupt the sending of 2FA codes to users.

Knowing what causes 2FA to stop working gives you a better idea of how to start troubleshooting the issue.

Fixing Coinbase 2FA Text and Call Problems

Let‘s begin with the most common Coinbase 2FA methods – text messages and automated phone calls. Here are some tips to get text message and call-based 2FA working again:

  • Double check your phone number – Log into your account settings on Coinbase‘s website or mobile app and confirm your phone number listed for 2FA is correct.

  • Try restarting your phone – A simple restart can fix network issues temporarily blocking texts or calls on your mobile device.

  • Move to an area with better reception – Weak cellular signals in your location could prevent 2FA codes from coming through reliably.

  • Verify your carrier supports texting – Some limited network providers do not support standard SMS messaging needed for text-based 2FA. Double check with your carrier.

  • Remove block settings on your phone – Some phones let you block specific numbers. Ensure Coinbase‘s numbers aren‘t accidentally blocked from sending you texts or calls.

  • Contact Coinbase support – If the problem persists, reach out to Coinbase via email or live chat so an agent can investigate and resolve any account issues.

Following these tips should get text-based and call-based 2FA working again in most standard cases. But for users relying on authenticator apps for 2FA, more steps may be needed.

Getting Authenticator App 2FA Back Up On Coinbase

Authenticator apps like Google Authenticator, Authy, and Microsoft Authenticator generate special time-sensitive codes offline to provide 2FA for Coinbase. But what happens when the app is wiped from your phone before you can backup the secret key? Or the codes suddenly stop displaying?

Here are troubleshooting tips to fix a non-working authenticator app for Coinbase 2FA:

  • Check your time settings – Authenticator apps rely on your device‘s time zone and clock being accurate to generate valid codes. Ensure your phone‘s time is correct.

  • Re-add the app with your secret key – You can usually find your authenticator app‘s secret keys for Coinbase in your account settings. Enter the key into a newly installed authenticator app to restore access.

  • Enable app refresh – If the authenticator app is freezing or has errors loading codes, make sure background app refreshing is enabled on your phone.

  • Use backup codes – When you first set up the authenticator app, Coinbase should have provided single-use backup codes to restore access if your device is lost.

  • Contact customer support – If backup options fail and you can verify your identity, Coinbase support can remove and re-add the authenticator app through an account recovery process.

With a few quick troubleshooting steps, you should be able to resolve any authenticator app problems plaguing your Coinbase 2FA access. But what about hardware security keys?

Troubleshooting Physical Security Key Issues

Hardware security keys like YubiKey add robust phishing and malware protection to Coinbase accounts when used for 2FA. However, they can encounter issues just like other 2FA methods.

If your YubiKey or other security key is not working properly for Coinbase access, try these tips:

  • Inspect your security key – Make sure the physical key is not damaged, especially around the connector area. Try plugging it directly into another USB port if possible.

  • Update related software – You may need to keep software utilities like the YubiKey Authenticator app updated on your computer to ensure full compatibility.

  • Register a backup security key – Having a secondary backup key that you register with Coinbase can get you back into your account if your main key stops functioning.

  • Remove and re-add the key – Work with Coinbase customer support to remove your old, non-working security key from your account, then register a new one.

  • Leverage another 2FA option – If no other choices remain, temporarily use SMS or TOTP authenticator to access your account and disable the broken security key.

With a hardware failure, the fixes often involve swapping out the faulty key for a replacement. Thankfully, second factors like SMS and mobile apps provide backup options in this case.

When All Else Fails, Contact Coinbase Support

If you still can‘t get any of your configured 2FA methods working after troubleshooting them, it‘s best to directly contact Coinbase customer support via email or phone for assistance regaining access to your account.

Here are some tips when reaching out to support about non-working Coinbase 2FA:

  • Clearly explain the issue – Let them know exactly which 2FA method is not functioning, along with any error messages or incorrect behavior.

  • Be ready to verify your identity – Support will ask questions and require documents to confirm you are the account owner before making changes.

  • Ask about account recovery – If no 2FA options are viable, request that support initiate an account recovery process to reset 2FA and regain access.

  • Know it may take time – Depending on your issue, full resolution could take days or weeks, as disabling 2FA is a sensitive process. Be patient.

With Coinbase‘s knowledgeable support staff ready to assist, you can get back into your account even in the trickiest of situations where 2FA won‘t seem to work no matter what.

Avoid Future 2FA Headaches With These Tips

To avoid these headaches in the first place, be sure to follow best practices when setting up and managing two-factor authentication on Coinbase:

  • Register multiple forms of 2FA – Link both your mobile authenticator app AND your phone number for SMS codes to have reliable backup options.

  • Save backup codes – When you first enable a new 2FA method, store the one-time backup codes somewhere secure like a password manager.

  • Keep phone details up-to-date – If you switch devices or phone numbers, immediately update that info in your Coinbase account settings.

  • Handle mobile devices carefully – Phone loss, damage, or resets put your 2FA credentials like authenticator apps at risk.

  • Test 2FA periodically – Every few months, log out then log back in to verify your 2FA methods are still functioning properly.

Following best practices minimizes the chances of getting locked out due to 2FA failure in the future. But if it does occur, use this guide to get yourself back into your Coinbase account. And remember – with some patience and assistance from Coinbase‘s support team, any 2FA issues can be resolved!


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.