Recovering your account if you lose your 2FA credentials

If you lose access to your two-factor authentication credentials, you can use your recovery codes, or another recovery option, to regain access to your account.

Warning: For security reasons, GitHub Support may not be able to restore access to accounts with two-factor authentication enabled if you lose your two-factor authentication credentials or lose access to your account recovery methods.

Using a two-factor authentication recovery code

Use one of your recovery codes to automatically regain entry into your account. You may have saved your recovery codes to a password manager or your computer's downloads folder. The default filename for recovery codes is github-recovery-codes.txt. For more information about recovery codes, see "Configuring two-factor authentication recovery methods."

  1. Type your username and password to prompt authentication.
  2. Under "Having Problems?", click Enter a two-factor recovery code. Link to use a recovery code
  3. Type one of your recovery codes, then click Verify. Field to type a recovery code and Verify button

Authenticating with a fallback number

If you lose access to your primary TOTP app or phone number, you can provide a two-factor authentication code sent to your fallback number to automatically regain access to your account.

Authenticating with a security key

If you configured two-factor authentication using a security key, you can use your security key as a secondary authentication method to automatically regain access to your account. For more information, see "Configuring two-factor authentication."

Authenticating with a verified device, SSH token, or personal access token

If you know your GitHub password but don't have the two-factor authentication credentials or your two-factor authentication recovery codes, you can have a one-time password sent to your verified email address to begin the verification process and regain access to your account.

Note: For security reasons, regaining access to your account by authenticating with a one-time password can take 3-5 business days. Additional requests submitted during this time will not be reviewed.

You can use your two-factor authentication credentials or two-factor authentication recovery codes to regain access to your account anytime during the 3-5 day waiting period.

  1. Type your username and password to prompt authentication. If you do not know your GitHub password, you will not be able to generate a one-time password.
  2. Under "Having Problems?", click Can't access your two factor device or valid recovery codes? Link if you don't have your 2fa device or recovery codes
  3. Click I understand, get started to request a reset of your authentication settings. Reset authentication settings button
  4. Click Send one-time password to send a one-time password to all email addresses associated with your account. Send one-time password button
  5. Under "One-time password", type the temporary password from the recovery email GitHub sent. One-time password field
  6. Click Verify email address.
  7. Choose an alternative verification factor.
    • If you've used your current device to log into this account before and would like to use the device for verification, click Verify with this device.
    • If you've previously set up an SSH key on this account and would like to use the SSH key for verification, click SSH key.
    • If you've previously set up a personal access token and would like to use the personal access token for verification, click Personal access token. Alternative verification buttons
  8. A member of GitHub Support will review your request and email you within 3-5 business days. If your request is approved, you'll receive a link to complete your account recovery process. If your request is denied, the email will include a way to contact support with any additional questions.

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